December 15, 2011

University of New South Wales

Michelle Simmons

A quantum computation expert has been honoured as New South Wales' Scientist of the Year at the NSW Government's Science and Engineering Awards 2011. Michelle Simmons, who is director of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, and a federation fellow and a professor of physics at the University of New South Wales, received her undergraduate degree and her doctorate from Durham University and went on to the University of Cambridge, where she was a postdoctoral researcher. In 1999 she took up a QEII research fellowship at New South Wales. "Ten years ago I moved to Sydney from Cambridge because I felt there was an opportunity to do some phenomenally exciting research here," she said. "It was the best move I ever made." Professor Simmons said that she was delighted to win the award, which she felt reflected on the work of her team. "Quantum computing is not easy science - it takes many different skill sets," she said. "I'm pleased that this award will bring recognition to the work of the whole team, many of whom have been working on this project for years."

University of Exeter

Aude Alapini Odunlade

Winning the Very Early Career Physics Communicator Award is "an exceptional cherry on an amazing cake" for Aude Alapini Odunlade. Dr Alapini Odunlade, who is associate research fellow in astrophysics at the University of Exeter, won the award from the Institute of Physics primarily for her work in her native Benin, where she toured a show throughout the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. She is now working towards the establishment of a science and communication centre in Benin. "The cherry is the award, with the recognition of my work in physics communication," she said of her accolade. "The cake is the contacts and network that I have met at the award meeting, which will help me take my communication activities forward." Dr Alapini Odunlade studied for her undergraduate and master's degrees in physics at the Universite Paris XI. She went to Exeter in 2006 to study for a doctorate in physics. She said that the award meant she was "definitely doing something right" with her work. "This is a breath of renewed energy that will help me carry on my communication projects, impacting and enthusing children and adults alike with physics, science and technology," she added.

Monash University

Henry Krum

The recipient of a fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia is aiming to use his award to address the "urgent need" for better heart disease treatments. Henry Krum, director of Monash University's Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics, received the Top Ranked Practitioner Fellowship at the NHMRC's 75th Anniversary Symposium in Canberra. He studied for his undergraduate degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Melbourne in 1981 and became a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1989. He went on to complete a doctorate at Melbourne, which was awarded in 1991. As well as his role at Monash, Professor Krum also serves as head of clinical pharmacology at the Alfred Hospital, adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and consultant physician at the Alfred Heart Failure Centre. He said that he planned to use the fellowship to examine the role of cancer drugs in heart failure and the effects of heart failure on the kidneys, and to look at treatments for patients who are considered to have a high risk of developing heart disease. "Heart failure continues to restrict the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians, and to be a major burden on the health system," he said. "The mortality rate remains unacceptably high, so there is an urgent need to develop new treatment approaches."

University of Bath

Stuart Miller

The first formally recognised specialist in sport and exercise medicine has been appointed head sports doctor for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Stuart Miller, clinical director of sport and exercise medicine in the department for health at the University of Bath, will hold the position with the London 2012 Organising Committee. Dr Miller initially trained at the University of Leeds and then became a GP in Bristol. He said that he became interested in sport and exercise medicine and, in 2002, gave up his GP role to concentrate on the discipline full time. Dr Miller is no stranger to roles at high-profile events, having performed the duties of sports physician at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2003. In 2008, he was chief medical officer to Great Britain's Paralympics team at the Beijing Paralympic Games. Dr Miller said that his appointment fulfilled an aspiration: "When I started the Bath sports medicine course many years ago I had an ambition to be a doctor involved in one of the 'big games'. To have been asked to do this role is a real honour."

Other changes

Jeremy Lindley, director of finance and deputy registrar at the University of Exeter, will take over in January as managing director (UK/Europe) at INTO University Partnerships. He will develop and take responsibility for the execution of INTO's strategies for business growth.

A judge and a former chief constable are new recruits to Anglia Ruskin University's board of governors. Richard Seymour is a senior circuit judge permanently assigned to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. Julie Spence was chief constable of Cambridgeshire from 2005 until her retirement in 2010. She is also a member of the Press Complaints Commission.

The European University Association has chosen a new chair for the steering committee of its council for doctoral education: David Gani, deputy principal for external affairs and advancement at the University of Strathclyde.

A University of Aberdeen professor of pharmacology has been awarded medal for his outstanding contribution to his field. Roger Pertwee, an internationally recognised cannabinoid scientist at the university's School of Medical Sciences, is the 19th recipient of the Wellcome Gold Medal, presented every two years by the British Pharmacological Society.

Jill D. Friedman has been named vice-chancellor for public affairs at Washington University in St Louis, from January. An alumna of Washington University, she is currently a senior vice-president and partner in Fleishman-Hillard's public affairs practice at the firm's world headquarters in St Louis.

Helena Johnson, head of subject for physiotherapy at York St John University, has been elected chair of council of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. The CSP represents more than 50,000 members and received the royal charter in 1920.

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