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Cardiff University in the News

A selection of news highlights from the media in January- February 2013. The Public Relations office prepares media releases on behalf of the University and each year responds to more than 600 calls from the media (ranging from expert comment to filming location requests)

Improving Links with India

VCIn February, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan joined a Prime Minister-led business and skills mission to India in a bid to help improve Wales’ educational links.

Professor Colin Riordan joined colleagues from Universities across the UK and the UK Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts as part of the high-profile visit, which was organised jointly by UK Trade and Investment (UKTi) and the Department for Business Industry and Skills (BIS).

This event was covered locally and nationally including an interview with Professor Riordan on BBC Radio Wales live from India.

Tackling Type 1 diabetes

Test tubesPreventing Type 1 diabetes could one day become a reality if University clinical trials of a new vaccine prove successful.

Professor Colin Dayan from the University’s School of Medicine has joined forces with experts from King’s College London, Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF and the Australian Health and Medical Research Council in a clinical trial which aims to slow or halt the process that destroys the insulin-making cells in Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 1 in 250 of the UK population and is on the increase, especially in young children. Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes is life changing and means that you have to have multiple insulin injections daily for the rest of your life.

This story was covered locally and nationally in the Daily Mail, BBC News and on BBC Radio Wales and ITV Wales.

Insulin health risks

Type 2 diabetes and Insulin outcomesIn another major health story, patients with Type 2 diabetes treated with insulin could be exposed to a greater risk of health complications including heart attack, stroke, cancer and eye complications according to a new University study led by Professor Craig Currie from the School of Medicine.

Examining the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) ― data that characterises about 10% of the UK population ― a team of researchers from the School of Medicine looked at the risk of death for patients taking insulin compared with other treatments designed to lower blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.

The team’s epidemiological study found people have greater risk of individual complications associated with diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, eye complications and renal disease when compared with patients treated with alternative glucose-lowering treatments.

The advice for patients currently being treated with insulin is to not, under any circumstances, stop taking their medications, and it is important to emphasise that this report related to only Type 2 diabetes which typically starts in older people who are overweight.

This story was covered locally, nationally and internationally including Medical Daily, BBC News, Daily Mirror and the South Wales Echo.

Have a Word

Have A WordAn innovative campaign to cut the growing tide of binge drinking and alcohol related injuries and illnesses in Wales was launched by Cardiff University in January. With a steady increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions over the past 10 years, the ‘Have a Word’ campaign will deliver a sustainable alcohol brief intervention programme nationally.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd’s award-winning research has informed the development of the programme. The initiative was developed in partnership with the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales and is set to be rolled out across the NHS in Wales

This story was covered locally, nationally and internationally including The Western Mail and BBC News

New Year Honours

Leading figures from across the University community received royal recognition in the annual Queen’s New Year Honours.

Professor Keith Harding, director of the University’s Wound Healing Research Unit and the TIME Institute in the School of Medicine and Professor Judith Hall, head of Anaesthetics, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine also in the School were honoured with a CBE and OBE respectively. Emeritus Professor of Medicine, John Williams, was awarded an OBE.

First ever Welsh-led EU space programme launched by Cardiff University

spacekidsCardiff University has launched the first ever Welsh-led European Union (EU) space research programme, funded by a €2M award from the EU through its FP7 (Framework Programme 7) SPACE programme.

The three-year SPACEKIDS project will work to develop new detector technology for use in future space missions. The new detectors will be capable of working at extremely low temperatures and will be designed for use in future satellites for astronomy and for the study of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The project brings together some of the leading European institutes with expertise in detectors for far infrared wavelengths – a few hundred times longer than the wavelength of visible light. Current far infrared detectors being used on board spacecraft are very difficult to manufacture and operate. Research carried out by Cardiff’s School of Physics and Astronomy to manufacture novel Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs) offers a very real prospect of ultra-sensitive cameras which are easy to make and use.

Devolution is driving force behind UK renewable energy agenda

wind turbineA new study led by Dr Richard Cowell, School of Planning and Geography concluded that devolution has played a significant role in the expansion of renewable energy deployment in the UK, with Scotland leading the way on renewable energy delivery ahead of Northern Ireland and Wales.

The findings are the result of a two-year research project undertaken by Cardiff University, Queens University Belfast, Robert Gordon University and Birmingham University. The collaborative project seeks to examine how devolution has affected the development of wind, wave, solar and biomass energy technologies.

This story was covered locally and nationally including the Belfast Telegraph and The Herald Scotland

Creating a stronger, greener UK

Catalysis Professor Graham HutchingsLeading University catalysis experts received a £3M funding boost as part of a major new hub designed to support economic growth, reduce CO2 emissions, produce cleaner water and generate more sustainable energy.

The Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI), led by Professor Graham Hutchings FRS in the School of Chemistry, is a world leader in Catalysis. Catalysis is crucial to the development of economically and environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes.

The Cardiff team will receive £3.19M to lead the environmental element of the research – to help take waste products and turn them into useful materials.

This story was covered nationally including The Engineer

Forging Communities Past and Present

Forging communities webTwo new projects based around one of Cardiff’s most important, but little-known, archaeological sites, Caerau Iron Age hillfort, engaged local people and school children in their history and helped challenge marginalisation.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Digging Caerau and HEART of Cardiff projects was led by the School of History, Archaeology and Religion and based in the suburbs of Caerau and Ely – areas that face significant social and economic problems.

Both projects built on the success of the School’s recent CAER Heritage Project initiatives which have brought together schoolchildren and members of the Ely and Caerau communities to find out more about their shared past. Highlights to date have included an exhibition designed by local schoolchildren at St Fagans National History Museum and the participation of local residents and pupils in a recently televised excavation at the site by Time Team.

This story was covered locally including Wales Online

Expert Comment

Professor Patrick Minford, Cardiff Business School commented on the New Year price rise misery for thousands of commuters as the Severn Bridge toll increased again and bus and train companies expected to raise their fares in line with high fuel costs. (South Wales Echo)

Professor Ron Eccles, Common Cold Centre commented in the Daily Mail with advice for cold sufferers. If you’re bunged up, then blowing your nose will make no difference – instead he suggested that sprays are more effecting than tablets in combating the congestion as they are applied right to the source.

Dr Tim Jacob from Biosciences commented in the Daily Mail on the new Deo perfume candy which fragrances you from the inside out. The sweets have now been launched in the UK and Dr Jacob explained how they use a perfumed oil known as geraniol as an active ingredient, which is then excreted in the sweat a few hours later.


FuturityCardiff is a partner of international research news website Futurity, All partners are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) or the Russell Group. Cardiff research covered by Futurity in January and February included:

Findings by lead author Joanne Lello of Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences after studying data from children in Tanzania discovered that infection by one type of parasite actually affects your risk of catching another, over and above other risk factors.

Dr Jennifer Pike of the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and a team of researchers are studying a unique 12,000-year fossil record of marine algae to learn more about past climate change in the western Antarctic Peninsula, one of the fastest warming regions on the planet today

Media Services

University staff can sign up for the Daily Media summary prepared by the Communications and International Relations Division by emailing or by logging into Cardiff Connections where it is displayed daily within the Public Relations Community pages. The media summary is prepared from web news sources, local news media and national newspaper education supplements. Staff can also view copies of articles in full via the comprehensive news database Lexis Nexis. Copies of coverage from the last month can also be requested from the Public Relations Office. Please contact Lisa Birkbeck ( or 70298). If you have a potential news story, please contact the Public Relations Team.