North West England, United Kingdom

University of Chester

www.chester.ac.uk
North West England, United Kingdom

The University of Chester is a public university located in the historic city of Chester, England. The university, based on three campuses in Chester and one in Warrington, offers a range of foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as undertaking academic research.The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Cathedrals Group, the North West Universities Association and Universities UK.Information for entry standards gathered from the 2010–11 academic year by the HESA shows that the average student at the University of Chester achieved a UCAS tariff of 282. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SEC-2013.4.1-5 | Award Amount: 1.13M | Year: 2014

The main objective of POP-ALERT is to prepare societies and populations to cope with crisis and disasters in a rapid, effective and efficient way by blending traditional Crisis Preparedness & First-Reaction strategies with the use of innovative contemporary tools. POP-ALERT proposes to undertake thorough behavioural research and take traditional Crisis Management research a step further by carrying out a series of empirical studies, taking into account new issues related to targeting both local populations and visitors such as expats or tourists (cultural differences, language barriers, etc.), in order to create a framework to facilitate the assessment of the populations capacity to absorb and preparedness to make use of different Crisis Management strategies and technologies developed at the EU level. POP-ALERT will identify specific target success stories within existing and past community preparedness programmes and put together a portfolio of case studies on social networking and community self-reliance initiatives which could potentially be replicated to crisis with a European dimension and to cross-border disasters. The project will seek to study the best ways to blend contemporary tools with the existing practices identified in order to create flexible and easily deployable toolkits for preparing and alarming the European population in case of a crisis. The approach this project proposes for improving the current practices revolves around the use of messaging and cultural sharing technologies to create awareness using technologies and approaches that offer the best form of accessibility and penetration by citizens and authorities. POP-ALERT will propose a pilot project (designing criteria for selection of the area and population to be involved in the pilot, developing scenarios and objectives) in order to test the generic methodologies and to assess their effectiveness in raising an improved level of preparedness of the community.


To investigate the effects of high-polyphenol chocolate upon endothelial function and oxidative stress in Type 2 diabetes mellitus during acute transient hyperglycaemia induced following a 75-g oral glucose challenge. Ten subjects with Type 2 diabetes underwent a double-blinded randomized controlled crossover study. A 75-g oral glucose load was used to induce hyperglycaemia, which was administered to participants 60 min after they had ingested either low (control) or high-polyphenol chocolate. Participants undertook testing at weekly intervals, following an initial cocoa-free period. Endothelial function was assessed by both functional [reactive hyperaemia peripheral artery tonometry (EndoPAT-2000) and serum markers (including intercellular adhesion molecule 1, P-selectin and P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1]. Urinary 15-F2t-isoprostane adjusted for creatinine was used as an oxidative stress marker. Measurements were made at baseline and 2 h post-ingestion of the glucose load. Prior consumption of high-polyphenol chocolate before a glucose load improved endothelial function (1.7 ± 0.1 vs. 2.3 ± 0.1%, P = 0.01), whereas prior consumption of control chocolate resulted in a significant increase in intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (321.1 ± 7.6 vs. 373.6 ± 10.5 ng/ml, P = 0.04) and 15-F2t-isoprostane (116.8 ± 5.7 vs. 207.1 ± 5.7 mg/mol, P = 0.02). Analysis of percentage changes from baseline comparing control and high-polyphenol chocolate showed a significant improvement for high-polyphenol chocolate in both measures of endothelial function (P < 0.05) and for urinary 15-F2t-isoprostane (P = 0.04). High-polyphenol chocolate protected against acute hyperglycaemia-induced endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in individuals with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. © 2012 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.


