Medical research benefits people worldwide, but how many of us are aware of the corresponding worldwide effort that goes into achieving research breakthroughs and translating them into benefits for patients? MRC External Communications Officer, Stacy-Ann Ashley, found out more at the MRC’s celebration of 100 years of international collaboration.
Caption: MRC international collaboration poster competition shortlisted entrants with MRC Chief Executive, Sir John Savill; MRC Deputy Chief Executive and Chief of Strategy, Dr Wendy Ewart; and MRC Director of International Strategy, Dr Mark Palmer.
The world can sometimes feel small, and never more so than when we look at what connects people and places. Often these connections are good, but not always: ill-health affects people wherever they are, and diseases don’t recognise country borders. Consequently, improving human health around the world requires a global approach.
At the final event in the MRC Centenary programme, we showcased some key achievements in international collaborative research to invited guests, including the heads of many research organisations from around the world, eminent scientists and parliamentarians. These collaborations between scientists in every corner of the globe have enabled us to achieve breakthroughs in genetics, virus and bacterial infection and improved public health, to name just a few. The MRC plays an important role in devising and supporting strategic international collaboration, and a key aim of Research Changes Lives 2014–2019, the MRC’s refreshed strategic plan launched yesterday at the event, is to enable researchers to form partnerships across the globe. Read more
Activities at a dementia group (Copyright: Department of Health*)
Studying how the brain changes as part of neurodegenerative diseases is crucial, but there’s growing evidence that the way the rest of our body changes as we age is important too. As we launch the UK Dementias Research Platform, the Chair of our Neurosciences and Mental Health Board Professor Hugh Perry tells us why we need to be taking a more holistic approach to research into dementias.
There was a time when we would have considered diseases of the brain in isolation of other body systems. But to put it crudely, 75-year-old brains are part of 75-year-old bodies, and these 75-year-old bodies tend to have various physiological problems.
There’s now growing evidence that as we age changes in physiology such as arthritis and diabetes are associated with changes in our mental processes such as memory, language and decision-making. Read more
As we approach the end of our Centenary year we’re starting to look back at all the ways in which we marked turning 100. One of our Centenary highlights was the official opening of the new MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology building by Her Majesty the Queen. Our Chief Executive John Savill was particularly pleased to receive this feedback from a pupil at Great and Little Shelford Primary School, whose choir sang to welcome the Queen to the building. We hope she remembers “the Queen’s lovely feathery hat and missing a bit of school” for a long time to come.