Stories about the people, science and research of the Medical Research Council.
13 Jan 2020
Applications are now open to find 25 MRC researchers and technical experts for the next ‘I’m a Scientist Medical Research Zone’ in March 2020. Shonna Johnston, Flow Cytometry Facility Manager at the University of Edinburgh Queen’s Medical Research Institute, shares why more technicians should give it a go.
Image credit: Shonna Johnston
Last year, I took part in the I’m a Scientist MRC Festival Zone – an online competition giving school students the chance to connect with researchers and technical experts. The students challenged competitors in fast-paced live chats, asking anything they wanted, then voted for their favourite person to win a prize of £500 towards a public engagement activity of our choice. [...]
Continue reading: Connecting students with science
4 Apr 2019
A technology specialist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Mark Skehel helps fellow scientists use powerful techniques to study proteins, alongside his own biomedical research. He describes his career spanning industry and academia, and how he’s benefited from embracing change.
Mark in his lab at the MRC LMB, holding a sample vial in front of a mass spectrometer – an instrument used to identify and measure molecules based on their mass-to-charge ratio. [...]
Career in brief
- Laboratory technician at Smith, Kline & French
- Degree in chemistry with biochemistry at King’s College London
- Higher scientific officer at the MRC LMB and PhD in chemistry
- Investigator scientist at SmithKline Beecham and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
- Head of Protein Analysis and Proteomics at Cancer Research UK
- Head of Biological Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics at the MRC LMB
Continue reading: Working life: technology specialist Mark Skehel
30 Jan 2019
Daniel Freeman, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, is pioneering virtual reality (VR) as a treatment for people with severe mental health problems. He tells us about his working life, the inspiration behind his ideas and the large potential for VR beyond gaming.
Career in brief:
- BA Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge
- PhD in psychology and a DClinPsy in clinical psychology at King’s College London
- Wellcome Trust Fellow at King’s College London
- MRC Senior Clinical Fellow at the University of Oxford
- NIHR Research Professor at the University of Oxford
Continue reading: Working life: Professor Daniel Freeman
24 Jan 2019
Computational scientist Stephen Taylor and his team at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (MRC WIMM) are helping scientists and surgeons explore biological structures up closer than ever before. He takes us on a tour of his virtual reality vision.
Credit: Martin Phelps
If you’re an engineer looking to fix a problem in the network of tunnels in the London Underground, you wouldn’t find the standard 2D London Tube map much use. [...]
Continue reading: Virtual reality in research
24 Jan 2018
Dr Andy Skinner and Chris Stone believe that new technology has the potential to transform health data collection in the longitudinal community – and that there are already promising signs of this among early adopters.
In the last decade or so advances in bioinformatics have made it easier for health researchers to study people’s genetic make-up (genotype) in detail. For example, it is now possible – and has become almost routine – for health researchers to identify genes associated with specific diseases using genome-wide association studies. [...]
Continue reading: Greater use of new technology to collect data can revolutionise longitudinal studies
14 Aug 2017
University of Manchester Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer Dr Sandra Bucci tells us about a Smartphone app her team are developing for the self-management of psychosis, and how it could particularly help younger ‘digital natives’.
Image credit: University of Manchester
Severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia affect 24 million people worldwide, with an estimated annual cost to society of nearly £12bn in England alone. People with psychosis tend to misinterpret or confuse what is going on around them. For example, they may experience hallucinations (in which they see or hear things that are not real), delusions (unusual beliefs not usually held by others) or confused thinking.
Connecting the disconnected
Feelings of isolation are common for people experiencing psychosis. Psychotic experiences usually begin to appear in adolescence and young adulthood – a critical time in life when we find our identity, complete our education and start out on our careers. Feeling disconnected from others during that time can have really serious knock-on effects, not only on the trajectory of the rest of your life but for your family, and for society more broadly. [...]
Continue reading: Connecting with help