Stories about the people, science and research of the Medical Research Council.
28 Jul 2017
In 2017, global virus elimination is the focus of World Hepatitis Day. Hepatitis C was first identified in 1989 and today we have drugs that destroy the virus. Associate Director of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research Professor John McLauchlan’s work contributed to this transformation. The real challenge now, he writes, is diagnosis.
This is my third blog post to mark World Hepatitis Day. In 2013 I shared our plans to help the NHS deliver the best treatment to patients through two research consortia, HCV Research UK and STOP-HCV. In 2015 I wrote about the impact of new anti-viral drugs, able to not just control the virus, as is the case for HIV, but rid people of their infection.
Thanks to new treatments, many people are now at a much lower risk of developing liver disease and there are reports of patients who no longer require a liver transplant. [...]
Continue reading: Diagnosis and research key to hepatitis elimination
11 Jan 2017
Paul Cowling, PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, received a commendation prize in our 2016 Max Perutz Science Writing competition. In his article, he explains how fluorescent molecules could help with early, and faster, diagnosis of lung cancer.
It is June, and twilight sets in over the bustling beer garden. I take a drink from my pint before returning my attention to my friend Chris who is ranting about the state of affairs at Newcastle Football Club. He finishes venting his anger over the team’s lacklustre performances and proceeds to light a cigarette. [...]
Continue reading: Shedding some real light on lung cancer
24 Mar 2015
Cardiologist Professor Stefan Neubauer has invented a test for chronic liver disease which could cut diagnosis time from weeks to a single day. Here he tells us about his working life and what it’s been like to set up a company to develop his discovery.
Listen to the full interview. [...]
I’m a professor of cardiovascular medicine and, in a nutshell, my job is to develop new ways to characterise the inner workings of the heart, based on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy. I’m Director of the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research, and setting up this clinical research unit from scratch – which is now recognised worldwide – has been the highlight of my academic career. But in 2012, I also took a leap into the world of industry. Together with three colleagues I founded a spin-out company based on an important discovery we made.
Continue reading: Working life: Stefan Neubauer
26 Nov 2012
University of Birmingham researcher Wiebke Arlt received many bouquets of flowers for establishing that male hormones affect women’s libidos. Now she’s developing a urine test for adrenal cancer, as she told Sarah Harrop in the fourth of a series of profiles taken from our Annual Review 2011/12.
Cancer of the adrenal glands is hard to detect because the glands are hidden deep inside the body and the disease can be symptomless in its early stages — so new diagnostic tests are urgently needed.
In 2011, with MRC funding, Professor Wiebke Arlt developed the first urine test for adrenal cancer which could replace expensive CT scans and avoid the need for surgery in suspected cases that turn out to be benign. Wiebke is fascinated by hormones — in fact she’s built her career around studying them.
Early on in her career, as a young doctor in Germany, she was the first to establish that male hormones (androgens) affect libido and feelings of wellbeing in women. During a trial to restore these hormones in women with androgen deficiency she began to receive thank-you gifts of flowers and wine from their husbands, which she says “was an early sign of what was going on”. [...]
Continue reading: Profile: Wiebke Arlt