14 Dec 2015 Swansea medical staff and students celebrate successes at glitzy awards in Brangwyn Hall

Swansea University’s Medical School  has held its Annual Awards for 2015, which celebrate the achievements of its staff and students.

Staff and students from across the Medical School, along with invited guests, celebrated individual and team successes at a glitzy ceremony held at the Brangwyn Hall on Friday, December 4.

Among the night’s winners was Beverley Wilson-Smith, from Gower College, for her work with the Talent Bank project. Beverley picked up the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Enterprise and Innovation thanks to her efforts in setting up the innovative learning experience for 16 years old and over who are interested in a career in the medical, healthcare and scientific professions.

The Talent Bank is part of the ARCH collaborative health and innovation project. ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) is made up of three partners – ABMU and Hywel Dda University Health Board and Swansea University. As part of this collaboration, one of the aims is to use research and innovation to create a healthcare system for South West Wales which is fit for the 21st Century, drive investment and create jobs to boost the local economy and skill up the next generation of  health staff, medics, researchers, academics and  innovators.

Winner Beverley said: “It was such an honour to win the award. I hope it will help highlight the work of the Talent Bank and will encourage our young learners to realise that through the ARCH partnership,  they can now access high quality industry expertise, specialist facilities and a network of employers right here on their doorstep in Swansea. We have already begun to work with our ARCH health board colleagues to find placements which will help our learners gain an understanding of what working in a hospital or health science environment in like. This will give them real practical experiences, which are so valuable.

“Developing local talent to help shape the future healthcare and life sciences workforce in South West Wales is one of the main aims of ARCH and the Talent Bank will help deliver this.”

Swansea’s Gower College will open the new Talent Bank programme in 2016 for 100 learners and will see them be located across both the Swansea University campus and Singleton Hospital site.

Runners-up in the same category was Calon Cardion Technology. Calon Cardio is based in the Institute for Life Sciences (ILS) in Swansea University and is a great example of research, innovation and enterprise working to improve healthcare for patients. Calon is developing a pump to offer an alternative therapy for advanced heart failure. Until recently only heart transplants offered a cure for advanced heart failure, but the very limited supply of donor hearts, currently less than 4,000 a year worldwide, means that transplants are reserved only for a very lucky few.

Calon’s aim is to develop and commercialise a pump which can be implanted directly into the failing heart to  boost the output of the failing heart and  improve the quality of life and even slow or halt the progress of the condition. 

Professor Marc Clements, executive chair of the ILS, is also on the ARCH Programme Board and is confident the ARCH collaboration will be a game changer for research, innovation, industry investment and healthcare in South West Wales.

Professor Clements said: “ARCH is a new way of thinking for this region, and I firmly believe it will drive the way we do business in South West Wales.

“The Talent Bank and Calon Cardio Technology are just two examples of what can be achieved by working together. Calon is an ILS tenants and through the application of cutting edge technology and design are looking at ways of improving device  affordability and indeed access to this kind of treatment for our heart failure patients.”

Speaking at the School of Medicine awards event, Dean and Head of the Medical School, Professor Keith Lloyd, said: “It's been another very successful year beginning with a great Research Excellence Framework result, the opening of the MRC CLIMB centre for microbial genomics, the opening of the Data Science Building, increased student numbers, new courses and much more besides. 

“Tonight we celebrate success in a number of areas. Congratulations to all who have been nominated for awards and to all the staff who help make our Medical School a success.”

Professor Lloyd added that the university was confident of what could be delivered by working together with key partners. He added: “Swansea University Medical School's enterprise and innovation team is responsible for working with individuals and organisations, companies and businesses to deliver projects and innovations that will benefit the health and wealth of people near and far. The ARCH programme and its partnerships will help  create new opportunities which build on our success.

"As well as  improved health outcomes, ARCH will allow us to create new enterprise, develop skills and create jobs for this area.”


PANEL

The other 2015 Award Winners were: 

  • Student Ambassador Award for Outstanding Contribution
    Winner - Alison Zander, MedSoc President 2014-15
    The runner-up was Ryan Govier, 3rd Year Graduate Entry Medicine Student 
  • Outstanding Contribution to Operations/Administration Awards
    Winning team - Education and Technical Team: Greg Barber, Mark Spillane, Victoria Mort, and Anthony Bentham
    The two runners-up were Swansea Trials Unit and Education Team at Morriston Hospital 
  • Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award
    Winner - Dr Ed Dudley, Senior Lecturer for Genetics and Bio Chemistry
    Runner-up was Dr Tom Wilkinson, Associate Professor 
  • Outstanding Contribution to Research Award
    2 Winners in this category; Professor Ronan Lyons, Clinical Professor Public Health and also Dr Zita Jessop, MRC Clinical Academic Fellow.
    The runner-up was Dr Gwyneth Davies. 
  • The Dean's Award for Outstanding Collaboration
    Winner - Athena Swan Team for the Medical School 

 

For further information:

Emma Bryant

ARCH Communications Manager
emma.bryant2@wales.nhs.uk
Tel: 01639 683672

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