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Cardiff University in the News - December 2010 & January 2011

A selection of news highlights from the media in December 2010 and January 2011. The Public Relations office prepares and distributes 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).

High-profile patrons for Research Institutes

The University has unveiled three high-profile patrons for each of its new Research Institutes. The Research Institutes were created to pursue new approaches to pressing concerns about cancer, mental health and sustainability. The three new patrons, who will champion and promote the work of each, are:

Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute – Stephen Fry

Sustainable Places Research Institute – Griff Rhys Jones

Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute – Sir Terry Matthews

The European Cancer Stem Cell Research InstituteSustainable Places Research InstituteNeuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute

Coverage of the announcement included: The Guardian, Western Mail, South Wales Echo, MediaWales On-line, Real Radio, and News Wales.

Watch videos of the new patrons and view a gallery from the launch event

Tweet of the year

Patron of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, Stephen Fry, tweeted these words to his 2,106,327 followers on the morning of the official launch event of the University's Research Institutes (January 10th 2011):

Stephen Fry Tweet

Professor Ray WatersProfessor Ray Waters
DNA under new spotlight

Professor Ray Waters, Dr Simon Reed and Dr Yumin Teng from the School of Medicine’s Department of Genetics, Haematology and Pathology have developed an unique method of measuring DNA damage frequency using tiny microarrays at greater than gene resolution. This new method could offer a valuable new insight into the development and treatment of conditions like cancer. Widespread coverage of this discovery included: Western Mail, South Wales Echo, EurekAlert, Scienceblog, Asian News International, Cancer Drug News and ITV2.

Stonewall top 100 employer

Times Higher reports that Cardiff University is named as one of the best places to work in the UK for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in Stonewall’s 2011 list of gay-friendly employers.

New home for Cancer GeneticsNew home for Cancer Genetics

A new flagship building to help the University lead the genetic fight against cancer was featured in Times Higher Education and News Wales. Officially opened by the First Minister of Wales, Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones; the University’s new Cancer Genetics Building is a new and dedicated research facility and home to some of Wales’ leading experts in cancer genetics.

Milestone for anti-shingles drug

FV-100, the anti-shingles drug developed in collaboration with Professor Chris McGuigan's research group at the Welsh School of Pharmacy, had promising results in its phase 2 trial, pharmaceutical company Inhibitex reported. Inhibitex announced that they had achieved clinical 'proof-of-concept' in shingles patients. This development was featured in the South Wales Echo and Western Mail.

Marriage is good for your health

New Zealand Herald, Times of India, The Daily Telegraph, Western Mail, The Scotsman and Irish Independent are amongst those to report that long-term committed relationships are good for your mental and physical health, according to Dr John Gallacher, School of Medicine, and a Cardiff student writing in the student BMJ.

President's Research Scholarships Logo

President’s Research Scholar

President’s Scholar Matthew Dray, School of Biosciences, talks about the support the Cardiff University Scholarship has given him in The Times Masterclass Features.

Bright Club Wales

University lecturers and researchers revealed their lighter sides at the first Bright Club Wales, a stand-up comedy event run by the Beacon for Wales. Academics from Cardiff and Glamorgan universities took to the stage to talk about their work in an interesting and entertaining way. Beacon for Wales manager, Bruce Etherington, was interviewed on BBC Wales and the initiative was featured in the Guardian.

Expert comments

University researchers provided comments, advice and opinions on a range of subjects during December and January. These included:

  • Professor Ken Peattie, director of the Centre for Business Relationships Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) commented on green business in Government Business;
  • Elliot Pill, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies commented on efforts to re-brand Wales to tourists in the Western Mail;
  • Professor Harry Collins, School of Social Sciences, comments on the nature of academic debate in The Baltimore Sun;
  • Professor Stephen Knight, School of English, Communication and Philosophy comments on the origins of the Robin Hood myth. Leader-Post and Star Phoenix (both Saskatchewan);
  • Professor Richard Wyn Jones, Wales Governance Centre, disputed the idea that there are no big ideas in Welsh politics in the Western Mail;
  • Professor Kevin Morgan, School of City and Regional Planning, expressed his concern that school meals could be a "soft target" for Government budget cuts in the South Wales Echo and Western Mail;
  • Professor Karen Holford, Head of the School of Engineering, commented on the need to deliver enough engineering students for UK industry in Professional Engineering January;
  • Dr Christine Purslow, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, comments on shops selling cosmetic or coloured contact lenses could be breaking health rules in the Western Mail and BBC Wales.



Cardiff is a partner of international research news website Futurity. All partners are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) or the Russell Group.

Research findings from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences published in the journal Science and featured on Futurity in January 2011, revealed that changes in the circulation of the ocean have been more dramatic than previously thought. This shift in ocean currents may have caused the cold weather this winter, with an increase in northerly Arctic winds.

These research findings were also featured in the One India News, Western Mail, Media Wales, and on

Media services

University staff can sign up for the Daily Media summary, prepared by the Communications and International Relations Division, by emailing: . 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 Jessica Kelly ( or 70298) or Catrin Palfrey ( or 70293).

If you have a potential news story, please contact the Public Relations Team.