University's Pivotal Role

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), July 18, 2006 | Go to article overview

University's Pivotal Role


With an annual turnover of pounds 160m and employing more than 3,000 staff, Durham University is a key contributor to the region's economy. In terms of size it is the equivalent of a top 50 North-east company.

With 17 spin-out companies in operation and several more in the pipeline, the university is at the forefront of regional enterprise development. Through activities at Queen's Campus, its state-of-the-art waterfront development in Stockton, the university has been playing a pivotal role in the development of economic, social, cultural and educational life on Teesside.

Sleeping better in Middlesbrough and Stockton

Twenty families in the Middlesbrough and Stockton area are currently taking part in a piece of radical new research into cot death/Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Recent findings have suggested that infant dummy use may protect babies from SIDS, though little is yet known about the protective mechanisms triggered by dummies when babies are sleeping. A team of researchers on the Human Sciences (Anthropology) BSc programme has enlisted the help of 20 local families to explore the impact of dummy use on infant sleep behaviour. The babies, all aged four months and under, will have their sleep patterns closely analysed by the team in the university's Parent-Infant Sleep Lab.

Excellent prognosis at Queen's Campus

The formation of the university's Health Strategy Board in March 2005 has heralded major commitments to health issues in the North-east.

The board, situated in the pioneering Wolfson Research Institute at Queen's Campus, is a unique collaboration between leading academics and the NHS. Key to this endeavour is the translation of world-class research into innovative health care policy and practice across the region.

The board is also engaged in providing new opportunities for training medical students and practitioners on Teesside. The Medicine Programme at Queen's Campus, delivered through a partnership with local NHS hospitals, general practices and public health units, admits 102 students every year. Training is designed to help students respect and relate to patients and colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds, maintaining the person-centred approach to medicine in their future careers. …

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