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Cardiff academic receives prestigious Fulbright Award

03 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Dr Barry Bentley

An academic from Cardiff Metropolitan University has received a prestigious Fulbright Award to enable him to research at Harvard University in the Unites States.

Regarded as the most prestigious and selective scholarship programmes operating world-wide, Dr Barry Bentley has been selected to research new technologies to preserve cells, tissues, and organs by “freezing biological time”.

With the chronic shortage of organs for transplantation in the UK, improving the ability to store organs prevent or delay up to 35% of all deaths annually.

The research, to be conducted at the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio), aims to revolutionise how biological systems are stored.

Professor Mehmet Toner, deputy director of ATP-Bio, and professor of surgery at Mass General and Harvard Medical School, added: “Given recent advances in cell and gene therapy as well as in whole organ transplantation, it has become paramount to store these living ‘products’ for efficient distribution across the globe to save lives.”

Dr Bentley said: “For a number of years, I have been concerned by the lack of mature technologies for storing tissues and organs, and the real consequences this has for patients and their families.

“I was elated on receiving news of the award and am extremely grateful to the Fulbright Commission for the opportunity to contribute to this important research.

“I hope this will be the start of a long-term partnership between Harvard, Mass General, and Cardiff Met, that may eventually contribute to improving the health of people in the UK, US, and globally.”

Leadership potential

The Fulbright Program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1946 and is sponsored by the U.S. government. It currently operates in over 160 countries around the world.

Participants in the program are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – and are offered the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research under the scheme.

Professor Jon Platts, Dean of Cardiff School of Technologies at Cardiff Metropolitan University said: “Barry’s achievements help to put Cardiff School of Technologies on the research map.

“Since our launch in February of 2018, we have managed to attract talented researchers like Barry to help us build our reputation. Seeing success like Barry’s gives everybody a lift and the whole school is delighted. We hope Barry has a really fruitful Fellowship”.

Maria Balinska, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said: “Our vision is a world where there are no obstacles to learning, understanding and collaboration.

“Today there are many global challenges to overcome, and the world needs compassionate leaders to tackle them. This cohort of awardees will be placing cultural engagement at the heart of their experiences as they undertake ambitious study and research programmes in the US: I am filled with hope for the wonderful collaborations that will ensue.”

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