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New hope in the battle against Parkinsons and Alzheimers

Scientists in Oxfordshire say they are closer than ever to finding new drugs to treat diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

Researchers at the Diamond Light Source in Harwell believe a new technique could help them speed up the process of drug development.

Kate Bunkall has been speaking with Professor Andrew Harrison, the CEO of Diamond Light Source and Professor Dave Stuart of the University of Oxford.


Oxford University to receive £200m loan for expansion plans

The university will receive the largest ever loan of its type Credit: ITV

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide £200m for Oxford University’s programme of improvement and expansion of research and teaching facilities.

This represents the largest ever single loan for university investment by Europe’s long-term lending institution. The 30-year loan from the world’s largest internationally owned public bank will be used alongside other sources of financing, including grants and philanthropic donations.

The University plans to replace and upgrade existing buildings including the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and the Old Road Campus on the former Park Hospital site.

Oxford to have first female Vice Chancellor in 800 years

Students and staff at Oxford University have hailed the nomination of its first female Vice-Chancellor as a momentous event in Oxford's history.

Professor Louise Richardson will become the first woman to hold the university's most senior office since records began 800 years ago.

The 56-year-old is currently the principal and vice-chancellor of St Andrews University in Scotland. Professor Richardson says she hopes her nomination would inspire current and potential female undergraduates.

Professor Richardson said of her nomination: ‘Oxford is one of the world’s great universities. I feel enormously privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution during an exciting time for higher education.

I am very much looking forward to working with talented, experienced, and dedicated colleagues to advance Oxford’s pre-eminent global position in research, scholarship, and teaching.’

Subject to the approval of Congregation, the University’s parliament, Professor Richardson will succeed the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, at the beginning of next year.

Louise Richardson is married with three children.

The scientists mending broken hearts

There's been another medical breakthrough at Oxford University. Scientists in the city really have learnt how to mend broken hearts.

They've identified new ways to help the heart repair itself after a cardiac arrest.

Just a week ago we reported on how researchers in Oxford were close to finding a way of preventing malaria, which kills 650,000 people a year across the planet.

Now Oxford scientists have given hope of a cure to Britain's half a milion sufferers from heart failure, as Penny Silvester reports


Getting a feel for university life

View of the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University Credit: Andrew Matthews/Press Association

Nearly 60 young sleuths from Oxfordshire, will be investigating a ‘Murder in the Cloisters’ at Oxford University over the Easter holiday (7-9 April) in a programme that gives students a chance to learn what university is like – socially and academically.

The twelve to fifteen year olds are taking part in a free spring residential activity at the University, but the peace of the college quad will be shattered when a student is found dead and everyone becomes a suspect in his murder.

The students will be staying in accommodation at Pembroke College and visiting the University’s libraries, lecture theatres and museums. There will be tasters of subjects they are unlikely to study at school, like learning Ancient Greek with the Faculty of Classics, and a chemistry lab will be turned into a forensic science facility as the students explore samples from suspects’ clothing.

The new skills and knowledge they will pick up will prove invaluable in their bid to find the killer. The students will have to remain vigilant throughout the three-day course, as they see the suspects around college and at a formal dinner.

The aim is to give students a taste of university life, including both the academic and social side of life at Oxford.

Debate continues over Oxford's Port Meadow landscape

It was once one of the most peaceful spots among the dreaming spires of Oxford. Now Port Meadow is at the centre of a row - over blocks of flats which critics say ruin the skyline. The five storey Castle Mill development was built in 2012 beside the River Thames between the Cripley Meadow Allotments and the railway tracks, to increase student accommodation. But campaigners are angry. They say there was a lack of consultation and they now want the top floor of the flats to be removed at an estimated cost of £30 million pounds. Juliette Fletcher reports.

Around 200 protesters in Oxford rallying against Le Pen speech

Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside Oxford University tonight. They're demonstrating against the involvement of France's far-right party in one of the university's prestigious debates.

Marine Le Pen, who's the leader of the 'Front National' party, is due to talk to the Oxford Union in a couple of hours. But she (will) arrived to angry scenes.

Credit: PA

Anti-facist campaigners say Le Pen should not be given a platform to speak on, but the Union president says its members believe in freedom of speech.

Oxford academics' 'It will be a tough Christmas for retailers'

Retailers this Christmas will find it a tough challenge to match last year's festive spending figure of ninety one billion pounds according to academics in Oxford.

They say changing shopping habits and low real wages rates will have a significant impact on shopping.

Christmas spending reached £91bn last year Credit: ITV Meridian

"We have found that overdoing the Christmas cheer with flashing bright lights and piping fast-paced music such as Jingle Bells into stores puts shoppers under greater pressure. Less harsh lighting, pleasant smells and gentler seasonal music such as The Nutcracker are far more likely to put us in the mood for spending."

– Nancy Puccinelli, Associate Professor in Marketing
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