Spend £1 on cancer research and get 40p back every year: what’s not to like?

Today the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Medical Research holds its summer reception in parliament. This annual event has become an important fixture on the health research calendar. The ‘great and the good’ assemble to focus on a key issue of the day and to network. At some point in proceedings they will be addressed by […]

Musings on #patientdata and: ‘the moral case for public involvement in research is dead, long live…’

There’s a big push on #patientdata at the moment. Leaflets explaining how patient data will be shared in the future are being stuffed through people’s letter boxes.  This is part of an initiative called ‘care.data.’ Medical research charities have meanwhile funded a national newspaper advertising campaign exhorting the benefits of sharing patient data for research. The […]

Leadership, and a strategy transplant from NHSBT would do the patient data debate no harm

Today NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has called for a radical change in public attitudes and behaviours towards organ donation. The public have been asked to respond to NHSBT’s new strategy.  This asks people to consider some tough questions such as whether registered organ donors should go to the front of the queue for organ donation ahead […]

‘Best left alone’ is not the motto we want for our health regulators

It being half-term you can never have enough travel games on hand. Current favourites for me are: a) guessing who will be the new Director of the Wellcome Trust and; b) thinking of  a name for the body  created if you merged all the current Research Councils into one. I did apply for the former […]

Data, data everywhere…new report, plus NIHR’s achievements in 2012

Yes, we are positively swimming in data these days.  And I don’t about you, but I’m looking forward to doing some data-linkage with family and friends over Christmas and the New Year. From a Government point of view, making best use of the data which is routinely collected by departments, public agencies and others, linking […]

Comment piece: New mental health research charity springs from an unlikely quarter #mentalhealth

It has been in the works for a not inconsiderable amount of time.  A slow burner if you like.  So it somehow seems fitting that the first flames should flicker almost unnoticed. Yesterday, Research Fortnight’s Adam Smith wrote about a new mental health research charity to be launched next year with a hefty £20 million […]

GSK’s Witty remarks are easy to swallow from a patient perspective but the rest of the flock must follow

I spoke at the Clinical Discovery 2012 conference yesterday about the future value and impact of clinical research.  This is one of a number of similar events I’ve presented at over the last month or so.  On reflection there generally seems a more ‘upbeat’ conversation among conference-goers about clinical research in the UK compared to this time last […]

Spirit of ad-venture shown by charities in funding drug research or a sign of desperate times?

From The Economist in New York, a short but interesting piece on the growing collaboration between charities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the US to bring new drugs to market.  More specifically it looks at the ‘venture philanthropy’ model being adopted by charities there to support clinical trials.  I’m not quite sure I’d characterise it as […]

The public interest argument must extend beyond open access…here’s a sort of lay summary

Good Guardian blog yesterday giving a lay summary of the ‘open access’ debate vis a vis papers published in scientific journals.  There’s also been a healthy exchange of letters in The Times this week but ironically that’s behind their paywall.  However, at least The Times is available in all good newsagents at a reasonable price. Unsurprisingly, I […]

A few more ‘£s’ and I’ll be opening my own Wellcome Collection…just keep those surveys coming

If only petrol was as plentiful a resource as public attitudes.  There is no end to the extent to which we can mine what the public thinks about this, or that. Occasionally a survey will hit a rich seam of information and insight.  Then again, so numerous are those who are drilling into the public mindset nowadays, that I […]

Charities wade in on Leveson and media reporting of science

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) together with Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust have this afternoon published their response to the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press.  See first item listed under 2012 on this page at the AMRC website. The submission makes good points and I learnt […]

Flying in the face of an interregnum

As a self-confessed member of the worried well, I ask that people think carefully before they throw strange words at me.  Particularly on the day of a regular visit to my ‘prescription-happy’ doctor. A colleague asked me this morning how my interregnum was going.  It  sent me into a momentary panic.  Is it treatable I […]

Committee gets a Crick in its neck about UKCMRI

So the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee has this morning published its latest report about the building of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) in London.  THES has a report here. The Committee seems rather oddly to have raked over old coals in its questioning of whether London is the most […]

International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up

It is International Clinical Trials Day today and The Cochrane Library has worked with the UK Medical Research Council’s Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research to produce a set of new podcasts about clinical trials – well worth a listen. There was a conference in Vienna this morning organised by the European Clinical Research […]

Wellcome Trust Image Awards 2011…and kidney disease survey

I was unable to get to the Wellcome Trust Image Awards last night so as recompense I am posting the link to the online gallery of winning photos.  The picture of the kidney transplant by David Bishop from UCL Medical School is my favourite and got a special award.  This also gives me an opportunity […]

Getting touchy over the information revolution

Over the holidays I caught a BBC Radio 4 item about the days of the touch typist.  It was one of those gems of broadcasting which looked through a narrow lens to tell the listener much about how the world has changed.  It also brought back many memories of my time as a messenger at the old […]

UKCMRI Gets Go-ahead…and news on CST

Those who visit this blog regularly will know that we’ve been following progress with the plans to build the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation in London ever since our first post.  So, in what feels like an early Christmas present for science, it is good to be able to report that yesterday Camden Town Hall […]

Times Letter on Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF)

A brief but important mention of the letter in today’s Times signed by over 100 cancer scientists and doctors.  The letter cites Breast Cancer Campaign (an AMRC member) and highlights the importance of the Government-backed Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF) to the funding of research in universities by medical research charities.  If you want a succinct but well-articulated case for […]