The information that gathers in our wake as we move through life and health centre or hospital waiting rooms is a powerful tool for medical research. Cecily Berryman tells us how a health emergency brought discussions about data science to the heart of her family.
Three years ago my husband suddenly became very ill. He needed emergency surgery to fix a tear in his aorta, the huge artery that carries blood as it pumps away from the heart. Afterwards the surgeon called it an ‘acute aortic dissection’ and mentioned it was likely to be a connective tissue disorder that has a genetic cause. Extensive testing revealed it was not a known disorder.
A symposium last month, to mark the 70th anniversary of MRC Unit The Gambia, revealed how much progress has been made in global health – and how much remains to be done. Pauline Mullin, the MRC’s Partnership Communications Manager for the unit, was there to find out.
Professor Umberto D’Alessandro, MRC Unit The Gambia Director, with delegates at the 70th Anniversary Symposium
Science and technology evolve together, each pushing the boundaries to enable new discoveries and cutting-edge research. But despite the critical contributions of technology skills specialists, their roles and careers are often overlooked. Thankfully that’s changing – helped by the Technician Commitment and recent Research Councils UK statement – as Kelly Vere, Technical Skills Development Manager at the University of Nottingham and Higher Education Engagement Manager at the Science Council, explains.
Kelly Vere. Image credit: University of Nottingham
It’s often forgotten that science is a team sport. Everyone has a part to play, including a group of staff particularly key to the majority of research teams: the technologists.
So who are the technologists?
Technologists are a crucial part of scientific research teams. They make critical, intellectual contributions to research by providing core technical excellence and by maintaining and developing new technologies and methodologies.