December 1, 2011

London School of Economics

Paul De Grauwe

An economist and former member of the Belgian Parliament has been named the first holder of the John Paulson chair in European political economy at the London School of Economics. Paul De Grauwe is currently professor of international economics at the Catholic University of Leuven, which is where he studied economics before going on to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he completed a PhD in the department of political economy. After completing his doctorate, he returned to his Belgian alma mater as an associate professor. A period as a professor at the College of Europe followed, and, after a variety of roles at numerous institutions, Professor De Grauwe was elected as senator for the Belgian Parliament, eventually rising to the position of chairman of the Economic and Finance Committee. During his time in politics, Professor De Grauwe kept his links to academia in a variety of roles, including a professorship at the Freie Universitat Berlin and the Norwegian School of Management. He said that he was looking forward to his new role, although he expected it to keep him "extremely busy". "Unfortunately for Europe, the need for fresh and incisive thinking at this time of turmoil is all too clear and that is exactly what the Paulson chair will enable; research and teaching which leaves Europe better informed about the difficult decisions it faces."

University of Leicester

Helen Mackenzie

Helen Mackenzie has joined the University of Leicester as a research assistant for the Students' Experiences of Feedback project. Dr Mackenzie studied for her BSc in natural science at The Open University as a mature student, and went on to study for a master's in research methods in education. She undertook her doctoral studies in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. Dr Mackenzie said that she was interested in developing the work of the British psychoanalyst and paediatrician Donald Winnicott to theorise how individuals might experience transitions. "I am continuing to develop an alternative theoretical framework to shed new light upon the notion of the student in transition in higher education," she said. Dr Mackenzie's interest in educational research was sparked by her professional experience in a secondary school, and her personal experiences are continuing to have an impact on her work: "I have two grown-up children, one studying A levels and another studying textile design at university," she said. "As a mother, this has helped me gain a wider view of the transitions faced by students into and during their study in higher education."

University of Western Australia

Thomas Wernberg

An academic with "a predilection for perturbation ecology" has been awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to carry out "work of national importance" in the field. Thomas Wernberg, assistant professor and postdoctoral research fellow at the Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia, has been awarded A$697,000 (£434,000) over five years for his research. "Specifically, I will be testing the capacity of seaweeds, and kelps in particular, to adjust physiologically and ecologically to changes in environmental conditions - especially increasing temperatures," he said. "This work will increase our understanding of the capacity of these ecologically important organisms to adjust to ocean warming." Dr Wernberg studied for his master's in environmental biology and geography at Roskilde University in Denmark, and came to Western Australia as a doctoral student in marine botany. As well as his role at the institution, Dr Wernberg is also a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and an adjunct lecturer at Edith Cowan University.

University of Alberta

John Lewis

John Lewis, who has been appointed to the Frank and Carla Sojonky chair in prostate cancer research at the University of Alberta in Canada, has a plan to build a research programme that will get important drugs developed and to market faster and more cheaply. "Some of the most popular cancer drugs available today may have been discovered in a lab 20 years ago; it may cost upwards of C$650 million (£400 million) per drug to take that out of the lab, test it in animals, put it into clinical trials and eventually get it into patients," he said. "What a translational research programme attempts to do - and is successful doing in many cases in North America and around the world - is to compress that time and reduce that cost to get important medicines into patients faster." Professor Lewis gained his PhD at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, where he studied biochemistry. He went on to study at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Before joining Alberta, he was Robert Hardie chair in translational prostate cancer research, director of the Translational Prostate Cancer Research Group and an assistant professor in the departments of surgery and oncology at the University of Western Ontario. He was also a scientist with the London Regional Cancer Program at the London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario.


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