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Insight blog: Posts tagged with interdisciplinary research

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

Lessons on how to foster interdisciplinary research

15 Mar 2018

As one of the first cross-council interdisciplinary initiatives, The Environmental and Social Ecology of Human Infectious Diseases Initiative (ESEI)* was developed to respond proactively to the global problem of potential pandemic, epidemic and emerging infectious diseases. Five years on, MRC Programme Manager Morven Roberts shares lessons learnt from the initiative about how to foster future waves of interdisciplinary research.

In the last five years, the Ebola, Zika and yellow fever outbreaks – as well as the critical challenge presented by antimicrobial resistance – have provided continued impetus for research to understand the drivers of emerging or re-emerging infections. [...]

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To the Crick! Part 5: 100 years of tuberculosis research and 70,000 years of evolution

20 Dec 2016

For our final post in the ‘To the Crick’ series, we hear from Luiz Pedro Carvalho. He’s moving from the site of what was the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Mill Hill to the new Francis Crick Institute building in King’s Cross. We find out about Luiz’s work, focused on tuberculosis (TB), and look back at over 100 years of MRC-funded TB research.

a side view of open-plan lab space inside the Crick

Open-plan lab spaces inside the Crick

“It’s a mixture of excitement and already missing the place,” says Luiz. Mill Hill was home to NIMR for most of its lifetime but activities there have nearly come to an end. The venerable institute is now part of the Francis Crick Institute. [...]

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Tackling drug resistance, one context at a time

15 Nov 2016


Dr Helen Lambert. Photo credit: Helen Lambert

To tackle growing numbers of drug-resistant infections we can’t apply the same ideas to every situation. Dr Helen Lambert, Reader in Medical Anthropology at the University of Bristol, explains why tailoring our tactics to the local context is vital in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

In many parts of the world you can buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription. It’s a practical way to obtain life-saving drugs where quality medical care is inaccessible.

In Europe we might effectively slow the spread of drug-resistant infections by reducing antibiotic prescribing and stopping access to over-the-counter antibiotics. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best solution everywhere.  [...]

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Transforming transplantation

8 Sep 2016

For this year’s organ donation week Pankaj Chandak, Research Fellow at the MRC Centre for Transplantation, King’s College London and The Royal College of Surgeons of England, tells us about his innovative, multidisciplinary work, including 3D printing to support organ transplantation which won him the Royal Society of Medicine Norman Tanner Medal and the Cutler’s Surgical Prize and Clarke Medal for Innovation 2016.

Pankaj shows the 3D-printed models of Lucy's abdomen and her father's kidney. Copyright: Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Pankaj shows the 3D-printed models of Lucy’s abdomen and her father’s kidney. Copyright: Pankaj Chandak.


Although rates of serious complications have fallen in the last few decades, organ transplants – like any other type of surgery – are not without risks. These risks are related to the procedure itself, the functioning of the transplanted organ and the use of medications that reduce the activity of the recipient’s immune system to stop it rejecting the donor organ.

But these risks are made more uncertain when there is a mismatch between the anatomy of the donor and the recipient – like in the case of a small child receiving an adult-sized organ. [...]

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