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Circadian rhythm research gains E&F Director a Honorary Fellowship

The Director of Estates and Facilities at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), Dr Kirsty Edmondson-Jones, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).


This highly prestigious title is reserved for exceptional individuals who have worked closely with the University to make an outstanding contribution to their area of expertise. Kirsty was granted a fellowship in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, for her ground-breaking research into a potentially new field of bioengineering.


Kirsty's innovative study, to devise a novel intervention to artificially entrain the circadian rhythm, was undertaken in the sensory laboratories at SHU as part of her professional doctorate. The idea behind this is to ‘hack’ the body clock and use this to improve a range of issues caused by its disruption. Kirsty’s research so far has been focused on the reduction of malnutrition amongst dementia patients, but has potentially far-reaching applications.


The laboratory results were very encouraging, with statistics demonstrating that the research was having a significant effect on volunteer participants. Following this achievement, patient trials are now planned to take place in the spring of 2019 at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Moreover, Kirsty has already succeeded in forming a partnership with a global engineering manufacturer, in anticipation of taking the project forward if the success can be repeated within a ward environment.


Speaking about Kirsty’s achievements, Richard Parker, Chief Executive of DBTH, says: ‘’I am pleased to be able to congratulate Kirsty on this overwhelming achievement. Being awarded a fellowship title is a true honour and one that she has earned with hard work and effort. This has enhanced SHU and DBTH collaborating together, opening up avenues for Kirsty to facilitate further research and education opportunities. It’s a very exciting development and a result of Kirsty’s dedication to her chosen field.’’


In the coming months, Kirsty will be supporting the University’s new Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, by delivering guest lectures and promoting the opportunity for Nursing and Midwifery students to contribute to live research projects. She is also part of a team funded by Oxford University, who are currently developing a new health monitoring device that can be used in the home.


Professor Davina Porock, Assistant Dean for Research and Innovation in Sheffield Hallam’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, says: “We are delighted to welcome Kirsty to the University. Her work encompasses what Sheffield Hallam is all about – creating solutions to healthcare challenges. As one of the largest healthcare training providers in the UK, our students will benefit from Kirsty’s knowledge and expertise and will be given valuable opportunities to apply their learning to the real world, by contributing to some exciting new research projects that could potentially improve the wellbeing of local communities.”


A valued member of the team at DBTH, Kirsty manages a busy and high performing Estates and Facilities Team across three main hospital sites in Bassetlaw, Doncaster and Mexborough.