For MRC grants that involve collaborations, almost half (43%) are international. We’re running a symposium in Washington D.C to encourage more of this, by joining up UK early career researchers and National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers working in neurodegeneration. But what’s the international incentive? Three researchers with MRC-NIH Partnership Awards share how they hope to benefit.
Dr Chi-Hun Kim, Dementias Platform UK, University of Oxford
Dr Chi-Hun Kim
The UK and US each have rich data sources for dementia research. But there aren’t any efficient UK-US data access channels which make it easier for researchers in the two countries to collaborate.
I plan to use the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) Data Portal as a channel for more efficient and long-standing collaboration. The portal is a secure one-stop website where researchers can upload their data and analyse it for free. By using this robust MRC-funded facility, I’ll conduct a study using data from both sides of the Atlantic. I’m aiming to get a better picture of how conditions that block or reduce blood flow to the brain might affect the development of dementia.
DPUK and I have been helping South Korea make a similar facility to help with international collaboration. My experiences from the MRC-Korea collaboration will set me up well for this exciting new collaboration.
Last year a UK-China research collaboration took an unexpected turn following the discovery of resistance to the ‘last resort’ antibiotic: colistin. Here Professor Timothy Walsh, Professor of Medical Microbiology at Cardiff University, describes how the global community can learn from the positive steps taken by the Chinese Government.
Antibiotic resistance is really all about people and society. We often blame antimicrobial resistance on the bug and how resistance can travel from one bug to another. But different sectors, for example farming, hospitals and communities, are all critically linked.
MRC-funded researcher Dianne Newbury won our international collaboration competition last year for a poster describing her work with researchers in Chile on speech and language development. When we heard that the story involved a mysterious predominance of language problems on the island that inspired Robinson Crusoe, we invited her to write about it.
Our story begins on a small island 400 miles off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean. Robinson Crusoe Island is named after Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish sailor who was marooned on the island for four years in the 1700s and was reportedly the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s famous novel.
The island is quiet, the climate warm and the vistas unique, making it an idyllic holiday location. It has a population of less than 1,000 individuals, most of whom live in the island’s only town, San Juan Bautista. Read more