Professor Nicola Lowe gains research funding into BiZiFED biofortified zinc flour to eliminate deficiency


dr_nicola_loweUCLan Nutritional Science Professor Nicola Lowe has been granted £30,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to investigate whether a newly developed strain of bio fortified wheat could increase dietary zinc intake in Pakistan. According to the World Health Organisation, dietary zinc deficiency is a global problem affecting 17% of the world’s population, with the greatest burden in developing countries. The most recent national survey in Pakistan indicates that over 40% of women are zinc deficient, compared with less than 15% in Europe and North America. The consequences of zinc deficiency are profound and far reaching, ranging from stunted growth and development in children, increased susceptibility to infections in children and adults and complications during pregnancy and childbirth.  This has a negative economic impact on the family, the community and the region.

The study is a collaboration with plant physiologist, Professor Martin Broadley at Nottingham University, as well as research partners in Pakistan including the Abaseen Foundation and Khyber Medical University and Fauji Fertilizer Company. The research will focus on families in a North West Pakistan rural community who will spend eight weeks eating the new strain of wheat grain growth in zinc rich fertilizer compared to standard grain to assess whether it increases zinc content in the body. The team will monitor the participants by testing hair samples and blood plasma as well as exploring new techniques to evaluate zinc levels. They will also look at hoe culturally acceptable bio fortification is within rural communities and key stakeholders including farmers.


School of Nursing shortlisted for Nurse Education Provider of the Year award

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Now in their 6th year, the Student Nursing Times Awards are the only awards to celebrate the very best in student nurses and nurse education. The School of Nursing here at UCLan are proud to announce that they have been shortlisted for the Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Pre – Registration) category.

This award will recognise those universities that offer high standards of academic and practical teaching and excellent resources.

On 27th April Dr Karen Wright Head of School of Nursing, Dr Nigel Harrison, Exec Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing and colleagues will be travelling down to London Hilton for the award ceremony. They have been shortlisted according to a range of criteria which includes being an outstanding educational institution offering a nursing course and demonstrating excellence in a range of areas. These areas include being an educational environment that nurtures, supports, motivates and inspires as well as supporting students emotionally and practically during their course of study. Also developing and upholding the professionalism of nurses and ensuring they understand and adhere to the NMC Code of Conduct.

The school was nominated by a member of Comensus who recognised the valuable investment that the school and its students play in contributing to the nursing profession. Additionally, our student president Reece Doonan and Emma Jones a lecturer in the Mental Health team gathered the evidence to support the positive experience they had encountered within the School of Nursing.

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Call for participants

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Research project title: Learning from elite athletes’ mental health experiences

My name is Florence and I am currently a PhD student at the University of Central Lancashire. As part of my PhD, I am conducting a study aiming to broaden our understanding of mental health issues in elite sport from elite athletes’ perspective. I am particularly interested in examining what issues they have encountered, how it was diagnosed and how they have dealt with it.

For this project, I am, therefore, looking to interview participants who have experienced mental health issues (for which they have been formally assessed and diagnosed) during or immediately post their career, and who were performing their sport at an elite level.

The interview is composed of approximately 8 questions and should last about 90 minutes. This project has received ethical approval from the UCLan Ethics Committee for Business, Arts, Humanities and Social Science (BAHSS No 395) and I will be happy to meet you at any convenient time and location for you if you are interested in taking part in our study.

For more information about this project, a detailed information sheet has been attached to this post.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further information.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this information and for considering taking part in our project.

 Learning from elite athletes_ mental health experiences – Information Sheet

Best Regards,

Florence Lebrun

PhD student

Institute of Coaching and Performance

School of Sport and Wellbeing

University of Central Lancashire

Three Peak Challenge

On the 10th June 2017 students and staff from the University of Central Lancashire assisted by 3 Medical Regiment and 64 Medical Squadron will be undertaking the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. This will be the fourth time they have organised the event. In previous years 100s of students and staff have attended raising thousands of pounds for charity. The Challenge involves walking twenty four miles incorporating the three mountains; Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Last weekend they completed the second practice walk, completing Whernside and Ingleborough, in the snow.


