Oxford University launches £10 million medical marijuana research program

first_imgOxford University are set to partner with Kingsley Capital Partners to research marijuana-based medicine.Cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in marijuana, alter neurotransmitter release in the brain, and therefore can be used to treat pain, cancer and inflammatory diseases.Eight scientists will be investigating the effects of medical marijuana, aided by the funding from Kingsley Capital Partners, a London-based private equity firm.Neil Mahapatra, Managing Partner of Kingsley, said: “Medical cannabis and cannabinoid medicine is already helping patients with some of the most distressing conditions across the world.“However, research into the specific pathways and mechanisms that create this benefit is limited and long overdue.” He claims that the partnership between Kingsley and the University will ensure that the UK has a leadership role in the fast-growing field of medicinal marijuana research.Ahmed Ahmed, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at Oxford, registered his support of the research. He commented: “Cannabinoid research has started to produce exciting biological discoveries and this programme is a timely opportunity to increase our understanding of the role of cannabinoids in health and disease. This field holds great promise for developing novel therapeutic opportunities for cancer patients.”The program has received notable support from actor Sir Patrick Stewart. The X-Men star has used medicinal marijuana to treat his arthritis, which he claims has helped him sleep at night again and restored mobility in his hands.He told the Daily Telegraph: “This is an important step forward for Britain in a field of research that has for too long been held back by prejudice, fear and ignorance.“I enthusiastically support the Oxford University Cannabis Research Plan.”Currently, the only licensed cannabis-based product in this country is Sativex, a prescription-only drug for patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. NICE, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the NHS’s primary rationing body, strongly advises against the use of Sativex, claiming that it is not a cost-effective treatment.Whilst the Conservatives and Labour do not officially support legalising marijuana for medication, both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats have called for it. The Liberal Democrats announced only four days ago that they support a regulated cannabis market in the UK.The Oxford University Liberal Democrats told Cherwell: “We are pleased to see the university taking this positive step towards better treatment for certain conditions in the future. The UK is behind other countries in this area, and the Lib Dems have consistently supported a compassionate and progressive stance of legalisation of prescribed cannabis and decriminalisation of possession.”This is a breaking story, and will be updated with comment as we receive it.last_img read more

Victor Moses Out of Eagles’ Algeria, Argentina Games

first_imgIt was further learnt that Eagles Franco-German Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has decided not to hand the 2013 AFCON-winning star an invitation to allow him recover for the Eagles’ subsequent matches.“I can confirm to you that Victor Moses is out of the tie as he won’t have fully recovered for the match; as much as we want to play our best players in the two games, we don’t also want to risk any player ahead of further national team games,” the source told AOIFootball.com.The source also debunked the news in the Nigeria media that his omission was because of a purported fraction between the player’s club and the Nigerian FA.“There are no issues between us and Chelsea over his injury; these things are unavoidable in football and we can only wish the player recovers on time and come back to full fitness for both club and country,” the source added.Moses was instrumental in the Super Eagles’ qualification to the World Cup in Russia next year, scoring three goals in the process.Meanwhile, English-born Nigerian defender, Dominic Iorfa, has expressed his desire to play for the Super Eagles in the future if the opportunity presents its self.The 22-year-old defender, who is the son of former Nigerian international, Dominic Iorfa, told Ipswich Town’s Magazine that his dad has a whole lot of influence on his career and wants him to wear the green and white of Nigeria.“Maybe my dad would like me to play for Nigeria in the future, we will see but he understands it’s a big year for me and my priority is to progress with Ipswich.“He has always been there for me and I have taken his advice. He has been in my shoes, so he knows what it’s all about,” Iorfa said.The Ipswich Town defender is on-loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers and was part of the youth system at his local club Southend United before joining the academy of Wolverhampton Wanderers at the age of 15.He moved on a one-month loan to League One Shrewsbury Town in March 2014, and made his senior debut the same day as a substitute in a 0–1 defeat at Colchester.Following his return to Wolves, Iorfa made his first appearance for the club in a 2–1 loss to Bournemouth at Molineux on 6 December 2014.He swiftly became the club’s first choice right-back, starting in twenty-one of Wolves’ twenty-five remaining fixtures following his debut.In January 2015, Iorfa won the football league’s Young Player of the Month Award.The young defender, who can play both as a centre-back and right-back, has featured for the England youth setup across all age grades and won the Toulon Invitational Tournament in 2016Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Iorfa’s England-born son open to Nigeria inviteSuper Eagles forward, Victor Moses is not likely to be available for Nigeria’s last World Cup 2018 qualifier against the Desert Foxes of Algeria and the Grade-A friendly against the La Albeceleste of Argentina next month.Both matches are scheduled for November 10 and 14 in Blida, Algeria and in Krasnoder, Russia.Sources at the Glass House in Abuja hinted yesterday that the Chelsea wing-back who pulled up a hamstring injury in the Blues’ 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace a fortnight ago, has missed a further three games for the English champions and is not expected to be fully fit before the two clashes with Algeria and Argentina.last_img read more

