Busy times in the research team!

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The last few days have been quite a hectic for the research development team for many reasons.

Annual conference workshop
This year, our Annual Conference and AGM were held in Nottingham on 11 September. For this event, Kate and I had been set the challenge of organising a workshop on taking part in research. In our workshop, we explained how the contribution of people living with MND and healthy individuals is so important to moving MND research forward. We also gave an idea of the wide range of ways in which people can take part and how much difference there can be between one project and another in terms of the time a participant needs to commit, how much they need to travel, and of course what they actually have to do.

After showing a video clip of Colin Knight, who is living with MND talking about his reasons for taking part in research (we’re currently waiting for approval to put the video on here – so look out for it!), we then asked our audience to read out a few quotes that we’d received from MND researchers. Here’s one of them:

“Without the generous support of patients with MND who donate DNA and tissue to our research department, much of the work that I do would literally be impossible. I am constantly amazed that at a very difficult time in their lives, people have such commitment to provide time and energy to participate in clinical trials and studies, and this is very inspiring to those working in this field” Dr Alice Brockington, clinical researcher.

Taking part in research can be inspirational for both people living with MND and researchers alike. Seeing the determination of both groups to push research forwards really demonstrates that we’re all on the same path and are all looking to help in some way to find the answers to MND and hopefully, one day find a cure.

We’re optimistic that everybody went home with a clearer idea of how they might be able to participate in MND research!

Preparing for the Biomedical Research Advisory Panel (BRAP) meeting
We’ve also been busy preparing the paperwork ready for the next BRAP meeting, who will meet in exactly a month’s time to discuss five applications that have been submitted to us for funding through this grant round. If any of these are successful, we’ll let you know once the start details and costs etc have been approved by our Board of Trustees.

Welcome Dr Sadie Vile!
Last week, we also welcomed our newest addition to the research development team – Dr Sadie Vile, our research grants manager. As she becomes more settled into the role, we’ll ask her to introduce herself on the blog!

Dr Brian Dickie to be drawn by Patrick – the incurable optimist!
Last week we also heard that Brian had won the online vote on Patrick’s Facebook page to be painted next in his quest to paint 100 optimists. Needless to say, Brian was extremely delighted at this news and we all can’t wait to see the painting develop!