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Insight blog: Posts tagged with epidemiology

Stories about the people, science and research of the Medical Research Council.

Tales from the Century: Janet Lane-Claypon and epidemiology

8 Mar 2013

Janet Lane-Claypon

Janet Lane-Claypon pioneered two research methods that today are central to epidemiology, but she doesn’t have the profile of other barrier-breaking female scientists from the first quarter of the 20th century. Katherine Nightingale spotted her name in the first MRC annual report and went in search of information about this trailblazing scientist, admired for her intellect and rigour.

Unsurprisingly, the first MRC annual report, published in 1915, is a rather male affair; the text is littered with Williams, Henrys and Stanleys. Aside from the mildly mysterious “Miss Ferguson” and “a woman bacteriologist” whose identity we may never know, one of the few women mentioned in the report is the physician and epidemiologist Dr Janet Elizabeth Lane-Claypon.

Janet is referenced in the report because she had been funded in that year to bring together and critique all existing research in milk and its ‘hygienic relations’ — its composition, nutritional value and hygienic production. At the time Janet was working as Assistant Medical Inspector to the Local Government Board, having already achieved much in her research career. [...]

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Profile: George Davey Smith

30 May 2012

George Davey Smith

George Davey Smith (Copyright: University of Bristol)

Professor George Davey Smith heads up not one but two MRC projects: he directs the Children of the 90s cohort study and the MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology (MRC CAiTE) in Bristol. His career has taken him from Wales to Nicaragua, and India to Glasgow. Katherine Nightingale met George to find out about his itinerant career, cycling and a life without admin.

George Davey Smith was away on unauthorised holiday cycling around Ireland when his counterparts at Cambridge medical school were taught about epidemiology.

Returning the day before the epidemiology module test, he received some limited instruction from friends in the pub, and then did better in the epidemiology test than in other parts of the course. “I realised this was something for me,” he says. [...]

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