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The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (MRC WIMM) invited Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds to learn more about cutting edge research taking place in her constituency and learn more from researchers about the challenges they face. The visit took place on 30 August.

© Bob Mahoney

During the visit, organised by the Medical Research Council, Ms Dodds learnt more about government-funded research taking place at the MRC WIMM to better understand and treat human disease. Researchers from the Institute showcased expertise in immunology and blood cancer, highlighting the need for collaborative working with patients to drive research progress.

After discussion with scientists from a range of career stages about what messages she should be taking to parliament about the UK research climate, Anneliese had the opportunity to take a virtual tour around the human genome. Researchers at the MRC WIMM are using virtual reality to better understand how DNA is packaged inside our cells and the consequences of miss-folding on human health.

Speaking about the visit, Anneliese Dodds said:

‘It was wonderful to see the innovative ways in which researchers right here in Oxford are tackling some of our biggest medical challenges. Some of the work being undertaken at the MRC WIMM is mindblowing in terms of how it could improve outcomes not just for patients but for society as a whole. I am committed to work closely with scientists and researchers in Oxford to make the case for great British science like that being undertaken at the MRC WIMM. In particular, Brexit is a cause for concern for both established researchers and those just starting their careers, both from a funding and immigration viewpoint. It is important that we seek clarity as soon as possible, so as not to hinder scientific progress.’

Professor Doug Higgs, Director of the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, said:

‘It was a pleasure to welcome Anneliese Dodds to our Institute, to showcase our research, and discuss some of the key concerns facing the scientific community.  I hope that the visit helped Ms Dodds put into context the arguments for funding ‘blue-skies’ and applied research. Both approaches are equally important to continue advancing biomedical research.”

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