UCLan Health Professor recognised by the Stroke Association

One of our very own Caroline Watkins has been honoured wiprofessor_c_watkinsth a special recognition award by the Stroke Association. She received this award at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford last September.

Caroline is the only professors of her time working as a professor of stroke and older people’s care. She leads one of the largest stroke care and research teams in the UK and has been working in stroke research for 20 years, striving to improve the quality of care  within this region.

She was delighted to be awarded saying ” It is truly fantastic to receive this award personally, and on behalf of my team. Both myself and my team are committed to trying to prevent this devastating condition and to reducing the impact of stroke on people’s lives”.

However she still showed her modesty on receiving this saying “We can’t do this alone, and work very closely with some amazing people. It’s because of the stroke specialist and stroke relevant staff who work along the stroke care pathway, and of course numerous people who have been patients or carers, without whom we wouldn’t be sure we were doing things in the right way at the right time”

Well done to Caroline and her team, truly deserving of this award. To find out more information on these awards visit

100, 000 Genomes Project: Consent Evaluation

By studying the function and the structure of the human genome (genomics) scientists can begin to establish the precise causes of disease. The 100 000 Genomes Project was launched in 2013 to sequence 100, 000 whole human genomes, from NHS patients, by 2017 ( By focusing on sequencing genomes from NHS patients with rare inherited diseases or cancer, the aim of this project is to use the information within the genomes to understand the causes of disease and tailor medical treatments to patients. Through a greater understanding of the human genome:

  • Patients will benefit immediately. For instance, a conclusive diagnosis of a patient’s inherited disease may be possible, or a specific cancer treatment could be chosen based on the individual’s cancer
  • Patients will benefit in the future. Through studying the genomes within this project, the findings will help inform diagnoses and treatment for future patients.

For patients to participate in trials such as this, they need to be fully informed in order to agree to participate (consent). UCLan staff member Dr Caroline Benjamin and colleagues from the College of Health and Wellbeing, as well as NHS Genomics Medicine Centres, were asked to evaluate the consent process and participant materials used in the 100, 000 Genomes Project. As part of their assessment they were asked to provide suggestions for improvement, in order to further improve the quality of the process and materials.  Their Results of the National Consent Evaluation are available here, both as a summary and a full background document:

This evaluation has been a collaborative effort, led by the North West Coast Genomic Medicine Centre, (hosted Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Trust with sites including the Royal Preston Hospital). The team included members the 13 National Genomic Medicine Centres, Universities, NHS England and Genomics England. Their evidence will be used to further inform the development of consent materials and processes within the 100, 000 Genomes Project.


Project team. L-R: Caroline Benjamin, Markella Boudioni, Antje Lindenmeyer and Eliot Marsden

The Innovation Clinic’s ERDF Project

By Laurence Smith

We are here to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to bring products to market.  

The Innovation Clinic supports Lancashire Businesses to innovate and grow through the development of new-to-firm and new-to-market products. The Clinic team brings together extensive industry & academic expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and technology to provide fully funded and tailored support at any stage of the product development process from initial concept and market research through to launch.  The project is part-funded by UCLan and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and over the next 2 years, aims to assist SMEs through tailored advice and support enabling them to gain an insight into their products’ potential and help boost the manufacturing sector in the region.

The Clinic team is looking to support SMEs in the Lancashire region by allowing them free access to a wide range of services that we offer.  As part of the Innovation Clinic, the Bio-mechanics team provide support to Lancashire businesses to help them bring new products that interact with the human body to market.  The ability to back-up product performance claims can have a huge positive impact on future sales and differentiate you from the competition and the team can offer a range of product testing and data-capture to enable you to do this.  The support offered can be tailored to the specific needs of the company.  The Clinic is able to offer support in other areas as well, including:

  • Independent Idea evaluation & feasibility
  • Market research, demand and competitor analysis
  • Advice on IP and freedom to operate
  • Innovation strategy
  • Product design support
  • Prototype development
  • Product testing
  • Brand development
  • Materials, supply chain and manufacturing advice
  • Commercialisation


Throughout the life of the project the Clinic will be also hosting various free workshops.  These workshops will cover a variety of areas from the design and development of products to the bio-mechanical testing of products.  In each of these workshops, the companies will get to know the different processes that products must go through to get to market and the various types of testing that the innovation clinic can offer.  The companies will have an opportunity to discuss their products with members of the team and use the events to network with other companies.