Green B.,University of Chester
Journal of Psychiatric Practice | Year: 2014

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often follows a chronic course, and the disorder is resistant to treatment with antidepressants and cognitive-behavioral therapy in a proportion of patients. Prazosin, an a1-adrenoceptor blocker, has shown some promise in treating chronic PTSD. A review of this literature was conducted via a search of MEDLINE and SUMMON, using keywords such as PTSD, prazosin, treatment, and resistance. At least 10 clinical studies of prazosin in the treatment of PTSD, including open-label and randomized controlled trials, have been published. All of these studies support the efficacy of prazosin either for treating nightmares and improving sleep or for reducing the severity of PTSD. Treatment of PTSD with prazosin is usually initiated at a dose of 1 mg, with monitoring for hypotension after the first dose. The dose is then gradually increased to maintenance levels of 2-6 mg at night. Studies of military patients with PTSD have used higher doses (e.g., 10-16 mg at night). Prazosin has also been studied in younger and older adults with PTSD and in patients with alcohol problems, in whom it was found to reduce cravings and stress responses. Prazosin offers some hope for treating resistant cases of PTSD in which recurrent nightmares are problematic, with a relatively rapid response within weeks. It is suggested that large-scale civilian trials of prazosin be done, as well as studies concerning the use of prazosin in acute PTSD and as a potential preventive agent. Copyright © 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Inc.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 20.01K | Year: 2015

The InterCityAir project will develop a wireless sensor for the measurement of air pollution. The sensor will be integrated into urban traffic management systems in the City of Chester to reduce levels of toxic gases to which the public are being exposed. InterCityAir will directly address the following key challenges of this call, namely: The use of environmental and social data to address urban challenges, the creation of a new value proposition through integration of datasets, and an improvement in the monitoring of the urban environment through the development and deployment of an intelligent sensor system. InterCityAir will develop an air quality (AQ) sensing platform that can be integrated with the transport management systems of Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC). C-Tech will develop a wireless sensing unit comprising commercial sensors that could be deployed as a stand-alone system or city-wide network at low cost for remote real-time monitoring of air quality. The sensing units will be wireless enabled and suitable for road-side AQ monitoring with a view to be adapted for on-board vehicle monitoring of AQ. This project will establish the feasibility of linking the C-Tech sensing unit with existing traffic count data and the traffic signalling system to alleviate traffic build-up and associated pollution hotspots. The University of Chester (UOC) will deploy air quality instrumentation alongside the CWAC real-time nitrogen oxides (NOx) monitoring site in the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) on the Boughton gyratory to gather comprehensive baseline data to understand fully the performance of the sensor package in the complex urban atmosphere. This site in the AQMA will be used as a demonstration site for the sensing platform developed by C-Tech.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 52.59K | Year: 2015

Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at www.rcuk.ac.uk/StudentshipTerminology. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-SH5 | Award Amount: 1.26M | Year: 2012

This five-year project will explore the history of memory in a range of English and Welsh locales from the early medieval period down to the modern era. Drawing on the disciplinary perspectives of literary studies and archaeology, the project will identify and interpret textual and material technologies of remembrance, including texts, oral traditions, monuments and customary practices. PASTPLACE will transcend the boundaries of periodization and discipline to examine patterns of remembrance, re-imagining and forgetting over the longue dure. Research will be organized in three strands with staggered start-dates, focusing on three types of locale strongly associated with cultural and individual memory. Strand 1 focuses on the history of death, burial and commemoration at a group of English and Welsh cathedrals. Strand 2 explores the interaction of medieval, early modern and modern people with sites of ancient habitation, including Roman settlements, Iron Age hill forts, and prehistoric tombs. Strand 3, Topographies of Memory, explores the organization of natural and historical landscape features in perceptual frameworks. Research in each strand will centre on six case studies drawn from across southern Britain, with clusterings in the southwest and the Welsh borders. The projects findings will be disseminated in three co-authored volumes, edited by the PI, under the general title The Past in its Place. Exemplifying a fresh interdisciplinary approach to the history of memory, the project aims to ignite further research both within Britain and overseas. With its cross-period approach, innovative combination of literary and archaeological perspectives and methodologies, and multicultural focus, this timely project addresses challenges at the frontiers of multiple disciplines.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NC3Rs | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 318.37K | Year: 2013

