Strategic Research Development Fund

Purpose of the Fund
The purpose of this fund, for which £10,000 has been set aside each year, is threefold:
1. To encourage the development of a collaborative research culture between the University and health practitioners within Kent.
2. To build the University’s capacity to respond to health-related research priorities of the Funding Councils and other external funders.
3. To foster collaborative research with non-University health-related research groups in Kent.

Applications are invited for research projects, which involve collaboration between a University academic and a health practitioner within the regional NHS, or other appropriate health-related external agency. Preference will be given to health organisations within the county of Kent. Examples for which it would be appropriate to seek funding might include, but are not limited to: hosting workshops, symposia or meetings that are intended to lead to the development of new partnerships or networks; establishing or significantly enhancing collaborative research developments; acquiring significant research resource; research staff visiting another institution or laboratory to foster collaboration, learn new techniques, or to use instruments/methodology not available in the applicant’s institution; and providing limited amounts of consumables for pilot studies.

To read more on application criteria and the process, please visit



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MSc Physician Associate Studies

Our MSc in Physician Associate Studies is delivered within the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences at the Medway campus where students have the added benefit of training in a specialist facility with qualified medical practitioners engaged in postgraduate education and research.

You will spend a significant portion of the first year in the simulation suite learning hands on skills. The simulation suite is equipped with mock wards as well as a surgical suite with anesthesia and laparoscopic equipment. Highly sophisticated human simulation models will be used in the teaching of hands on skills to prepare you for your second year clinical based modules.

The Physician Associate role was introduced in the UK in 2003. Physician Associates are now recognised as skilled and valued members of the health care profession. The newly qualified Physician Associate post has been evaluated under the NHS Agenda for change at Band 7 with potential to advance to Band 8 with experience and advanced education.

Physician Associates can perform medical history and physical examinations, screen and interpret results of diagnostic studies, diagnose patients, implement treatment plans, counsel patients regarding illness and preventative medicine and facilitate access to appropriate health care resources.

As with many types of medical providers, duties of a Physician Associate will depend on the medical setting where they work, their level of experience, their specialty and their supervising physician.

Physician Associates may provide care to individuals across the age spectrum in a variety of healthcare settings. More information on the Physician Associate profession and salary may be found on the Royal College of Physicians Physician Associate Faculty web page.

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at people interested in pursuing a healthcare career in a primary care setting or almost any medical specialty.

It is designed for people with a strong science background. Please see more details under ‘Further entry requirements’.

For more information please visit the Canterbury Christ Church University web pages:

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REGIONAL RENAL CONFERENCE – Wednesday 30th August 2017

Book your free place to the 35th Anniversary Meeting of the South, West and East Kidney Society (SWEKS)

Wednesday 30th August 2017, 14:00 – 16:00, University of Kent, Woolf Lecture Theatre

The programme will be as follows:

13:30 Registration and Refreshments

14:00 Plenary Lectures

  • Hippocrates to Montgomery: Disclosure and Understanding in Consent? Dr. Michael Delaney MD FRCP LLM
  • Improving deceased donor Kidney Utilisation: a double edged sword? Mr. Chris Callaghan PhD FRCS
  • Capacity and consent issues for extended donor criteria potential recipients Dr. Martin Mansell MD FRCP LLM
  • Organ donation following euthanasia, the Dutch initiative Prof. Joost Schudel MD PhD



University of Kent

Woolf Lecture Theatre

University of Kent



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Would you like to develop your clinical career?
Do you have a good first degree in biosciences, pharmacy or similar?

Physician Associates are skilled members of the health care team who are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services in practice with a licensed physician.

Key facts:
A two-year programme leading to registration as a Physician Associate as required by the NHS.
Taught by practicing professionals and academics in specialist facilities at Medway
Bursaries and scholarships available

Find out more

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Treatment can offer hope for relief of Parkinson’s symptoms

A non-invasive, home-based procedure to stimulate the inner ear and brain functions that control balance and eye movement can offer hope for the relief of Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.

Research carried out by the University and East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust involving a patient with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) provided evidence of behavioural improvement across some of the disease’s most common and debilitating symptoms.

Now the researchers, led by Dr David Wilkinson, of the School of Psychology, and Dr Mohamed Sakel, director of East Kent Neuro-Rehabilitation Service, are testing if the beneficial effects of the new treatment which involves non-invasive, thermal stimulation of the balance organs are evident in a larger group.

For more details, please go to the Kent News Centre.

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How Exercise and Body Temperature Influence the Gut

The paper, entitled “Zinc carnosine works with bovine colostrum in truncating heavy exercise–induced increase in gut permeability in healthy volunteers”, is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This is a prestigious journal; according to their website the “AJCN was selected by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) as one of the top 100 most influential journals in Biology and Medicine over the last 100 years”.

Dr Glen Davison had this to say:
The findings from this study are important because they provide information on how exercise and increases in body temperature influence the gut. We used a human trial that assessed gut permeability in vivo as this allows us to see effects that are real-to-life and have practical implications for athletes or other people who may be exposed to such stressors. The nutritional supplements used provide potential practical countermeasures for those who suffer from gut issues during strenuous exercise but also provide us with useful information on the likely mechanisms and causes.

We also used a variety of advanced in vitro measures (e.g. where cell cultures were studied in conditions designed to mimic those in the body during the exercise) which allowed us to gain more insight into the molecular processes and mechanisms that explain these effects. This provides useful information that helps us to understand (and potentially treat) such issues in athletes (which could help to optimise their performance), but more generally may also help us to understand how the gut responds to other insults or stressors (such as illness or chronic medical conditions affecting the gut) and help us understand and optimise treatment.”

