There are just a few days until the new academic year begins for the University and I am having a ‘day off’ while I still have the chance. Sadly a day off on my own is not quite as exciting as it should be and I think what it has really meant is that I have spent this morning working at maybe only 50% normal speed. I will call it a day in a moment or two and get some valuable R&R.
The new academic year should be bringing a new crop of PhD students to the lab. Most of our new starters are international and at the moment I am not sure how many I am actually going to have. Confirmed new starters are Amanda Avery (a dietetic colleague in the Division, co-supervised with Judy Swift), Bashair Al-Riyami (co-superivising with Andy Salter), Lujain Almousa (co-supervising with Andy Salter) and Muniirah Mbabazi (co-supervising with Judy Swift and Paul Wilson). It will be exciting to see the team swelling so significantly.
It also strikes me that these new entrants are greatly expanding the scope of the research going on within the group. We now span a wide range of subject areas extending out from the core business of animal models of metabolic and physiological disorders (still very much at our core and to be pursued by Bashair and Lujain). Some of that work and interest is now spreading into work with human cohorts, such as the MAGIC study (Sarah Ellis, PhD) factors that determine successful weight loss (Amanda) and we are now moving into areas relating to issues in the developing world (health and nutrition policy in Uganda, HIV in Africa). Clearly diversity and flexibility are the order of the day and it will be interesting to see how these students interact with each other.