After nearly eight years at the helm of the MRC as Chief Executive, Professor Sir John Savill steps down at the end of March, just before UK Research and Innovation comes into being on 1 April. Here he reflects on how he’s translated his priorities into research investments which will strengthen the UK research ecosystem for the future.
At the end of this week I will have completed an eventful seven and a half years as CEO of the MRC. Thanks to wonderful support from across the MRC’s extended family, much has been achieved for medical research.
Doctors could soon be getting the green light to prescribe antibiotics with a light-up dressing that indicates whether burns are infected or not. If successful, use of the dressing should reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics and therefore antibiotic resistance, and make life a little easier for patients.
The dressing responding to the presence of bacterial toxins (Image: University of Bath)
It has the air of a futuristic Star Trek-style medical device – a dressing which can tell you if a wound is infected. But rather than being confined to television screens, this bandage could be in hospitals in a few short years.
And as well as its glow-in-the-dark appeal, the dressing has a much more serious aim – to reduce the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics to burns patients who don’t actually need them.
At the moment it can take up to two days to tell if a patient who is showing symptoms of infection actually has an infected burn. This means that doctors often end up prescribing antibiotics as a precaution – not good at a time when we should be reducing the overall use of antibiotics, particularly in people who do not have an infection. Read more