The next event the Innovation Clinic will be hosting will be a half day bio-mechanics workshop on the 22nd and 23rd of November. This half day workshop will be held at the Allied Health Research Unit’s state-of-the-art movement laboratory based in Brook Building at the UCLan campus in Preston.

The purpose of the workshop is to allow companies to see the different methods that the Innovation Clinic uses to collect data.   Through the course of the event we will explain the different types of data we can collect and what this could mean to companies and to their products.  The event will also consist of talks by Professor Jim Richards on different aspects of bio-mechanics as well as practical demonstrations of the equipment in the movement laboratory.  During the workshop we will look at a range of bio-mechanical techniques that are used to collect data for companies and through the use of case studies we will explain how these relate to a person using a product.  Throughout the workshop there will be the opportunity to speak to our team and ask questions.

For further details about the Bio-mechanics workshop and to book on to the event visit our Eventbrite page at:

The Early Career Researcher Forum

By Julie Cook Lucas and Hayley Tyrer

 What is the early career researcher forum?

The Early Career Researcher Forum in the College of Health and Wellbeing, was set up at the beginning of 2016 as a College initiative to support early career researchers (ECRs). The ECR Forum is designed to allow research assistants, research associates and post-doctoral level members of staff a space to share information between ECRs and acknowledge the contributions of ECRs to UCLan while feeding ideas in to the College Executive.

What has been achieved to date?

To date, the ECR Forum has met 5 times (1 meeting every 2 months) and the meetings have covered a number of different topics:

Session 1: Brainstorming by ECRs on the issues they thought the forum should address

Session 2: Q&A with Professor Caroline Watkins (College Director of Research & Innovation): clarification on some issues raised during session 1, followed by a forum discussion to identify which themes/tasks to pursue through the colloquium in an informed and structured way.

Session 3: Group discussion to articulate the way forward for the forum in terms of skills/interests to offer and share, areas members wanted to be covered, and contract status.

Session 4: Presentations by Gill Bruce and Emma Hesketh-Sandon (UCLan Human Resources and Research Office respectively) and Mike Eslea (UCU branch representative) regarding contracts and career progression and recent developments regarding roles and grading issues.

Session 5: Group discussions around mentoring, probation and appraisal, and training/skills development

Interested in getting involved?

We are actively encouraging all early career researchers within the College of Health and Wellbeing to participate in the ECR Forum; your experience and opinions really matter when finding ways to improve the ECR experience at UCLan! (Please remember that this is a College initiative to support ECRs and you are entitled to time to attend).

If you want to attend the ECR Forum then please email for further details.


Make the most of your library resources…

Calling all College of Health and Wellbeing students!

Did you know that the library team has tailor-made e-resources for your subject, at your fingertips?

Not only do you have access to all of our books, e-books, journals, and e-databases, you can also access our other, audio-visual, resources online for FREE. All you need is your UCLan login details.