According to the study, ‘Leaky gut’ is a condition where the thin mucosal barrier of the gut, which plays a role in absorbing nutrients and preventing large molecules and germs from the gut entering the blood stream, becomes less effective. It is a particular problem for those taking part in heavy exercise or who are active in hot conditions. It can lead to ‘heat stroke’ (especially in military personnel deployed to countries with high temperatures) and gut symptoms in athletes.

The study involved a collaboration between researchers from the University of Kent, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, the University of Leicester and Aberystwyth University.It was found that the exercise (running on a treadmill) caused a number of physiological responses, including an 2-3-fold increase in gut ‘leakiness’ (intestinal permeability) and an increase in body temperature, which may well have been a contributing factor in causing the increased leakiness of the gut.

The study also showed that zinc carnosine improved the performance of the mucosal barrier of the gut, and that this improvement was enhanced when supplemented with bovine colostrum. Bovine colostrum has been studies a lot in the past but this is the first study to examine the effects of zinc carnosine in such a context. Zinc carnosine is readily available from health food suppliers and the research team concluded that zinc carnosine taken alone or with bovine colostrum may have value for those affected by ‘leaky gut’.

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Bacterial infection possible cause of bladder condition

OAB (Overactive Bladder) is a condition where the bladder muscle spontaneously contracts before the bladder is full. In the USA, it is ranked in the top 10 of common chronic conditions, competing with both diabetes and depression, with a reported prevalence of up to 31-42% in the adult population.

The researchers, including the Kent team from the Medway School of Pharmacy, found that some OAB patients had a low-grade inflammation which is missed by conventional NHS tests. This low-grade inflammation may ultimately result in increased sensory nerve excitation and the symptoms of OAB.

The study found that in these patients the low-grade inflammation is associated with bacteria living inside the bladder wall. This was an observational study which means that no conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. However, the findings may prompt the clinical re-classification of OAB and inform future therapeutic strategies. These might include protracted treatment with antibiotics to alleviate the symptoms of OAB in some individuals.

The research, entitled Altered Urothelial ATP Signaling in Major Subset of Human Overactive Bladder Patients with Pyuria is published in the journal American Journal of Physiology .

Principal investigator was Dr Scott Wildman , of the Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Kent and Greenwich, and colleagues Alberto Contreras-Sanz, Louise Krska, Dr Claire M. Peppiatt-Wildman and Dr Stephen Kelley.

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The challenge of microbial resistance and appropriate use of antimicrobials

Jerome Durodie was invited to present an overview of appropriate use of antimicrobials and the present problem of microbial resistance by Practitioners Associates at their Advanced Practitioners’ Summer School held at South Bank University 7th – 8th July. Introduced as a ‘national expert’ to the attendees (who had asked the organisers to re-arrange the meeting timetable to enable as many of them as possible to attend Jerome’s talk as an important ‘present day hot potato topic’!), Jerome discussed the basics of antimicrobial pharmacology and use together with the ongoing and developing problems associated with resistance patterns worldwide in the context of the present UK 5 year antimicrobial planning strategy and its detailed application in clinical practice. The wider use of antimicrobials in other industries, such as agriculture / veterinary was also set into context. Jerome used case studies and a quiz to help open up discussion. Positive feedback was received both for content and enthusiasm, confirming Jerome’s reputation at such clinical meetings.

The organisers have expressed their interest at inviting Jerome back at future occasions to enthuse (nursing) professionals with relevant up-to-date topics.

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Medway Supporting British Council Funded ‘Science in Schools’

Medway PhD students travel to Lyon to deliver hands-on scientific workshops to secondary school students.

Medway PhD students Filip Kunc and Colin Moore travelled to Lyon from 7 – 11 December to deliver hands-on scientific workshops to secondary school students as part of the British Council competitively-funded ‘Science in Schools’ programme. Both students are studying for PhD’s in the Chemistry and Drug Delivery group under the supervision of Dr Vladimir Gubala and Dr Andrew Hall. Over the course of the week, the team travelled to 9 different schools to deliver 2-3 hour workshops through English.

The team conceptualised and delivered their interactive ‘Atmosphere in a Fishbowl’ workshop aiming to provide a fun, interesting perspective on role the Earth’s atmosphere plays in our daily life. Importantly, the workshops coincided with the historic COP21 climate change meeting in Paris. By performing experiments in fishbowls, the team demonstrated how specific physical, chemical and biological atmospheric are being influenced by the consequences of climate change and pollution.

Speaking about the week, Filip and Colin said: ‘Organising, describing and demonstrating experiments to children that do not speak English as a first language was a big challenge and made us focus on different styles of communication. However, their English levels were actually very good and made our workshops very interactive and fun. We are extremely grateful to the support provided by Carole Hemard and Irene Damour from the British Council. Without their help and organisation this week would not have been a success.’

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Acute Kidney Injury: Clinical Training Session and Research Seminar

Thursday 21st April 2016, University of Kent’s MEDWAY campus

The Kent Academic Primary Care Unit is pleased to be hosting a clinical training session and research seminar on the subject of acute kidney injury (AKI) at our Medway campus on Thursday 21st April 2016 from 2.00pm to 4.45pm.  This event is free and primarily aimed at GPs, although colleagues with an interest in research and management of acute kidney injury will be interested in this exciting afternoon.  Please see our flyer for further details.

A free sandwich lunch and refreshments will be available from 1.30pm to 2.00pm and free parking permits can be sent upon request.

For further information or to book a place, please contact Helen Wooldridge,

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