SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  15 March 2012
Volume 13 Issue 3

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Brunel University Collects Award at Buckingham Palace

Emma Cutting

Brunel University
SETAC Europe Non-Profit Partner, Brunel University, and John Sumpter, along with his research team, received The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education

Professor Susan Jobling, Head of the Institute for the Environment at Brunel University, London, UK, joined the other winners of The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education at Buckingham Palace to collect an award for the Institute's groundbreaking research aimed at protecting the environment from the effects of hormones and similar chemical pollutants. The "Diamond Jubilee" round winners were presented with the prizes by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The prizes recognise and celebrate outstanding work that is deemed to have had a real and practical impact for the benefit of human progress.

Professors John Sumpter, Susan Jobling and their research teams secured the award for the contribution of two decades of research beginning with the uncovering of a link between exposure to water pollution and sex change in male fish in UK rivers and continuing with the realization that pharmaceuticals consumed by people are inefficiently removed by water treatment and pass into our rivers and our drinking water. Their work provided the impetus for global research into this issue, including human health research also linking chemical exposure with declining sperm counts, increased incidence of male genital abnormalities, and testicular, breast and prostate cancer. The Institute’s work was selected for the Queen’s Anniversary Prize as a leading example of excellence not just in research but also in its global impact. Collectively, the Institute staff have contributed to the development of endocrine disruption toxicology and have been actively involved in finding ways to assess and manage the risks posed by several endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including those found in plastics, detergents and contraceptive pill hormones.

Sumpter said, "The long-term aim of our research and teaching is to ensure that society thinks more carefully about the use of chemicals and the impact they have on the environment. Our health and the health of our rivers are of great importance, so we’re honoured to receive this recognition of our work at the Institute for the Environment." Professor Chris Jenks, Vice-chancellor said "Brunel University is delighted to receive this recognition of our globally influential research carried out by the Institute for the Environment. We pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of research at Brunel University, and the work of the institute for the environment is a fine example of our research excellence."


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