News and Updates

Penny Cook, Professor of Public Health, has been representing the team at the 47th Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium in Warsaw.

In Warsaw for KBS2022 alcohol conference, today talking about parent experiences taking part in our FASD prevalence study. We ask: is this topic too sensitive to study? As far as we know this is the first research to look at how the parents felt about taking part in an #FASD Prevalence study. It will be interesting to hear what people think of our findings.

Penny Cook, Professor of Public Health, has been successfully appointed as Associate Dean: Research and Innovation for the School of Health and Society.

On her appointment, Penny said: “I am coming up to my tenth anniversary of working at the University of Salford in a school with a vibrant and stimulating research culture. Our hard work and creativity have paid off, with the REF2021 results showing that the vast majority of our research is excellent and world leading, and has real impact on the people and communities we serve. With this new role, I am honoured and delighted to have been given an opportunity to support our amazing researchers, nurture our research culture and ensure that our research goes from strength to strength.”

Penny will take up her new role from 1 October, with Professor Ben Light remaining in post until that date. 

SalfordFASD team carries out important research into the roles of midwives in reducing alcohol exposed pregnancies: introducing Ruth Morrello!

This month, we warmly welcome another member to the SalfordFASD research team – Ruth Morrello! Ruth is a community midwife who works in central Manchester who has recently carried out a Masters in Public Health at the University of Salford. As a midwife, a large part of her role involves giving health advice to pregnant women to optimise maternal and infant wellbeing.

SALFORDFASD 2021 REVIEW

As we enter February, it is slightly late to be posting reviews of the previous year. However, it was an eventful year, and we feel that it is worth reflecting on some of the achievements. We have made significant progress as a research team over the last year. There are several things to be proud of:

The SalfordFASD team gains a new Professor

Recently, the SalfordFASD research team received very exciting news: an additional professor has been added to our research team.

Dr Raja Mukherjee (now professor!) was conferred with an Honorary Professorship from the University of Salford. Professor Penny Cook says:

The University of Salford has awarded Raja Mukherjee Honorary Professor because of his massive contribution to our FASD research at the University of Salford, and because he is a giant in the field of FASD. Thank you for all your hard work, Professor Mukherjee!”

The FASDSalford Research Team is Growing BIGGER!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the enlargement of the FASDSalford research team. Cutting across all disciplines and levels of study, our research team is growing bigger with the addition of new members. This month, we are excited to warmly welcome Nicola Hickman.

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SalfordFASD Speaks!!!

Last month (September, 2021) was filled with activity here at the SalfordFASD research team, as we remain passionate to always talk about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). We had our much anticipated prevalence study published which attracted significant media attention, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care published a Needs Assessment report for FASD which mentioned our research, and we donned our FASD T-shirts to celebrate FASD awareness day! Media organisations such as the BBC and other local media outlets published interesting stories and it was heartwarming to realise the positive attention our research is creating. You can hear Penny Cook’s interview here; Robyn McCarthy’s podcast can also be accessed here, while Alan Price participated in a panel of discussion.

First UK study of its kind reveals the local extent of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

The international Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research journal has released the results of our study, Assessing the Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): A cross-sectional active case ascertainment study in schools in Greater Manchester, UK.

The University of Salford research, led by Professor Penny Cook and commissioned by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, is the first of its kind in the UK. It found that FASD is a significant issue among the population, likely to be as common as autism, despite being rarely diagnosed.

“Every session session was a real revelation”

One participant’s story about taking part in SPECIFIC: a course for those who care for someone with FASD

FASD Awareness Day

Every year around the world, in the month of September, people, organisations, and communities gather to celebrate the world awareness month for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD describes a condition that is associated with the drinking of alcohol during pregnancy. The alcohol can damage the unborn baby’s brain, and sometimes lead to behavioural problems in the affected child. The damage can also cause a range of physical health problems.

Image by ulrichw from Pixabay

Talking about FASD

We like to talk about FASD and our research. We give talks for groups including academics, local professionals and families. Recently, we have done presentations on our research to community paediatric staff, CAMHS teams and primary school teaching staff.  Depending on the audience, sometimes we do an introduction to FASD as a condition.  For other audiences, we do a more detailed look at a particular research project, including the design of the study, sample size strengths and limitations of our results and implications of the findings.

Developments in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – a UK perspective

Read full Blog by Dr Lisa Schölin, public health researcher, in which our input is acknowledged.

NICE extends consultation period for new quality standard on FASD

n line with recommendations by the UK’s Chief Medical Officer and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the quality standard looks at the assessment and diagnosis of FASD, as well as prevention. 

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to discuss the risks of alcohol consumption with expectant mothers and to share information on supportive care if needed, such as counselling or help to stop drinking.

FASD Conference 2019

A specialist FASD conference, approved by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, was held at the University of Salford Media City campus in Salford Quays on Thursday 12th December, 2019. Delegates heard from internationally renowned speakers on the history of FASD, diagnosis, issues around drinking in pregnancy, the presentation of FASD, the life experience of FASD, the experience of caring for a young person with FASD, prevalence, complexities with trauma and attachment issues, comorbidity with other disorders, issues around social care, national healthcare guidelines, and behaviour management of children with FASD.