‘We are all born scientists’: Professor Aradhna Tripati on diversity in the sciences and her climate priorities

 

Three outstanding international academics are joining the University of Bristol after being awarded the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Visiting Fellowship. One of them is the renowned geoscientist Professor Aradhna Tripati from the University of California (UCLA). Aradhna is passionate about fostering diverse voices in sciences and is the founder of the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science at UCLA. We talked to her about her journey into geoscience, diversity and inclusion in the field and her main research priorities during her time at Bristol. (more…)

Wolfson Foundation support three exceptional researchers to join the University of Bristol

Three outstanding international academics will join the University of Bristol this year after being awarded the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Visiting Fellowship. These fellowships enable exceptional international researchers to undertake a flexible 12-month period of sabbatical leave to join a UK university, to foster international collaboration and enrich scientific research. (more…)

Two million pound gift will create two vital new academic roles at the University

The University of Bristol is celebrating an incredible £2 million gift from alumnus David Hughes (BSc 1974). This gift will create two new positions at the University: a Chair of Geographical Sciences to support environmental research and a Chair of Digital Chemistry. (more…)

Improving student mental health

(c) David Pratt

Dr Myles-Jay Linton demonstrates how early career research is supporting student mental health.

My work focuses on two primary areas: the mental health challenges faced by university students, and the outcomes of innovative mental health policies at the University of Bristol. In 2018, for example, the University launched an ‘opt-in policy’ which invites all students to give consent to the University to get in touch with an emergency contact if there is a serious concern about their welfare. The policy is the first of its kind in the UK and is designed to widen the circle of support for Bristol students. I work with students and staff to understand better how novel policies like this are interpreted and implemented. Approximately 95% of our students opt in, which is amazing, and we are working to understand who the remaining 5% are; without allowing us to reach out to a named emergency contact, they might be at higher risk. (more…)

Tackling climate change

(c) David Pratt

Dr Eunice Lo describes the impact of seed funding on developing vital climate research.

My research explores what climate change means for extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, and how they impact human health. If we can understand the adverse impacts of a changing climate then we can make plans to avoid devastating outcomes, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting our society. (more…)

Investigating COVID-19 response in infants

(c) David Pratt

Research led by Dr Anu Goenka has shown how babies are protected from severe COVID-19 infections.

As a Clinical Lecturer in Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, much of my clinical and research work is carried out in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we weren’t sure how the disease would impact the young children and infants in our care.

Babies are very vulnerable to other respiratory viruses, such as the flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), so initially we thought that they may also be susceptible to severe COVID-19. It soon became apparent, however, that the four babies at our hospital who had tested positive for coronavirus were only mildly affected by the disease, with all of them recovering after just a few days. (more…)

Supporting scientific discoveries

(c) David Pratt

Philanthropic support has allowed PhD student Amy Holt to explore how aspirin could improve bowel cancer treatments.

I’ve always found cell biology fascinating: the way that cells work, how they build us as human beings and how they can cause disease. It’s what drew me to studying cancer. By learning about what goes wrong in cancer cells, we also learn a lot about normal cells and how they should function.

Bowel cancer has one of the highest mortality rates of any cancer, because it’s often detected at quite a late stage. Researchers have established that taking aspirin for long periods of time decreases your risk of developing bowel cancer. But what we don’t know is exactly why that is. Throughout my PhD, my research group and I have been exploring how aspirin influences cellular functions to make cells less likely to become cancerous and to slow the progression of a cancer. (more…)

Dr Imke Sittel (PhD 2017): tackling climate change through plant power 

In 2019, co-founders Dr Imke Sittel (PhD 2017) and Dr David Benito-Alifonso set up Glaia – an environmentally conscious startup which is on a mission to reduce the carbon footprint of agricultural food production. The revolutionary technology behind Glaia, which Imke and David developed at the University of Bristol, uses nanomaterial-based solutions to allow plants to harvest light more efficiently. By increasing crop yields and lowering emissions, this forward-thinking startup could play a pivotal role in tackling climate change and ensuring food security in future years.

We spoke to Dr Imke Sittel to find out more about startup life and to hear her fond memories of her time at the University.

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A Bristol life: Dr John Reeks (MA 2010, PhD 2015)

For over 12 years Dr John Reeks has been a part of the University of Bristol: first as an MA student, then as a PhD researcher and now as a lecturer in the Department of History. Here he tells us more about what makes the University such a special place for him.

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