Stories about the people, science and research of the Medical Research Council.
29 Aug 2012
The MRC has awarded £60m over five years to the MRC Human Genetics Unit and the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) at the University of Edinburgh. This video, produced by the University of Edinburgh, explains how researchers will use this funding to look at the genetics that underlie diseases such as melanoma and heart disease, and incorporate what they learn into diagnosing and treating patients. [...]
Continue reading: £60m to unravel genes and disease
8 Jun 2012
Peter Piot (Copyright: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
In times of austerity, should the MRC and other UK funders continue to invest in medical research in developing countries? Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Peter Piot tells us that as well as a moral responsibility, there are vital scientific, economic and political interests at stake.
The heart of the MRC’s mission is to improve human health through world-class medical research. That mission doesn’t stop at Dover; diseases don’t respect national borders. The history of illness and infection is the history of human development, globalisation and migration. In profound ways – evolutionary, immunological and cultural – we are shaped by our health and illnesses.
At medical school in the early 1970s, my tutors advised me against specialising in infectious disease because, according to them, all the major problems had been solved. But barely a year into my first job in a microbiology lab in Antwerp, we received a battered flask from Zaire containing blood samples from the victims of a lethal outbreak of a mysterious haemorrhagic fever – and succeeded in isolating the Ebola virus. A few years later, the AIDS epidemic forced me to confront the extreme complexities of health and disease, and of the politics and bureaucracies of international cooperation. [...]
Continue reading: Meeting global challenges