Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Research Seminar - Dr Gillian Pepper (Newcastle University)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance*** 

Date: Monday 8th January
Time: 16:00-17:00 
Room: Building 9 BG09B

Dr Gillian Pepper (Newcastle University) 
Sampling the effects of the exposome on telomeres: A meta-analysis


The exposome is the sum of all environmental exposures, including lifestyle factors, experienced by an individual throughout the life course. It has been argued that, to have a complete understanding of the role of gene-environment interactions in the aetiology of disease, we must complement genomic analyses with more-accurate measures of the exposome. Telomeres are DNA protein complexes that form protective caps on the ends of chromosomes and are thought to preserve chromosomal stability. Telomeres shorten with each cell division and their shortening is associated with cellular senescence, meaning measures of telomere length and attrition have been widely adopted as biomarkers of ageing. Telomeres also shorten more rapidly with exposure to stressors, making them a promising biomarker for investigating the effects of stress on ageing. It has been suggested that telomeres might serve as an integrative biomarker of stress, offering a single-measure indicator of exposure to a variety of stressors. That is, telomeres may provide a single-biomarker index of the exposome. Our systematic review and meta-analysis has synthesised evidence on the associations between telomeric measures and a variety of exposures, from environmental hazards to smoking and psychosocial stress. I will present our findings based on 553 associations, with a combined sample size of 407,620. I will discuss the implications of our findings for public health, and for the utility of telomeres as an index of the exposome.

After studying as an undergraduate at the University of Liverpool, I won an Interdisciplinary Bridging Award in order to continue my undergraduate research on morning sickness. I then went on to gain experience in science policy and communication. I undertook work experience with the BBC Specialist Factual Unit (TV), and with BBC Focus Magazine. I worked for Newton’s Apple as a Policy and Project Manager and later as their Director. I spent 2 years working as a Communications Manager at the Department of Health, while I completed my MSc in Evolutionary Psychology at Brunel University. I was awarded my PhD in behavioural sciences from the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University in 2015. I went on to work as a visiting postdoctoral scholar with the Newcastle City Council Public Health Team, then joined the Newcastle Institute of Health and Society, where I spent 2015 working as a postdoc in the Health Psychology group with Vera Araujo-Soares.
My main research interests are around socioeconomic differences in experiences, attitudes and behaviours, and their relationship to inequalities in health and ageing. I use observational and experimental data to examine differences in health behaviours, reproductive scheduling, social trust and, more recently, biomarkers of ageing.

Winter/Spring 2018 Research Seminar Schedule

Friday, 1 December 2017

Research Seminar - Neda Nobari Nazari (University of Leeds)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance*** 

Date: Thursday 7th December
Time: 12:00-13:00 
Room: Williams Building W154

Neda Nobari Nazari (University of Leeds)

Preventative counterterrorism policing: Impact of community engagement on public cooperation


Community engagement is regarded as a preventative and proactive strategy. It is based on the notion that crime prevention can be made possible through citizen empowerment, as they can address the problems that lead to crime. In recent years community engagement has increasingly developed a high profile in policing and wider government policy, especially in counterterrorism context. Counterterrorism strategies such as PREVENT, encourage such community-level engagements.

However, in order for prevention to work, engagement needs to be delivered effectively. One way of exploring this effectiveness is the citizen's willingness to report. By looking at the willingness to report a crime (to police or any other agency) we may be able to demonstrate a causal relationship between intervention through community engagement and reporting behaviour. While this is not directly linked to a measurement of prevention of radicalisation and extremism, it is central to developing an understanding of the use of community engagement in identifying individuals at risk: i.e. is it effective?

The argument presented here is that that community engagement induces a psychological state, which encourages and/or seeks motivation and commitment from the public. Additionally, public cooperation, too, is formed on the basis of psychological needs and reasoning. This indicates that addressing psychological needs is vital for both engagement and cooperation. Therefore, it is argued that for community engagement to be effective in inducing public support, the psychological needs for cooperation must be addressed in engagement.

Biography: PhD researcher in policing of radicalisation and extremism in the UK and Denmark. Holds an MSc in Psychology. Previously worked at the Home Office Analysis and Insight and the PRIME Project, which dealt with lone wolf terrorism.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mia Scally Research Seminar (Law School)


Seminar organised by the CSCR:

Date: Wednesday 22 November
Time: 4.30-6.00pm
Room: C205

Mia Scally (Lecturer in Criminology)

Women’s experiences of child custody in the context of intimate partner violence and abuse 

Mia will be discussing findings from a qualitative secondary analysis of women’s experiences. She will outline 6 themes related to how women experience the child custody process and the role of professionals and the courts. Other findings will discuss the role of the father and the continuation of abuse as experienced by women, including the impact of this on mothers and children. 

Research Seminar: Dr David Westley (Middlesex University)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance*** 

Date: Thursday 30th November
Time: 12:00-13:00 
Room: Williams Building W157

Dr David Westley (Middlesex University)

Student attitudes towards seeking professional psychological support


Multiple sources of evidence suggest that an increasing number of university students report significant mental health challenges and stress related health problems arising from their studies. However, a high proportion of students who experience mental health difficulties do not seek support to address these challenges. This presentation will provide a snapshot of mental wellbeing of students at Middlesex University and review data on predictors of attitudes to seeking professional psychological support. Strategies for improving uptake of counselling and other support services will be discussed.  

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Middlesex Student Success Festival

Student Success Festival Week:

November 7th-9th 2017 11am-3pm Quad

Studying, exams and assessment can be stressful for students, but we are here to help! This November, Middlesex University will be holding a week of activities as part of Student Success Festival focusing on all aspects of learning and achievement, from study skills to healthy living.

Many different teams from across the university will be involved in this event. Students will be encouraged to participate in games and activities that will be based around various learning, study and wellbeing skills in order help promote awareness of all that the university has to offer, and to encourage them to take independent ownership of their own learning adventures! Not only that, but there will be competitions and gifts, including the chance for students to win an iPad!

Activities  related to succeeding at university and beyond will be offered by Sports and Recreation,  Wellbeing, the LET, MDXSU, and Employability among  others.

Also, students can access the SSF page and discover workshops, playlists, teasers, videos and more about the Fest!