Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Diabetes event proves a big success

People living with diabetes and those at risk of the disease visited UCLan for a special event to learn more about coping with the condition and staying as healthy as possible.

Following the success of the inaugural Living with Diabetes Day last year, UCLan again teamed up with the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation and specialist diabetes teams from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to run the event.

Aimed at people with both type one and type two diabetes, people at risk of developing the disease, carers or people with a general interest in the condition, the event allowed them to meet healthcare professionals, exercise specialists and dietitians.

Visitors participated in interactive workshops, including how to prevent long-term complications, glucose monitoring and amputation prevention.

UCLan SENS' Lecturer, Dr Swrajit Sarkar, organised the event. He said: "Living with Diabetes Day provides a unique opportunity for people in Lancashire to access a wealth of information and support under one roof. It allows them to speak to visiting healthcare professionals from local specialist diabetes teams, researchers, academics and professionals in exercise, diet and nutrition.

"We recognise the benefits of sharing and discussing concerns and experiences with like-minded people and healthcare professionals outside of the surgery or clinic setting in a supportive, relaxed and informal environment."

Attendees also took part in an exercise class at the end of the day, delivered by UCLan Physiotherapy Lecturer Colin Hayes, to learn some basic exercises that can be done at home.

Christine Elwell, Diabetes Dietitian and Diabetes Education Coordinator at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: "We're really pleased to be part of this important awareness raising event. As a Trust we look to support any opportunity for people to understand more about living with diabetes and developing skills that can promote health for themselves and their families."

Lee Calladine, Educational Event Coordinator from Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, said: "We are extremely pleased to support and sponsor the second Lancashire Living with Diabetes Day, and to work collaboratively with Dr Swrajit Sarker, UCLan and the specialist diabetes teams from across the North West.

"This unique event brings together people living with both type one and type two diabetes, healthcare professionals, researchers and academics to create a day filled with helpful, informative and fun information about diabetes.

"We hope people who attended left feeling invigorated with new tools, skills and with an even greater understanding and enthusiasm of how to manage their diabetes so they can live life to the full."

To view images from the event please click here.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Nutrition Policy to Practice in Pakistan: Exploring the challenges and research opportunities

Professor Nicola Lowe recently visited Asia as part of her continuing research with the Abaseen Foundation, looking at the complex problem of malnutrition in Pakistan.

She met a number of key people during the visit, including, Professor Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, the chairman of the Higher Education Commission, Professor Dr Mohammed Hafizullah, Vice Chancellor of Khyber Medical University and Muhammed Mushtaq Jadoon, the Secretary of the Health Department at the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

To read Professor Lowe's blog about the trip, please click here. The Tribune newspaper in Pakistan also covered the event. To view the story please click here.

Monday, 2 March 2015

UCLan SENS Professor signed up by Gates Foundation

Professor Nicola Lowe has been invited by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to be a member of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG).

Professor Lowe will sit alongside a handful of other internationally-recognised scientists with long-standing expertise in zinc nutrition.

The IZiNCG is the go-to group on the world stage for expert technical and policy advice and is linked to the delivery of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it aims to promote and assist efforts to reduce zinc deficiency worldwide, through advocacy efforts, education, and technical assistance.

Professor Lowe holds a range of other advisory positions relating to zinc, and has also recently been invited to be a panel advisor for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission which selects overseas candidates for scholarships and fellowships tenable in the United Kingdom.

Zinc is an essential nutrient for human health. In spite of the proven benefits of adequate zinc nutrition, approximately two billion people still remain at risk of zinc deficiency.

Professor Lowe said: "It's an honour to be asked to join such a prestigious group. Zinc deficiency is something I feel incredibly strongly about and initiatives like the IZiNCG are crucial in raising awareness and effecting change."

Created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest foundation in the world, driving initiatives in education, world health and community giving.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Research reaps rewards for Chris

As a Lecturer of Sport at Burnley College on a range of FE and HE programmes and a sport science practitioner on the Elite Athlete Programme, Chris Kirk has always had a desire to improve his knowledge and applicable skills within his daily practice.

Chris decided to undertake a postgraduate qualification that would increase his understanding of more advanced methods and techniques within sports science, whilst also allowing him the opportunity to apply his learning to performance enhancement.

He commented: "The MSc (by Research) at UCLan provided the perfect balance of theoretical and practical studies, enabling me to utilise my existing undergraduate research methods and develop them to a much deeper level.

"Within my thesis - 'The Workload Demands of Mixed Martial Arts' - I was able to demonstrate the use of new technology alongside more traditional performance analysis techniques in the assessment of workload within a rapidly growing sport."

Whilst Chris found the process continuously challenging, he said it was made equally engaging by his tutor Dr Howard Hurst, whose guidance showed him how fulfilling and enriching research work could be.

"The tutor support continued throughout the programme of study, from fleshing out the experimental design to preparation for the final viva voce/examination - a valuable experience in the qualification which mirrors the peer review process vital to scientific research," said Chris.

"As well as attaining the final MSc degree, a key achievement for me was being able to rework parts of my thesis into two published, peer reviewed articles (click here and here to view).

"Completion of an MSc (by Research) is hard work and fraught with moments of frustration and difficulty, but it is also extremely rewarding and has awoken a passion in me for further research, both in the projects in which I'm currently involved and the future pursuit of a PhD.

"I fully recommend this degree course to anyone who has a desire to improve their own sport science research abilities, whilst also contributing to the knowledge base of the discipline."