I’ve reported several times this year on good news from Dundee. Usually it has to do with technological breakthroughs or other innovations. Here are three from the list:
Silver medal and second in list of best places to start a new business 2017, it’s….. Edinburgh? No, it’s Dundee. Sit down Edinburgh.
‘University of Dundee is UK’s highest ranked institution for influencing innovation’
Teckle! Dundee Good News Special
Now a new report from Clarivate Analytics has named Dundee University as the world’s most influential research centre for pharmaceuticals research for the period 2006 to 2016. Its main impact has been on research into cancers, arthritis and diabetes. That’s an astonishing achievement for a university in a city the size of Dundee. Edinburgh University also made the top ten list but Dundee came above massive institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California in Berkeley.
But Dundee is not just a successful city of technology and science, it has been named a ‘hot destination’ by the Wall Street Journal and a ‘cool’ place to visit by GQ magazine. Perhaps confusing for the older reader, hot and cool are pretty much the same thing in this sense.
The Wall Street Journal article said:
‘A coastal college town, Dundee has emerged as Scotland’s coolest city (see the old public library turned underground club). In 2018 the V&A Museum of Design will debut as the centrepiece of a $1.5 billion transformation of the faded riverfront. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the new V&A will celebrate the country’s unsung design heritage – from jute to Minecraft.’
GQ magazine headlined their piece: ‘Why Dundee is becoming Britain’s coolest little city.’
Anent pharmaceuticals: about five years ago, the head of the pharmaceutical research unit based at Ninewells addressed the Glasgow Philosophical Society and, undoubtedly, it was the world leader. He was not bumming or being bombastic. He was stating a fact. Almost all of the global pharmaceutical companies were contributing funds, and, even more importantly, chemicals of unprecedented purity to enable the team to carry out the research. One concern was the involvement of ‘Big Pharma’, but there was a counterweight of the quality and specificity of the drugs being produced.
There is a fair amount of groundbreaking work going on at Ninewells, such as in keyhole surgery techniques and technology. A great deal of surgery can now be carried out by such techniques. Operating theatres can be made mobile and so can go to local centres rather than patients having to go to large centres. Much keyhole surgery can be done on an outpatient basis and hence issues such as the need for beds and rest and recuperation are alleviated. The Auditor General’s Report alluded to this as part of the changes which are underway.
With access to the anonymised medical records, first of all for the Tayside region, but now, I think for the whole of Scotland, there are computers simply crunching this data, churning out correlations and other statistics which sometimes throw up interesting ideas which are worth further study. One such, I recall – I have no medical background – related to the fact that people who were taking metformin (a Type 2 diabetes drug) did not contract some cancers. This datum was interesting in that there were NO people on metformin who contracted these cancers. Statistically, at least SOME would have been suspected. This led to research which identified that the cancers migrated by some specific pathways and one of the effects of metformin was that it acted by closing these pathways for a different purpose. I am sure some medics who read your blog will be able to correct me or be more precise.
The other big cutting edge area in Dundee is in computer gaming and animation.
It has moved on from jute, jam and journalism, although DC Thomson’s are still hanging in there; a mixed blessing!?
Thanks again Alasdair for all this added information. Much appreciated.
Oh yes, as for DC Thomson, a mixed blessing as you say.
I can’t add to all that interesting information from Alasdair, but, just wanted to say that I love Dundee. There is always an undercurrent of wry humour about the place. It seems to be very much the people’s city with a plethora of museums, statuary and artwork reflecting local icons and personalities. Anywhere you find folk fishing almost in the city centre tells you to whom the place belongs. Cool? Definitely.