Making a Mark in the Community; Whether It Is Leading Research into Back Pain or Developing Alcohol Abuse Interventions, London South Bank University's Innovative School of Applied Sciences Helps to Make a Real Difference

The Evening Standard (London, England), November 24, 2015 | Go to article overview

Making a Mark in the Community; Whether It Is Leading Research into Back Pain or Developing Alcohol Abuse Interventions, London South Bank University's Innovative School of Applied Sciences Helps to Make a Real Difference


BACK pain is something many of us suffer from, or have in the past. But who is leading research into the biomechanics of the spine? The answer can be found within the School of Applied Sciences at London South Bank University (LSBU).

It is here that groundbreaking research takes place to find practical solutions to benefit people in all walks of life, which not only makes an impact in the wider world but also benefits students. The successful FitFlop footwear range is one of the more high-profile developments that has benefited from the expertise within the school, which conducted research into "microwobbleboard" technology used in the shoes.

It is just one example of the work that is done here. The Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre is internationally recognised for its expertise, including the development of a range of medical devices to stimulate blood circulation and improve health.

Several students from the highly regarded National Bakery School have been awarded the Freedom of the City of London, with one student, Dee Monteleone, who runs the successful Dee Light Bakery in Balham, winning the prestigious Baker of the Year award in the national Farm Shop & Deli Awards. She has been so successful that she has recently been able to expand her business into a second premises, offering catering and wholesale services.

Dean of the School of Applied Sciences, Professor Raymond Lee, says: "Our students and staff go above and beyond normal expectations and this is recognised outside LSBU. For example, our undergraduate students' theses, published in leading international journals, have developed understanding in areas as diverse as body dysmorphic disorder and how adoptive parents manage the memory of adoptees -- it's rare for students at this level to get published. The work is not just academic -- it also helps to deliver beneficial socio-economic impacts, too." There are also research papers with real impact coming from PhD work -- for instance, exploring the motivations for legal high use and research on young offenders and their families' use of community spaces. Employers value this approach, with the police sponsoring students to study on the Investigative Forensic Psychology masters programme. Students on MSc Mental Health and Clinical Psychology bring their expertise into the workforce through health service placements.

A Drinkaware PhD studentship, to start in January, is another good example of real-world impact, with LSBU planning to conduct research into alcohol abuse interventions.

"The school is constantly looking for new ways to innovate and make an impact," says Professor Lee.

One of these is a PS300,000 research project, partnered with the NHS, to evaluate the efficacy of self-help books for quitting smoking. Other projects include one with MIND, working with refugees and asylum seekers, and projects with Cancer Research UK, investigating attitudes towards e-cigarettes and tobacco. …

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