News in brief
Fundraising campaign begins
The University is set to embark on its most ambitious fundraising programme in living memory. On 21 January the Council endorsed plans for a £60 million campaign to secure philanthropic gifts for a range of academic and student-benefiting projects. These range from academic posts to undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and campus facilities such as the new library.
The campaign will now enter its ‘quiet’ phase – when about half the total is raised, but without the campaign being publicised beyond a circle of key supporters – with the public launch scheduled for 2012/13. The campaign, which will run to end of 2015, will attract major new investment to accelerate our progress towards becoming one of the world’s top 50 universities.
First Dry scholarships
Four students have been the first recipients of scholarships and prizes established through a legacy from Dr Avis Dry, formerly of the Psychology Department.
Dr Dry left a legacy to establish the Florence Swinton Dry MA Scholarships in English and the Francis William Dry Prize in Zoology in memory of her parents, who were both academics.
English students Claire Barrack and Rahul Prasad were the first to receive scholarships, and Zoology students Heidi Neal and Steven Colin Pace were the first recipients of the Francis William Dry Prize.
The University of Leeds is supporting a campus-wide campaign to help the people of Haiti, organised by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). As well the DEC, the regional body of the British Red Cross is also actively involved in the campaign. Students and staff have been actively involved in fundraising and campaign management.
DEC collection boxes are now in cafes and schools across campus. The campaign is being organised by Dr Haseeb Shabbir – H.A.Shabbir@lubs.leeds.ac.uk – and his students from the Faculty of Business and biology student Katherine Parker – firstname.lastname@example.org
Council approves Estate Strategy
Council has approved building and maintenance proposals put forward in the Estate Strategy document on 21 January.
Works include continuation of the refurbishment and relocation of facilities in Biological Sciences, refurbishment of Manton Building levels 8 and 9 for Evolution and Ecology, and the developer-funded re-building of St Mark’s Flats.
Schemes prioritised for funding in 2011 are new building on the Western Campus to accommodate Library storage and the Marks & Spencer Company Archive and the first phase of improvements for access and facilities for the disabled.
Additional schemes earmarked for progression in 2011-14, subject to funding, include consolidation of the School of Computing within Engineering and the School of Humanities in the E C Stoner Building, with additional space for the Language Centre in that location and in the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building.
Leeds research finds new piece of BSE puzzle
A new treatment route for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and its human form Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD) could be a step closer thanks to a discovery by a team from the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
New research has found that a protein called Glypican-1 plays a key role in the development of BSE. The findings have implications for the treatment of both BSE and the human form of the disease, CJD.
Professor of Biochemistry, Nigel Hooper said: “Now we know the identity of one of the key molecules in the disease process, we may in the future be able to design drugs that target this.”
The research was published in PLoS Pathogens and was mainly funded through the Wellcome Trust with support from the Medical Research Council.