An exciting programme of seminar and posters that reflected the breadth of the research activities across the school was put together and complemented by plenary lectures delivered by the invited guest speakers who came from government and academic institutions across the UK.
Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, opened the proceedings of the two day event by launching the University’s new undergraduate degree in agriculture – the BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security which was announced earlier this year.
This new degree, aimed at tackling concerns of food security and sustainability, has been designed around internationally recognised expertise and facilities at four partner institutions all located in central Hertfordshire: the University of Hertfordshire, the Royal Veterinary College, University of London (RVC),Rothamsted Research and Oaklands College.
This initiative was supported by Professor Ian Crute CBE (Chief Scientist at The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) who gave the first plenary lecture entitled ‘How can UK science best contribute to delivering the sustainable intensification of agriculture?’
Further plenary lectures were delivered by other eminent scientists who attended covered a diverse range of topics that complement the School’s key research areas and included:
- Professor Les Iversen CBE, Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, spoke on a topic affecting many young people today – ‘Novel psychoactive substances – the science’.
- Professor Magdi Yaqoob, Professor and Academic Director of Renal Unit, Barts Health NHS Trust, and William Harvey Research Institute, London UK, talked about ‘Oxygen deprivation preconditioning: journey from bench to bedside’.
- Professor Malcolm Richardson, FRCPath, Director of the Mycology Reference Centre at the University Hospital of South Manchester, and Professor of Medical Mycology at the University of Manchester, talked about ‘Diagnosis of systemic fungal infection: Quo Vadis?’
- Dr Timothy Gant, Head of the Toxicology Department at the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, talked on ‘Environmental chemicals and good health: The role of Public Health England in understanding and protecting disease associated with environmental chemicals’.
- Professor John Weinman,Professor of Psychology as Applied to Medicines at The Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London whose talk was on ‘Taking the treatment: How can health psychology help?’
- Dr Julia Zakrzewski, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Bedfordshire, spoke about ‘Breakfast, exercise and health in young people: time to move on.’
- The final closing plenary lecture was given by Professor Ian Campbell, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, who spoke on the ‘Physiology of athletes with a spinal cord injury’.
With comments like “well done for hosting an excellent research conference”, “a really great event” and “the conference was a great experience”, it’s clear that students, academics and visitors all found the event very inspiring and enjoyable – so much so that this is planned to become an annual event!
Sponsors of this two day research event included: MedPharm, The British Pharmacological Society, Thermo Fisher Scientific, High5 Sports Nutrition, Bounce, AM Sport and the Perry Foundation.