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05 February 2009
The UK’s Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham MP has visited the University to see the world-leading research being undertaken at Cardiff.
Mr Denham described the vital role universities play in supporting employers and employees through challenging economic times and laying the foundations for the upturn. He said: "The research undertaken in centres of excellence like those I’ve seen at Cardiff University not only lead to new treatments that benefit the community but provide important innovations that contribute to the UK’s bottom line."
Welcomed by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Blood the Secretary of State, Mr Denham was joined by the Welsh Assembly Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Jane Hutt AM and given a guided tour of the £21m School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
The Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant said: "Cardiff University is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities. With centres of research excellence the University provides strong foundations for further knowledge, skills and innovation; and is a vital element in the development of communities and regions - especially in the current economic climate."
The facilities at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences represent one of the largest investments in eye care anywhere in the UK and for the first time bring teaching, clinical practice and research under one roof. The School remains Wales only provider of academic optometry and vision sciences.
Professor Tim Wess, Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences said: "We were delighted to show how we research and implement new improvements in eye care. These range from fundamental physics of the nano interactions of molecules in the cornea and laser-based imaging of the retina to eye movement, the early detection of glaucoma and the causes of dry eye.
"These interrelated activities are all provided by the School where we use our research-led teaching to train the optometrists of today and tomorrow. A key part of our School is our eye clinic where the public are encouraged to visit in order that supervised students can carry out free eye tests to the most exacting standards."
The Secretary of State was also shown the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) by Professor Dylan Jones, Head of the School of Psychology with Professor Kris Singh and Dr Chris Chambers of CUBRIC.
The Centre remains one of the first facilities in the UK to combine Structural and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI/fMRI) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) devoted to pioneering advanced brain scanning techniques (fMRI/MEG) capable of mapping the structure and function of the healthy and impaired brain.
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