Here are just a few of the less conventional learning tools you could use to help with your studies;

Acland’s Anatomy: ‘A Video Atlas of Human Anatomy’ with unique features including a three-dimensional look at anatomy; fresh human specimens in their natural colours; real movement; dissections and more.
This is great for students in nursing, physical and occupational therapy, kinesiology, and massage therapy. For students who don’t have access to dissection facilities, the Video Atlas provides an appreciation of the real human body and a direct understanding of the mechanics of body movement. Watch some sample videos here

Anatomy TV: Anatomy TV features 3D computer graphic models of human anatomy, dissection and radiology slides, animations and movie clips of biomechanics and surgical procedures. You can pinpoint exactly which area of the body you’re interested in, watch animations showing where the stresses of particular exercises take effect, and add or strip away layers to see every detail. Another bonus is that you can also take quizzes and do activities to test your knowledge (better than the standard eye-parching revision cram session, I’m sure you’ll agree!) Get Anatomy TV-literate here

BoB: BoB (Box of Broadcasts) National is a shared online off-air TV and radio recording service for UK higher and further education institutions. You can watch or listen to anything (yes, anything!) that has been on ‘terrestrial’ radio or TV in the past 10 years, and it doesn’t disappear after 28 days like some on-demand services. You can also create clips and playlists, which you can share.

Here are just a few examples of playlists which have been created for your subject;

Adult Nursing
Mental Health
Sport and Exercise provides over 5000 bite-sized video tutorials covering the latest software, creative, and business skills. Taught by accomplished teachers and recognised industry experts, is a high-quality resource for students, faculty, and staff looking to develop skills in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, project management, social media, and a wide range of other topics. Any course you complete can be added to your LinkedIn profile and is one more thing to add to your CV when you’ve graduated. Here‘s a good all-rounder playlist to get you started.

For a look at ALL the resources you have access to go and check out our A-Z page.

You can also book a one-to-one or group appointment with a librarian who can help you with all aspects of researching for your subject here.

For any more information on the ways we can help you contact your college librarians Mike Hargreaves ( or Megan Benson (

World Mental Health Day 2016

On Monday the 10th of October it was World Mental Health Day 2016

The University of Central Lancashire celebrated World Mental Health Day as the start of the #1in4film festival that we hold each year.

The whole event was free and everyone was welcome.

There were various sessions people could attend, activties and information stalls to visit on campus and in the pop up shop, in the city. Exercise classes were free all day for staff and students at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.




We held an exciting free event new this year. With various speakers discussing mental health and wellbeing. The full video will be accessible soon.


Zoom Creations

Some of our amazing students participated in building a Stop Motion amination film about mental health that was screened at the closing of the 1 in 4 film festival. This will be accessible very soon here.

UCLan 1 in 4 Film Festival

The One in Four Film Festival is a week-long free event featuring films which explore the effects of mental ill health upon individuals, communities and families. The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness of and stamp out the stigma associated with mental ill health. We showed some amazing films which provoked some fantastic discussions.


Information on the various services involved


Community Restart is a community mental health team which focusses on supporting people with mental health challenges engage meaningfully with their community. The team supports people in a variety of different ways dependent on the needs of the individual. Through it’s strong links with community groups, education providers, welfare and debt advice centres, art, vocation and sports organisations Restart helps making the first steps of changing your life a less daunting experience. The team works alongside the clinical teams and works across all levels of need.



Self-Motivation in Lasting Endorphins- We’re a friendly and welcoming self-help group for chronic pain sufferers, run by pain sufferers. We meet every Wednesday 9.30am-12noon at St Martin’s Church Hall, Fulwood.


Somatic Movement

Rest & Listen to your body….live well. This is a taster into a practice which develops a persons capacity to sense and move with internal awareness and a sensitive engagement with the body.  No dance experience necessary….everyone welcome, come as you are.

Penny Sybil Collinson



Razorrawks began spiritually long before it was obvious to himself there was anything to get spiritual about. Blamed and often berated for the confines of his introvert nature at an early age – music became a function to help translate the dysfunction of the homespun backdrop in which he found himself. Broken family values demand any emptiness be filled with whatever distraction’s necessary to plaster the cracks – life became lyrics became life – this is still the writing on the wall.

Hailing from Preston, he’s unmistakably identified through his original delivery, regional dialect and Northern pride, he combines inspired lyrics over well produced beats drawing influence from all that surrounds him. Due to his eclectic approach comparisons have been made with the likes of John Cooper Clarke, Jamie T, Guy Garvey, The Prodigy and more.