University of Nottingham

Healthcare technologies dominate the University of Nottingham's Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards

Barrie Hayes-Gill and Shearer West

The University of Nottingham showed its strength in depth in healthcare technologies at its 2018 Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards, with three of the awards for its healthcare excellence.

More than 250 colleagues, industry and civic partners and friends attended the awards evening at the East Midlands Conference Centre to celebrate the impact of our research in Nottingham, the UK and across the world.

Top honour for CHT's Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill

Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill of the Faculty of Engineering received the Vice-Chancellor’s award for Sustained Excellence in Knowledge Exchange. Professor Hayes-Gill is the driving force behind two spin-out companies, including the development of world-leading foetal monitoring technology which is benefiting millions of expectant mothers and unborn children around the globe. His work includes 16 patents, and together with his team he’s secured more than £20m of grant funding and investment.

Professor Shearer West, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, presented the award. She said:

 Professor Hayes-Gill is an outstanding researcher and an inspirational figure. Throughout a distinguished career he has matched a commitment to discovery and flair for building partnerships with a passionate advocacy of our mission to translate world-class innovation into products and applications that change lives.”

Professor Hayes-Gill, who joined the University in 1986 and is Professor of Electronic Systems and Medical Devices, said:

This is a wonderful honour and one which I am delighted and humbled to accept, not least on behalf of the many remarkable colleagues and collaborators beyond the University who have accompanied and supported me on this journey. As an electrical engineer and researcher it has been a thrill and a privilege to help address societal challenges. To see our discoveries make a real difference is hugely satisfying – and this evening also opened my eyes to inspiring work by colleagues in so many fields across the University.”

Collaboration with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Professor Hayes-Gill's collaboration with academic neonatologist Dr Don Sharkey, is an example of the close collaboration between the University and Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust. The Centre for Healthcare Technologies has supported the development of Professor Hayes-Gill's latest spin-out company, Surepulse Medical, with CHEATA helping to pave the way for regulatory approval for their critical care newborn baby monitoring device.

This award points to further strong developments and clinical-academic collaborations across our sensing and imaging capabilities.

Tackling infections with bacteria resistant plastics

The Science Faculty award was won by Professor Morgan AlexanderEmeritus Professor Martyn DaviesProfessor Paul Williams (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences), Professor Derek Irvine (Faculty of Engineering) for their development of bacteria-resistant plastics.

Bacteria-resistant plastics discovered at the University have been developed with a commercial partner for use in urinary catheters. The device, awarded a CE mark in 2017, is being trialled in UK hospitals. It has the potential to reduce the burden of hospital-acquired infections, and could benefit many patients around the world. This is just the first of many potential commercial applications of the technology.

Tackling anti-microbial resistance is a key strength across the University, as we continue to develop new medical devices.

Diagnosing liver disease

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences award was won by Dr Neil GuhaProfessor Guru Aithal, Dr Emilie Wilkes, Dr Martin James, Professor Steve Ryder, Dr Dave Harman, Dr Rebecca Harris, Dr Jane Chalmers, Dr Joanna Morling, Dr Tim Card for The Scarred Liver project

The team’s research contributed to a new, CE-marked, diagnostic test for liver disease. Their work influenced a radical change in clinical practice  across Nottinghamshire, where data evaluation showed 50% of significant liver disease would have been missed by the traditional referral pathway. Their research has been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of General Practitioners and their vision is to see the test adopted across the country.

A celebration of the power of partnerships

Many of the winners and nominees are profiled in Vision, the University’s research and knowledge exchange magazine.

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, who welcomed guests, said: “This was inspirational evening. It was a celebration of not only exceptional individuals and transdisciplinary teams but the power of our partnerships. By exploring new ways of working with collaborators beyond the University, our research is delivering innovation that is having a real impact, enriching and saving lives and increasing our understanding of the world and the challenges we face.”

 For more on this story and for the other winners, see the University of Nottinhgam's blog