December 9, 2010

University of Alberta

Evangelos Michelakis

The work of a researcher examining two seemingly unrelated fields - pulmonary hypertension and cancer - has been recognised by the national advocacy group Canadians for Health Research. Evangelos Michelakis, professor in the department of medicine at the University of Alberta, was awarded the group's Researcher of the Month title in November for his discovery that the drug dichloroacetate can be used to treat some types of cancer in rats. Professor Michelakis said he was "humbled" by the recognition: "There's a real sense of honour to be included among the best of the best in Canada," he said. The Researcher of the Month series was established in 2003 to help raise the profile of the breadth of research being conducted across the country. This is not the first time that Professor Michelakis has discovered that a drug typically associated with specific disorders can be used to treat other diseases; in 2003, he led a team that found that Viagra, usually used to treat erectile dysfunction, is beneficial for patients with pulmonary hypertension. Although he said it was "great" to be recognised for his research, he was quick to highlight the work being done by his colleagues and students. "This reminds me that being a part of this prestigious list of researchers is as important to me as being a part of my own list of legends," he said. "The bright students and colleagues that surround me make this work happen and, more importantly, make me a better scientist and a better person."

University of Lincoln

Trevor Dann

Trevor Dann has been appointed visiting professor in radio and sound at the University of Lincoln's School of Media. Professor Dann, who recently stepped down as chief executive of the Radio Academy - a charity that works in broadcasting and audio production - said he was looking forward to his first academic appointment. "While I was at the Radio Academy, I talked to lots of students and I really enjoyed that," he said. Professor Dann has previously presented BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's breakfast show, been managing director of pop music for Emap and head of BBC Music Entertainment. During his time at the BBC, he played a key role in the overhaul of Radio 1, gaining a reputation as the man who made the station "cool" again. He has also been managing editor of the BBC's London radio station GLR, where he helped to launch the radio careers of Chris Evans and Danny Baker. Professor Dann said that media commentators had written off the medium of radio prematurely: "There are still plenty of opportunities for creativity," he said. "Radio is not a dying industry; it is a growing industry and there will be lots more opportunities for radio and audio producers of the future."

Columbia University

Emily Bell

A former editor-in-chief of The Guardian's website has become the first director of Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Emily Bell said her "first love" was written journalism: "Writing about television from a business perspective is what first led me in the 1990s to become interested in the internet and its possibilities," she said. She entered journalism as a reporter for The Observer after graduating from Christ Church, Oxford. After the paper was bought by The Guardian, she moved to work on online content. "People did actually think I was crazy at that time to leave a settled job on a national newspaper, but it was so compelling to think how you could experiment and do new things," she said. Ms Bell added that her attitude to online news was that it should be "of the web, not just on the web". She explained: "If you're just putting stories on the web, it doesn't mean that stories aren't good or that people won't read them, but there's a fundamental difference between that and actually producing digital journalism." She said she hoped that the Tow Center would become "the place where technology and journalism meet".

University of Essex

Aaron Balick

BBC Radio 1 listeners have had their relationships subjected to expert academic analysis. Aaron Balick, a lecturer in the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex, has been looking into the complexities of different kinds of relationship as part of Radio 1's Relationships Campaign Week, which ran from 29 November to 5 December. Speaking before the event, Dr Balick said he was expecting questions to "flood in" because of the widespread interest in the subject in today's society. Although he admitted he would be unable to help everyone, he said that his aim was to answer questions that other listeners would be able to identify with. "Of course, there are those few that get you right in the heart," he said. "Even if they are not common problems, you've got to answer them, too." Dr Balick's academic life started with an MA in continental philosophy at the University of London before an MSc in integrative psychotherapy at the University of Derby. He went on to complete a PhD in psychoanalytic studies at the University of Essex.


The British Academy has awarded several academic prizes. The Wiley Prize in Psychology has gone to Essi Viding, reader in developmental psychopathology at University College London. The Derek Allen Prize for Musicology has been awarded to Gary Tomlinson, Walter H. Annenberg professor in the humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. The Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature has been awarded to Daisy Hay, Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. The Grahame Clarke Medal for Prehistoric Archaeology has been awarded to Richard Bradley, professor of archaeology at the University of Reading. The Serena Medal for Italian Studies has been won by Anna Laura Lepschy, emeritus professor at University College London. The Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies has been awarded to Ulrich Luz, emeritus professor of New Testament studies at the University of Bern. And British Academy President's Medals have been awarded to Sarah Tyacke, distinguished research Fellow at the University of London's School of Advanced Study, and Michael Worton, vice-provost (academic and international) and Fielden professor of French language and literature at University College London.

Nottingham Trent University has made two appointments to its School of Social Sciences. Robert Dingwall, formerly of the University of Nottingham, has been appointed professor of social sciences, while Simon Holdaway, formerly of the University of Sheffield, has been made professor of criminology.

Maurice Glasman, director of the faith and citizenship programme at London Metropolitan University and senior lecturer in political theory, is to be made a Labour peer.

Jacquie Nunn has been appointed policy and liaison officer at the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers.

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