The african clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, is widely used for scientific research purposes and is maintained in large numbers in laboratories worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of these animals have contributed to an enormous range of scientific research in genetics, developmental, cell and molecular biology since the 1940s. They are famous for their role in early pregnancy testing work, were the first vertebrate animal to be cloned and yet little work has ever examined what the most appropriate care and housing might be for them. This, however, is vital to ensure the best possible conditions for ensuring their (often 15+ years-long) laboratory lives are optimally healthy and happy. Since happy, healthy animals also make the best scientific subjects, it is of paramount importance that this neglected area of animal welfare is addressed. Over the decades so-called best practice (BP) husbandry guidelines have been developed that identify key parameters for appropriate care but little consensus exists on what exactly are the best ways of maintaining these animals. Some sources, for example, suggest tanks should have a water depth of 5cm, other say no more than 50cm; a huge difference to a frog a few cm long. Some authors suggest group housing of up to 10 individuals, others say 100 in a group is fine. Truthfully we have no evidence that either is appropriate. BP guidelines identify that enrichment objects, e.g. providing a plastic tube as a refuge to hide in, should be provided, as for other lab animals. Some keepers suggest this achieves no benefit, however, but others find it reduces bites amongst tank-mates. A major reason why there is little data in this area is that, until now, there has been no easy way to measure whether particular housing conditions, or the presence of enrichment object, is associated with more or less stress. Amphibians have a stress hormone similar to that released by mammals but it is hard to get samples from them which yield hormones for analysis. Whilst a human can be asked to chew a cotton-bud for saliva, or a monkey trained to urinate into a cup for a sample, frogs are rather less amenable. The few studies that have analysed frog stress have had to resort to taking blood samples, which involve a needle at least, or urine samples, which involve squeezing the animal or rubbing the delicate skin. All of these are likely to be stressful and therefore impact on the stress measures the researchers are trying to assess. Our research has developed a genuinely non-invasive technique for measuring the frog stress hormone, corticosterone. We have already shown it works for a smaller, close relative of Xenopus laevis, and been able to measure the hormone and associated behaviours it shows under more or less stressful conditions. This is the first time this has been done for an amphibian. Our proposed work will develop the technique so we can measure the stress hormone in Xenopus under different housing conditions. We will then be able to establish, conclusively, which conditions produce the least stress to these animals and recommend these to Xenopus keepers in laboratories worldwide. We will also establish a comprehensive, detailed description of all the behaviours shown by each sex in this species (also currently lacking). Once identified we will measure which behaviours, their frequencies and durations, are associated with different stress hormone measurements. In this way, a Behavioural Stress Score (as has been used for cats, and we have developed for horses) can be created which aligns certain levels of behaviour with certain levels of stress. This can be used to regularly monitor behaviour and therefore welfare, without the need for costly biochemical analysis of hormone samples every time. Taken together, the work we propose will significantly improve the welfare of this neglected lab species by comprehensively refining their husbandry recommendations and leading to great reductions in animal use.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 28.97K | Year: 2017

