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?

There is indeed method in our ‘madness’ – being METHODICAL about public involvement

Polonius: [Aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in't. Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 193–206 If you are in some way connected to public involvement in health research then you get used to 'the look.' Sometimes it's a vacant stare or a gaze falling slowly across the face like the sun going down.  In other instances … Continue reading There is indeed method in our ‘madness’ – being METHODICAL about public involvement

MRC publishes new communications and engagement strategy (plus new film!)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has published a refreshed communications and engagement strategy. There is a section on public involvement on P12 of the document which is the fullest narrative I have seen of their corporate intentions around this aspect of working in partnership with the public. It is a good document and important to … Continue reading MRC publishes new communications and engagement strategy (plus new film!)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is ‘a good egg’ and that’s the issue

Science historian and Guardian science blogger, Vanessa Heggie (@HPS_Vanessa) has written a fascinating piece about how AIDS activists among others changed the way we run clinical trials and persuaded researchers to adopt new methods. That's certainly the history lesson passed down to me as Chair of INVOLVE by previous members.  They will tell you that, before we ever talked … Continue reading The Medical Research Council (MRC) is ‘a good egg’ and that’s the issue

Drug safety regulation need not be a jagged edge on which patients catch themselves

Off to Liverpool today. I am chairing a session at the Pancreas Society's first ever PPI forum. This is the opener to their annual scientific meeting which takes place the rest of the week. Last Friday was another first. I spoke to, and took part in, the inaugural meeting of the MHRA's ( Medicines and … Continue reading Drug safety regulation need not be a jagged edge on which patients catch themselves

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

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

Stem cell research and charities

The world has gone consultation mad.  Another two dropped into my inbox yesterday.  I'm seriously considering booking myself into consultation rehab.  A few days off next week will at least allow me to undergo an intensive consultation detox programme in the meantime.   For those of you who have set aside today to write a response to … Continue reading Stem cell research and charities

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

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

The good, the not so good and the uncertain

I can only think of turning the last few hours of trying to absorb today's announcements and figures in the following way: The good Surely even the harshest critic would have to acknowledge that, comparatively speaking, science fared well in today's spending review.  It was certainly spared the savage cuts that we are seeing elsewhere … Continue reading The good, the not so good and the uncertain

Good news on medical research regulation

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, paid a visit to the Wellcome Trust this morning and announced a clutch of initiatives including: £250 million investment in 2010/11 for the new world-class medical research centre at St Pancras in London which will bring together research teams to tackle major medical challenges. The … Continue reading Good news on medical research regulation

Sums and summitry

Yesterday 30 top scientists called for a tripling of Government expenditure on research into dementia - you may have heard some of them being interviewed on news programmes during the day.  Their call was timed to coincide with a day-long summit organised by the Department of Health and Medical Research Council (MRC) which brought together … Continue reading Sums and summitry

'….and charities'

A huge tome literally fell into my lap this morning.  So heavy was the 151 page brochure from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) that it broke through the botton of the envelope in which it was sent. Coincidentally as I began to flick through its glossy pages this morning, the Office for … Continue reading '….and charities'