USW features in Universities Week

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The University of South Wales is featuring in a national campaign this week to highlight the some of the groundbreaking research taking place at universities across Wales.

Farzana Rahman Uni of the weekUSW will be highlighting its work to the public from today (Monday 9th June) as part of Universities Week: Ideas for Life, to showcase how research at Welsh universities is having a deep and profound impact on our daily lives – be it at home, or in some of the farthest corners of the globe.

Among the research being showcased is that of Farzana Rahman, a PhD student at the University’s Faculty of Life Sciences and Education.

Farzana, who is an engineer from Bangladesh, is pursuing her PhD in high performance computing for computational biology.

She is developing a model that will predict toxicity in apparently harmless bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E.coli) which infects the urinary tract and abdomen, and Streptococcus Pneumoniae, which causes pneumonia.

Her research, which is sponsored by High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales and Fujitsu, involves data mining and bio-statistical modelling using HPC. The outcome will be instrumental in supporting doctors, clinicians and relevant bodies in prescribing effective treatments for their patients.

Farzana said: “Emergency services, disaster relief teams, humanitarian aid groups, the WHO and the NHS would be able to employ this model to quickly forecast the likelihood of toxic infections in wounds, foods etc. The application by no means seeks to replace traditional diagnosis methods, but, brings the possibility to make the process faster.”

Universities Week 2014 will be officially launched at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday 11th June, with a keynote speech by the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, Professor Julie Williams. During the event she will highlight the impact Welsh universities have had over the past 100 years, along with outlining her vision for the future and challenging our universities to push the boundaries even further to conduct innovative and ground-breaking research, which will change lives for the better.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Wales, Professor Julie Lydon, said: “Universities Week 2014 is an excellent opportunity to highlight how the work going on in our universities has an impact on people’s everyday lives. It is also a chance for academics to engage with the public, bringing their research to life and hopefully inspiring people to go away and find out more about a topic.”

Director of Higher Education Wales, Amanda Wilkinson, added: “The week is set to engage the public with the real, world-leading innovation which is taking place in our universities. From saving people’s lives with cutting edge science in the world of healthcare, through to making a lasting impact in alleviating food shortages in the Third World, our universities are undoubtedly creating ‘Ideas for Life’.”

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