Early Christian Churches and Landscapes (ECCLES) is a research project focused on Christian churches established in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England before 1100. It brings together historians, archaeologists, art historians, and experts on place-names to identify the different types of evidence for those churches. It aims to produce a more comprehensive picture of the nature, location, distribution, and landscape settings of those churches. Ultimately, it will produce a website housing national databases of the evidence, allowing users to search and map that evidence. The project is significant because churches have played a central role in economic, social, cultural, and political change. Christianity is a global faith, but it is practised locally: churches have always been places where local Christian identities were constructed as aspects of that global faith interacted with local economic, social, cultural, and political conditions. Christian worship has involved communal participation. Churches have therefore also been places where members of local communities could show off their economic wealth or social standing to one another, or where rulers could seek to exert power over those communities. Thanks to their roles in local society, churches have often received land to support the work of the clergy and gifts from members of the local community, making them unusually wealthy and long-lived institutions. This has enabled churches to become the focus for local settlements and to drive economic development. The result is that churches always present key evidence for the history of the local communities within which they were located. Despite the significance of these churches to academic researchers and to local communities, our knowledge of Christian churches in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England before 1100 is incomplete. It is only from about 1100 onwards that our evidence for churches of all kinds becomes more common, as a result of the foundation of reformed monasteries, the great rebuilding of local churches, and the inception of diocesan and parish records. First, there is no comprehensive catalogue of the different types of evidence for churches established before 1100, so we do not know how many churches once existed. Second, though we know that there are regional variations in the evidence for early Christian churches, we do not know whether this reflects the original distribution of churches or is down to differences in the types of evidence available or the destruction of evidence in intervening periods. Third, in the period before 1100 the modern nations of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England did not exist, but the evidence for churches is often inappropriately researched according to those modern national boundaries. Fourth, the evidence for those churches is usually under the care of heritage agencies, ecclesiastical bodies, or charities, but there is no publicly accessible resource where they can identify that evidence, discover its significance, or obtain advice about preserving it or presenting it to the public. ECCLES will remedy these problems. It will bring together academics from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England to establish what evidence should be recorded. It will bring together representatives from those groups who care for that evidence to see what they would like to know. It will thereby design a suitable website and databases to make that evidence available to everyone with an interest in looking after our early Christian churches.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 95.04K | Year: 2016

Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at www.rcuk.ac.uk/StudentshipTerminology. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 195.48K | Year: 2014

Early Career researcher Dr Simon Grennan, with established scholars Dr Roger Sabin and Dr Julian Waite, will undertake and disseminate new research that will bring to public attention and deliver a rigorous academic context for understanding the re-invention of the English comic strip by Marie Duval in London, between 1869-85. They will produce an international Touring Exhibition, an open-access Online Database, an Academic Publication and 3 Journal Papers, in partnership with The Guildhall Library, Tate Britain and Illustrative Festival, Berlin. The production of 19th century English comics in humour periodicals was an exclusively male activity, with one exception. Marie Duval was a popular stage actress whose husband, Charles Ross, edited Judy, a satirical London periodical. Between 1869-1885, Duval drew over 100 comic strip pages for Judy that radically developed a character created by Ross named Ally Sloper, a work-shy neer-do-well Londoner. Duvals access to the publishing business allowed her to pioneer the development of a drawn story-world through regular serialisation, creating new reader expectations of both form and content, so that readers used her strips in a new way. She also acted in popular plays, famously subverting gender expectations in the role of leading man. Duval worked in the genre of melodrama, the dominant theatre practice of the 19th century. Her narrative drawing shows the influence of this practice, in both the form of the strips and the mechanisms for reader comprehension. The Sloper strips utilise depictive techniques that contradict those of a trained illustrator. She had no training, and the visible speed and vigour of facture of Duvals drawings became another comedic device, communicating the exciting, disposable and even daring character of Slopers world of physical comedy. As a result of the depictive techniques that she employed and the milieu in which they were read, the world that her strips create is unlike any other English drawn narrative in the 19th century. Duval recreated the comics medium in English on the basis of the new ways that readers made use of them. There have been no attempts to study or present Duvals activity as a draughtswoman/female actor in the male environment of periodical publishing, relative to her development of the new comics medium. Neither has there been any study of the techniques, contexts and reception of 19th century melodrama compared to Duvals drawings, nor analysis of the range of impacts upon readers of different narrative drawing styles in humour periodicals in this period of new cross-media fertilisation. Our research method will adopt a mixture of empirical and theoretical approaches to knowledge production, looking beyond empirical data to understand social structures, both recognising and departing from theories about underlying structures, seeking to reveal the historical contingency of previously accepted knowledge and practices. Outputs will comprise a) a new open access Online Database (an image catalogue raisonné) of Duvals Sloper strips hosted by the University of Chester, b) a public Touring Exhibition displayed at Tate Britain and Illustrative Berlin, c) an Academic Publication and d) interim outputs comprising three peer-reviewed Journal Articles in British, French and American journals. Experienced research project leader and established scholar Professor Deborah Wynne will mentor Dr Grennan.

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