Could the new Life Sciences Strategy be a bit too Basic for the UK’s needs?

First, the positive. Last week the Medical Research Council (MRC) announced that Professor Andrew Morris had been appointed Director of the new UK health and biomedical informatics research institute. Why should this matter to you and I? Because this is the second occasion in less than six months when a senior research leader in the UK … Continue reading Could the new Life Sciences Strategy be a bit too Basic for the UK’s needs?

Fight the good fight: medical research charity advertising slogans

Over the last few months, I have been noting down charity advertising copy as I go about London. Here are ten. Notice any trends? Diagnosed with blood cancer, Chloe only has one hope...YOU. Text HOPE.... Anthony Nolan Trust 2013 Elliot is deafblind. He can't tell it's Christmas. Text TOY to....Sense Help us beat cancer sooner … Continue reading Fight the good fight: medical research charity advertising slogans

Round round get around I get around – Caldicott2, patient data, dementia portal and more!

So sang The Beach Boys who were on Radio 2's 'In Concert' this week.  Not that I'm a great fan but it seemed apposite given my week.  This has involved visits to TrialReach, Oxford (well, virtually!) to discuss plans for public involvement in the Biomedical Research Centre there, my good colleagues at BioMedCentral and, tomorrow, … Continue reading Round round get around I get around – Caldicott2, patient data, dementia portal and more!

New science networks herald more fertile ground for health innovation

If contemplating NHS change rest assured, and this from one who once visited Mt Etna, that the lava does solidify, some old structures do survive, and it is possible for new ones to be built with solid foundations. Herewith some new and some not so new 'kids' on the block in the world of research. … Continue reading New science networks herald more fertile ground for health innovation

DH and charities reach acoRD over medical research costs

Divvying up the costs of conducting research in the NHS funded by medical research charities is an intricate business.   Who pays for that research nurse, their time in administering the extra treatment required in a clinical trial, the procedures and equipment needed as part of its conduct, the oversight and governance needed to ensure that things are done … Continue reading DH and charities reach acoRD over medical research costs

‘Scroll down’ for clinical trials

To begin with, here's more on that Pfizer story about use of mobile phone technology etc in clinical trials. It seems to have piqued an interest among many of you anyway. Also on the subject of clinical trials, I was rather perplexed by this story running out of the NHS Confederation this morning. I'm delighted … Continue reading ‘Scroll down’ for clinical trials

Budget reaction

UPDATE & FURTHER COMMENT There's a very helpful bullet point summary of the budget measures concerning health research on NIHR's website. Having only just landed in the office after an afternoon following developments while in and out of meetings, I would add the following to my comment earlier today: 'Credit where credit is due.  After … Continue reading Budget reaction

Pfizer…and innovation emergencies

The news that Pfizer is to close its R&D facility in Sandwich in Kent has shaken us from our sleepy winter hollows. I've been watching the reactions and comments come over the wires as I am sure you have.  This is clearly a company going through considerable transition as it tries to change with the … Continue reading Pfizer…and innovation emergencies

Second Reading of the Health and Social Care Bill: An open letter to MPs

Dear Member of Parliament, This afternoon the Health and Social Care Bill will recieve its Second Reading in the House of Commons.  The legislation sets out a far-reaching programme for reforming the NHS and the provision of patient care.  The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and its 127 member charities believe that high quality … Continue reading Second Reading of the Health and Social Care Bill: An open letter to MPs

Regulating research – Blakemore/Deer comment pieces + AMRC background

Ahead of next week's Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) much anticipated report on medical research regulation I see  The Times and Sunday Times (both paywall) have published pieces this weekend by scientist Professor Colin Blakemore and journalist Brian Deer respectively, offering different perspectives on the issue of regulation. If you are looking for further background on … Continue reading Regulating research – Blakemore/Deer comment pieces + AMRC background

More NHS patients participating in UK clinical trials than ever before

A piece of good news with which to begin the New Year.  PharmaTimes is reporting that the number of patients participating in clinical trials jumped by 67% last year to over half a million (compared to over 300,000 in 2009). The new CEO of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network Co-ordinating Centre (NIHR … Continue reading More NHS patients participating in UK clinical trials than ever before

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 … Continue reading UKCMRI Gets Go-ahead…and news on CST

AMRC Opus 125

I can't think of a better way to end the week than to announce our 125th member charity.  'Autistica' is the largest UK charity raising funds for medical research to improve diagnosis, advance new treatments and discover the causes of autism. The charity has been funding medical research for 6 years, and funds project grants, programme … Continue reading AMRC Opus 125

Where medals and medallions are forged

Whether you like your scientists to be medallion wearers or medal winners or indeed both is I suppose a matter of personal preference.  In one of those strange juxtapositions in life I chanced across news of this month's US GQ feature (no, I don't read it) on 'Rock Stars of Science' shortly before leaving my office … Continue reading Where medals and medallions are forged

Capability Dave announces cluster therapy for research

Monday saw the Science Mnister, David Willetts, and Health Minister, Earl Howe, announce what are being called therapeutic capability clusters (research consortia)  at the ABPI/BIA conference in London.  PharmaLetter has an article on it and what I think is the formal news release can be found on Pharma Live. Don't be fooled by the PR … Continue reading Capability Dave announces cluster therapy for research

Guest Blog: Dame Bridget Ogilvie on the spending review

A change is as good as a rest they say.  So I am delighted that our former Chair (as well as former Director of the Wellcome Trust), Dame Bridget Ogilvie, took up my invitation to give us her perspective on the spending review and its implications.  Its closing sentiments about the development of young scientists … Continue reading Guest Blog: Dame Bridget Ogilvie on the spending review