February 7, 2008

A research team from the University of Manchester has been shortlisted for the fifth biennial Saatchi and Saatchi Award for World-changing Ideas. Led by Brian Derby, head of the ink-jet printing of human cells project, the Manchester research team uses ink-jet printing technology to create "made-to-measure" skin and bones, which can be used to treat burns victims or patients who have suffered severe disfigurements. The technology can create complex human tissue scaffolds on which cells can be grown; ultimately, whole artificial organs could be created. The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony in New York on 21 February.

Helen Murdoch has been appointed equality and diversity manager at the University of East Anglia, with responsibility for staff and students. She joins from the University of Bradford.

David Hendy, reader in media and communication at the University of Westminster, has won the annual History Today-Longman book of the year prize. His book, Life on Air: A History of Radio 4, was pronounced "a beautiful history of a bureaucracy". Also honoured was Morgan Daniels, an undergraduate student at Queen Mary, University of London, who won the award for the best final-year dissertation for his essay "Scarcely seen or felt: British Government and the 1960s satire boom". The judges described it as "a quite superb piece of work".

Charlotte Gower of the department of infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial College London has won the 3Rs Prize 2007, from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research. Dr Gower was given the £10,000 award this month for her work in developing a new way to study the parasites that cause bilharzia, a disease affecting the developing world. Dr Gower said: "We have taken advantage of recent advances in how DNA can be stored ... in order to collect our parasite DNA samples directly from infected people. Previously we had to grow the parasites in the laboratory, using them to infect snails and then rodents."

Dan Stone, professor of modern history at Royal Holloway, University of London, has been recognised for his contribution to a book designed to teach children about the Holocaust. Dr Stone has been awarded the Sydney Taylor Book Award by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Holocaust: The Events and Their Impact on Real People was written by Angela Glick Wood, and Professor Stone acted as academic consultant to the project. "The real achievement is by the author, and I am honoured to have been awarded the Sydney Taylor Book Award along with her," Professor Stone said.

Keith Webb, director of the University of Huddersfield Consortium for Post-Compulsory Education and Training, has retired. Mr Webb's career in teaching started in 1974 when he took up a position as a part-time lecturer at Huddersfield Technical College. He departed Huddersfield in 1987, going on to spend 14 years at the Bolton Institute and then returning to Huddersfield to take up the post of consortium director in 2001.

Garik Markarian has joined researchers at Lancaster University's InfoLab21, where he takes up a chair in communication Systems. Professor Markarian was formerly director of the Institute of Integrated Information Systems at the University of Leeds. InfoLab21 is the North West centre of excellence for ICT.

Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has been made an honorary doctor of laws at the University of Exeter. Professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University, Professor Sen, as a former master of Trinity College, Cambridge, was the first Asian academic to head an Oxbridge college. "With a name that means 'immortal' in Sanskrit, his family must have had a sixth sense about their newborn son. He will certainly have found immortality through his life and his contribution to the fight against poverty," said a University of Exeter spokesman.

Alastair Hudson, of Queen Mary, University of London, and Fernando Barrio, of London Metropolitan University, have been named joint winners of the Law Teacher of the Year Award 2008. The pair were honoured at a ceremony during the UK Centre for Legal Education's Learning in Law annual conference this month; they will share the prize of £3,000 donated by Oxford University Press. Professor Hudson, professor of law, said: "My favourite acceptance speech at the Oscars was years ago when a writer appeared on the platform and said, 'Thank you, this is encouraging.' And I think it's the most honest answer about receiving anything - this is hugely encouraging. I'm struck dumb."

Tessa Hadley, a senior lecturer in the School of English and Creative Studies at Bath Spa University, has been shortlisted for a £10,000 short story award in the US. She is one of three finalists for The Story Prize for her collection of ten short stories, Sunstroke and Other Stories, which examines the emotional lives of middle-class men and women in contemporary Britain, from the 1970s to the present.

Joe Goldblatt, an events management expert from the US, has joined Queen Margaret University's School of Business, Enterprise and Management as a full-time lecturer. Mr Goldblatt was formerly senior lecturer in tourism and hospitality management at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Brian McGaw, dean of health, life and social sciences at the University of Lincoln, has been appointed dean of the faculty of science and technology at Deakin University in Australia. Professor McGaw takes up his new appointment in May.

A University of Teesside professor has been given one of the highest international awards for computer science education. Alan Clements, a professor in the university's School of Computing, has won the 2007 Taylor L. Booth Education Award. Professor Clements said: "If the university hadn't given me the opportunity to do this, I wouldn't be where I am today."

Stephen White, professor of international politics at the University of Glasgow, has been awarded a research fellowship by the Leverhulme Foundation for a study of democracy in former communist countries. The fellowship, which is worth £682,919, will allow Professor White to analyse what he calls "managed democracy" in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, examining issues including falling voter turnout, political disengagement and the quality of the democratic process in these countries.

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