School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

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Great things happen when students and academics come together


Erasmus+ is a fantastic exchange programme where here at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science in partnership with the Dental Academy we have recently been hosted by Caen University, France. The third oldest British (you heard right) university, behind Oxford and Cambridge.

Founded in 1432 by the Duke of Bedford and unfortunately destroyed in 1944 during the second world war, the University was rebuilt across 5 campuses, spreading across the beautiful city of Caen.

Staff and students from the University of Portsmouth were hosted by the Pharmacy school at Caen University for 5 days, taking in the culture of France and experiencing how Pharmacists in Normandy are educated. Meanwhile, Portsmouth staff and students shared how we train our future practitioners in the UK.

During the trip students worked with a selection of year groups across different workshops, discussion groups and lectures. Topics included a debate on vaccinations, due to a growing anti-vac movement in France and the (hopeful) impending launch of a vaccination programme by pharmacists in France. Simon Archer shared his knowledge and experience about the role of pharmacists in delivering vaccinations in the UK and clinical skill workshops that are taught to UoP MPharm final year students.

Our students and staff were also treated to a behind the scenes look at all the research labs seeing some of the amazing work they are doing in Caen and developing exciting new research collaborations and outreach programmes on foreign soil. There was even the creation of some new research and education opportunities for inter-professional learning between the UoP Pharmacy school and Dental academy!

The students had a fantastic opportunity to visit both a hospital and community pharmacy while in Caen and could see how even only being 190km apart the practices in the different countries are so different. French pharmacists were fascinated by the role of UK pharmacists, especially the interaction UK pharmacists have as part of a multi-disciplinary team and the future for the profession, e.g. Independent Prescribers.

This should be the start of a fantastic exchange programme with Caen visiting the University in June.

Bursary win for Pharmacy student

Natalia Chira

Natalia Chira, a PhD student in the Molecular Medicine lab in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded an external conference bursary from the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus to attend the "Proteomics in Cell Biology and Disease Mechanisms" conference, which will be held from 28 February - 2 March 2018 at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. In order to apply for the bursary Natalia had to write an abstract about the data she wanted to present at the conference, submit a CV, a cover letter and also a recommendation letter from her supervisor. 

Natalia said: “At this conference I will get to meet leaders in my area from across the world so my connection network will grow significantly and hopefully I will get inspired by them. I will have the chance to present my data and discuss ideas with them.”

New guidelines aim to treat brain tumours more effectively

A University of Portsmouth academic has helped to develop European guidelines to treat brain tumours more effectively.

Geoff Pilkington, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Neuro-oncology and one of the UK’s leading brain tumour specialists, was one of only three UK academics who devised the European Association for Neuro-Oncology (EANO) guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with astrocytic and oligodendroglial gliomas, including glioblastomas.

The guidelines provide guidance for diagnostic and management decisions, while limiting unnecessary treatments and costs. They are a resource for professionals involved in the management of patients with glioma, for patients and caregivers and for health-care providers in Europe.

Read more on our news site


Careers Conference

The School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences hosted its first combined careers conference for Biomedical Science and Pharmacology undergraduates. Building upon the successes of our original Biomedical Science conference and appealing to a wider audience, the day revolved around a variety of external speakers, many of whom were School alumni, representing a diverse range of careers. Spanning careers in biomedical and clinical science, clinical medicine, research, medical sales and the pharma industry, students were able to learn about careers directly associated with their own degree pathways. Valuable careers advice was available during a dynamic ‘ask the guest’ session, expertly compèred by the Pharmacology course leader Dr. David Laight. To add some variety, and broaden student horizons, a publishing editor, biotech innovator and teacher also enhanced the day, ensuring there was something on offer for everyone.

careers conference

Gavin Knight wins Royal Society of Biology Undergraduate Textbook Prize for co-authored Book

A textbook co-authored by Gavin Knight  from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (with Gary Moore and Andrew Blann, titled ‘Fundamentals of Biomedical Science: Haematology’ – 2nd Edition, published by Oxford University Press) has won the Royal Society of Biology Undergraduate Textbook Prize at the ceremony held on the 13th October in London. The prize is awarded for an outstanding life sciences textbook for undergraduate students. Congratulations Gavin (and co-authors) on the excellent outcome and for writing what is clearly an invaluable resource for students.

Please follow the link below and move down the page to see the comments from the judges.


Laboratory insight for Science Week visitors

University of Portsmouth scientists opened up their laboratories to the public as part of a series of free events organised to celebrate National Science Week.

Members of the Solent branch of The University of the Third Age (U3A) visited the Faculty of Science OPENLabs event yesterday, and enjoyed talks by experts and tours around the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences.

The 43-strong group heard a talk by Professor Geoff Pilkington – who heads the Brain Tumour Research team at Portsmouth. He spoke about the latest advances and challenges in the fight against brain cancer.

Guests then enjoyed a series of lab tours around the school, which included visits to the brain tumour research labs, pharmacy practice, cell imaging facilities, chemical biology labs, and muscular dystrophy research labs.

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lab insight

Pharmacy scheme offers real-life learning

Pharmacy students at the University of Portsmouth are to work regularly with real patients in a new community partnership which is only the second of its kind in the country.

The Healthy Living Pharmacy Live initiative was given a special launch event yesterday, attended by Minister for Portsmouth Mark Francois, leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones, and President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Ash Soni.

The University has joined forces with Lalys Pharmacy, in Guildhall Walk, in an initiative designed to put academic theory into practice through work experience sessions for every student in every year of their course.

All 550 students across the four-year master’s degree course will take part in the scheme – developed with University College London, which pioneered the first initiative – which will allow them to advise and support patients in the pharmacy and use specially adapted rooms as a learning space.

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pharmacy scheme

New group embraces technology enhanced learning

A new group exploring Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is looking at the best way to bring technology into your day-to-day teaching.

Gavin Knight, Principal Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, is behind the initiative. He said: “By sharing ideas, best practice and identifying new ways of using old technology, we aim to innovate within our teaching roles and to identify and report on new and exciting ways of improving the quality of education for all.”

Since its inception in September 2015, the group has met three times, with each meeting supported by the Department of Quality and Curriculum Enhancement (DCQE), faculty online developers and the TEL team. 

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