True grit: Shafer implements ‘hard-nosed’ culture at Syracuse in 1st year as head coach in ACC

first_imgThree yards and a cloud of dust. That’s the way Syracuse starts every practice.The offense tries to move the ball three yards in three downs while the defense vehemently tries to impede its progress. The winner revels in the glory while the loser is punished with up-downs.It’s a drill that first-year head coach Scott Shafer learned from legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes while growing up in Northeast Ohio. When Shafer played quarterback for his father, Ron, at Riverside High School in Painesville, the practice fields were all mud, dirt and dust. Shafer knew that when he became a head coach – a job he’s wanted since before college – he’d make sure his team used three yards and a cloud of dust. “It’s a frickin’ war,” Shafer said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe drill epitomizes the brand of football Shafer wants his team to play in its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Orange will rely on “hard-nosed” football – as Shafer has dubbed it – to succeed. It’s a phrase he has uttered frequently in his first eight months as head coach, while mastering his already adept visor toss and assembling a crew of assistant coaches equally fiery and focused. Syracuse doesn’t have the raw talent that teams like No. 8 Clemson and No. 11 Florida State possess, but Shafer hopes intensity, relentlessness and toughness will be enough to compete. He expects passion to emanate from every drill, every workout and every game. “We may not be as big, we may not be as fast,” Shafer said, “but doggonit, we want to play a style of football where we’re knocking the hell out of people and playing a hard-nosed game.”Defensive line coach Tim Daoust knows all about hard-nosed football. He’s known Shafer for 12 years and believes in his relentless approach. That’s why Daoust unremittingly yells at his players – he feels the intensity will prepare them for the regular season. It’s why he lost his voice just three days into training camp. During an Aug. 20 practice, the defense jumped offsides during a live-game simulation of a field goal. Shafer lost it. He threw his trademark white, wide-brimmed visor on the ground in disgust. Those nuances and “controlling the controllables,” as Shafer puts it, are what he believes will determine the team’s success.Daoust said the visor toss isn’t a new element in Shafer’s repertoire. When Shafer was a defensive coordinator at Western Michigan, his players even made a compilation video of his best visor tosses.“The county fair’s this week, right?” Daoust said, completely straight-faced. “We could take him to the fair and he could knock down those little milk pints or whatever they are.”Much like Daoust, offensive line coach Pat Perles rarely lets his players off the hook. If they make a mistake, they’re always held accountable. “F*ck you guys,” he yelled to his linemen moments after completing a Shafer-esque hat chuck. They stopped pushing forward into the cushiony orange mats before Perles deemed the drill finished. Syracuse center Macky MacPherson detailed one drill during which Perles has his players grab 35-pound sand bags, squat and shuffle their feet. Five reps. Twenty seconds per rep. Shafer said games are won in the trenches. Drills like those showcase the hard-nosed mentality he’s tried to infuse into the Orange’s culture.“It’s not just a gimmick,” MacPherson said. “It’s something Coach Shafer really does believe in.”Shafer’s wife, Missy, said she hears the phrase all the time: “Don’t you change.”The Shafers still live in the same house despite Shafer’s promotion. Missy Shafer still shops at Wegmans with a baseball hat, no makeup and a mismatched shirt and shorts. Just because the team lost a crop of stellar seniors – including star quarterback Ryan Nassib –doesn’t mean it has to change its ways. The approach is unwavering. Do what’s gotten you this far and you’ll be fine.So they won’t alter too much. But the question remains whether staying the same and being mentally and physically tough will be enough. The team has bought in. MacPherson described the Orange as an “intense, ground-and-pound, we’re-gonna-impose-our-will-on-you kind of team.”