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Pharmacy led research project chosen to inspire Cardiff University donors

3 November 2017

Dr Emma Kidd and Dr Emma Lane with MPharm CUROP student Aws Radef

Representatives from a Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences research project were invited to take part in a recent event, hosted by Cardiff University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, to highlight the impact that donors can make to the University.

The Vice Chancellor’s scheme, called Cylch Caerdydd, has been created to recognise all gifts above £1,000 donated within an academic year.  As part of this scheme, a small number of donors were invited to hear about the Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) which their generous gifts can help to support.

CUROP offers grants to undergraduate students, enabling them to take part in a summer placement within any of Cardiff University’s Academic Schools, working with supervisors on research projects.  This provides a unique opportunity for students to sample live research, enhance their academic skills and make a more informed decision on furthering their research at postgraduate level.

The programme is now considered to be one of the largest undergraduate research schemes in the UK. More than 500 students have taken part in placements since 2008, working on such diverse projects as historical archival work, searches for new planets and cancer research.

Over the past year, 150 research projects were involved in CUROP, three of which were chosen to take part in the Cylch Caerdydd event so that donors could hear about the programme and the impact it can have.

Of these three chosen projects, one was based in the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences led by Dr Emma Lane and Dr Emma Kidd. The project involved using human brain samples from men and women with and without Alzheimer’s disease to understand more about how age and gender, two critical risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease, affect the function of mitochondria, the ‘batteries’ of cells. Ultimately, it is hoped that the project will identify new drugs to slow down or prevent the progression of this incurable disease.

As part of the Cylch Caerdydd event, the student who secured a placement with this project, Aws Radef, took part in a public question and answer session. After explaining how he had made use of his placement and the significance of the research, he also explained the value of the Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme for his future career development.

Emma Lane said “Aws Radef not only did a great project but he did an excellent job of representing the School and University at the event.”

Find out more about becoming a part of Cylch Caerdydd:

CUROP programme

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