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IWA Inspire Wales Awards

6 June 2013

Two Cardiff University academics have been shortlisted for the prestigious Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) Inspire Wales Awards.

Karen Holford, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Physical Sciences and Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Dr Anwen Williams, Reader in Rheumatology at the School of Medicine have been shortlisted within the Science and Technology Category.

The IWA awards recognise those that make a profound impact on Welsh life and society within the fields of Education, Arts, Science, Business, the Environment, Sport, Community, Active Citizenship, Creative Industries and the promotion of the Welsh Language.

Professor Karen Holford said: "It is a real honour to be shortlisted by the Institute of Welsh Affairs for this award. The IWA is an independent think tank and its only interest is in seeing Wales flourish as a country in which to work and live. It believes that can be done only by the effective mobilisation of all Wales's intellectual resources. This is so important for all of us who live in Wales.

"I was inspired by the shortlisted candidates for these awards last year and I hope that we can all use this opportunity to promote science and technology and to show the contribution that the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects make to the economy for the benefit of society.  As a shortlisted candidate I am delighted to be part of this testament to the achievement and strength of people living and working in Wales and I hope that I can use my skills and experience to inspire the next generation to recognise the benefits of working in engineering, science and technology."

Dr Anwen Williams said: "I consider it a tremendous honour to have been short listed for this award on behalf of the PUSH (Public Understanding of Science in Health) group. It is excellent recognition for our team, the staff and students at the School of Medicine; we are united in our passion for teaching, learning, science and communicating this enthusiasm to the next generation of scientists, doctors, educators, inventors and entrepreneurs in Wales."

Cardiff University has celebrated success at previous IWA award ceremonies.  Last year Professor Chris McGuigan, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) won the Science and Technology award recognising his scientific career of more than 30 years discovering and developing drugs for a number of diseases.

Professor Tony Campbell from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science received the Inspire Wales Award for Science & Technology in 2011 for his evolutionary hypothesis that metabolites produced by bacteria in the gut are the cause of one of the major causes of illness seen by GPs and gastroenterologists, i.e. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

In 2010, Professor Meena Upadhyaya from the School of Medicine won the Science and Technology award for her work which has led to major improvements in the diagnosis of inherited disorders including neurofibromatosis and muscular dystrophy.

The 2013 ceremony will take place on 18 June at Cardiff's City Hall.

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