“#Hard-nosed,” MacPherson said. “It’s nose to the grindstone, blue collar, anything you can possibly imagine. Outwork your opponent and beat him down while you do it.”It’s no secret. ACC teams are faster, stronger and certainly more skilled from top to bottom than Big East teams. Shafer knows Syracuse is in for a tall task. Doug Marrone’s departure to the Buffalo Bills in January left unanswered questions, and made the conference switch even more daunting.The Orange is the underdog. But Assistant Athletics Director for Athletic Performance Will Hicks said that’s just fine.“I think Coach Shafe embraces being the underdog a little bit,” Hicks said. “It gets him fired up.”That’s who he is. Praise from his players, assistant coaches and wife is consistent. The 46-year-old Shafer’s fusion of passion and compassion is showcased in everything he does, and that blend seems to have permeated throughout the entire team. One of the staples of Shafer’s approach is that he always holds people accountable and never lets them feel sorry for themselves. When Missy Shafer was diagnosed with malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – while the family lived in Michigan more than four years ago, Shafer told her not to feel sorry for herself. He supported her and helped her, never letting her give up. “This is unfortunate, it’s tough, but it’s life,” Missy Shafer said. “It’s how you handle it and how you get through it.”And she did. After getting surgery at one of the premier melanoma-treating hospitals in the country, the cancer was history.Ups and downs will come in the ACC – just like they did in Missy’s case and in the Big East. It’s a matter of staying resolute and bouncing back. Shafer took training camp as an opportunity to see how players responded to adversity. He said he was most proud of the team last season, when it dug itself out of a 2-4 start to finish 8-5 by not changing its approach and continuing to plow forward with determination.Change is the only constant in Syracuse, but Shafer said his team is up for the challenge. He’s not concerned that SU was picked sixth out of seven in its division. He’s more preoccupied with ensuring the Orange finishes on top, despite the seemingly infinite mountain ahead. “It’s a challenge that we relish,” Shafer said. “We’re not afraid of anybody at Syracuse. Never have been.”Never back down. Put in the effort and control the controllables by playing hard-nosed football. The rest will work itself out. “He wants things to be done the right way,” Hicks said, “but it’s all in a positive approach. He’s not going to accept things not being right. There’s no gray.” Defensive tackle Jay Bromley laughed when asked how many times Shafer says the phrase “hard-nosed” in a typical practice. “Hard-nosed,” Bromley said, scratching his chin. “Hard-nosed. Anywhere between five,” Bromley paused and laughed again, “and 20. It depends on how we’re playing.”Bromley said Shafer has to yell at both the offense and defense now, which means he’s shouting “hard-nosed” twice as much as he did as Syracuse’s defensive coordinator. Even the team meetings are more intense, running back Jerome Smith said, with Shafer at the helm.“His press conference made someone want to go out and play for him right now,” Smith said. “He has everybody fired up.” The team believes in Shafer’s approach. Syracuse is confident it can shock some teams. The Orange opens the season against Penn State and No. 22 Northwestern. It faces national title contender Clemson just three games later.That doesn’t faze Bromley, though. He said confidence is soaring and the players truly believe they can leave a dent in the conference. When asked about his realistic goal for the season, Bromley said he wanted Syracuse to win the ACC championship.It sounds farfetched to an outsider, but those inside the bubble are starting to believe in Shafer’s ways. Maybe they can shock the world.If Syracuse finds itself in a third-and-goal situation with the ball on the three in the game’s waning minutes, Shafer hopes both the offense and defense will know exactly what to do. Finish how they start every practice – three yards and a cloud of dust. Commentslast_img read more