A nurse who has dedicated her professional life to improving the care of older people and those with serious illnesses has been appointed professor in palliative care at De Montfort University. Jayne Brown, who joins from the University of Nottingham, where she was senior research fellow in palliative and end-of-life care, said she was pleased that her experience complements her new role's responsibilities. "My background is in gerontology and more latterly in palliative care, and because I have a foot in both camps, I'm hoping I'll be able to speak ... in a language they'll (both) understand." Professor Brown will contribute to the development of the new Centre for the Promotion of Excellence in Palliative Care (CPEP), a collaboration between De Montfort and the Leicestershire and Rutland hospice LOROS. "Palliative care is not about having cancer and being in the last days of your life; it is about (helping) people who have long-term conditions they have to learn to live with," she said. "That's where the CPEP comes in. By having a true partnership between an academic organisation and a hospice, together we're stronger and can speak louder to policymakers." After completing a MMedSci in clinical nursing and then a PhD at the University of Sheffield, Professor Brown worked as a nurse before returning to Sheffield as a lecturer in nursing. She then held a senior research fellowship at Glasgow Caledonian University before moving to Nottingham.
School of Advanced Study
A US sociologist has crossed the Atlantic to take up a visiting fellowship at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford professor of the history of science at Harvard University, will hold the S.T. Lee Visiting Professorial Fellowship during May and June 2012. Professor Shapin, who will give a series of public lectures at different universities during the fellowship, said he was looking forward to returning to the UK, having lived and worked in Edinburgh for almost two decades. His research interests include the changing languages and practices of the taste of food and the nature of entrepreneurial science. "Science (is) most frequently described and applauded as 'objective'," he said. "By contrast, taste judgments are reckoned to be 'subjective', and, in many cases, they are thought to be arbitrary, private, and incommunicable. My interest in taste, and especially in gustation and olfaction, is partly driven by my long-standing concern with science. Can you actually communicate the experiences of taste?" Professor Shapin gained an undergraduate degree from Reed College in Oregon before completing an MA and a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He has held academic positions at a number of institutions around the world.
University of Portsmouth
The University of Portsmouth has appointed a US neuro-oncology scientist principal research fellow at the institution's Cellular and Molecular Neuro-Oncology Research Group. Helen Fillmore, who has been associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and who was grant writer for the College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University in Virginia, has previously specialised in brain tumours. She noted: "What really motivated me to come to Portsmouth was the obvious passion within the team to make a difference to people's lives." Professor Fillmore said she is driven by the goal of finding answers to fight cancer. "I don't see a cure coming in the form of one silver bullet. Because brain tumours are very diverse and the number of genes and proteins that are involved in driving the tumour vary from one subset to another, targeting one molecule may not work as well as targeting multiple targets." She obtained a BA in psychology in 1984 from California State University, Chico, before completing a PhD in the department of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.
University of Sunderland
An experienced TV executive has been appointed visiting professor in digital content at the University of Sunderland. Alex Connock will work with the team at the David Puttnam Media Centre in TV and digital production. "I'm a fan of the creative contribution that the North East of England can make to TV, and keen to see its disproportionately modest level of visibility redressed as the industry evolves in the North," Professor Connock said of his new position. "As TV and social media collide, this is a fascinating evolutionary period in the short but most colourful history of digital content." He co-founded the factual TV/digital production company Ten Alps with Bob Geldof, and he is now director of new business at TV group Shine UK. Professor Connock gained a BA in politics and economics from the University of Oxford before completing a postgraduate qualification in journalism at Columbia University and an MBA at the French business school INSEAD, where he is also an entrepreneur in residence. Along with his industry experience, he has held academic positions at the universities of Salford, Oxford and Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.
A University of St Andrews academic has been elected fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. James H. Naismith, professor of chemical biology, has been rewarded for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of medical science. His work examines the atomic structures of proteins in order to better understand infectious diseases.
Durham University's business school has appointed Michael Humphreys to the role of professor of organisation studies. In addition to lecturing on qualitative research methods, Professor Humphreys will be joining a new research group at the school that will investigate issues of organisational identity.
A dressage rider and triple Olympian has been appointed to a visiting fellowship at Nottingham Trent University. Richard Davison - one of the most highly respected dressage riders and trainers in the UK - will bring his knowledge, skills and expertise to the university's School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, has named renowned humanitarian and activist Graça Machel its new president. Ms Machel, a former minister of education in Mozambique, takes over from Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, who held the role for 10 years.
Jane Bacon has been appointed professor of dance and performance at the University of Chichester. Professor Bacon, who joins from the University of Northampton, will lead research in both departmental fields.
One of the world's best-known designers has become an honorary professor at the University for the Creative Arts. Sir Terence Conran received the award for services to design, education and the creative arts.