UEA lecturer makes Newton Prize shortlist

Published by  Communications

On 4th Sep 2020

A University of East Anglia (UEA) Honorary Senior Lecturer, Sue Down, is part of a team that has been shortlisted for the 2020 Newton Prize. 

The Newton Prize shortlist features 27 international research and innovation projects and celebrates outstanding research partnerships that play an important role in addressing challenges in health, climate and development issues.  

Miss Sue Down, Honorary Senior Lecturer at UEA’s Medical School and a Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at the James Paget, has been shortlisted with fellow project lead, Dr Ozge Akbulut of Sabanci Universitesi, in Istanbul, Turkey, for the design and fabrication of synthetic tissue and organ models for surgical training. 

The UK-Turkey project is improving outcomes for breast cancer patients by training surgeons in a technique that removes tumours while retaining healthy tissue.  

Miss Down, Dr Akbulut and their delivery partners the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey have been shortlisted for the Chair’s Prize and will compete with other initiatives including a mobile app being used by emergency services in Nairobi, Kenya, and a renewable energy project in South Africa. 

Other projects shortlisted look at producing clean energy, HIV prevention, the protection of historical sites and how to tackle water pollution, as well as the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

The winners will be decided by the Newton Prize Committee at a meeting on 23 September and announced at an international online event in November, with £1.5 million follow-on funding to be split among six projects. 

Miss Sue Down said; “The current COVID-19 situation has led us to seek new ways of delivering remote teaching, including the use of 360-degree immersive video technology and online workshops. However, the challenge still remains as to how to reach surgeons in less developed countries and provide accessible hands-on training, which can be of immediate benefit to women under their care. 

“This collaboration will combine our award-winning blended online teaching methods with Surgitate’s well-validated breast models, and Heriot-Watt’s expertise in online tracking assessment. The aim is to deliver a complete an oncoplastic package for surgeons located in any geographical area, providing a sustainable solution to training in essential decision making and developing practical competencies in core oncoplastic techniques.” 

You can find out more about the Newton Prize on the Newton Fund website.  

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