Blog of the blog

17th October – Too much

I have previous stated that it is getting very difficult to keep up with all of the Parkinson’s-related research going on at present, but today a colleague provided an interesting twist on this topic.

They went for a job interview for university research faculty position (basically, being given permission to set up shop and start a research lab), and they were told that they didn’t get the job “because there’s too much Parkinson’s research going on at present”

?!??

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13th October – Sunday

On Sunday 15th October Parkinson’s UK will be holding their Research Support Network Conference. The event is sold out, but starting at 10:00 AM you can watch the various presentations as they are live streamed across the internet.

It should make for very interesting viewing.


12th October – Medium

I recently wrote a post for Parkinson’s UK‘s medium website. It highlights the Parkinson’s UK/BIRAX2 Breath Analysis study that I am co-ordinating at work. To read the post – Click here.


5th October – Oxford

Recently the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (which is funded by Parkinson’s UK) had an open day in which they discuss a lot of the research that they are doing. They have kindly filmed most of the presentations that were made on the day and provided them online. It makes for very interesting viewing.

To view all of the videos of the Oxford Parkinson’s disease Open day – Click here.


30th September – Frustration

Long time readers will know that one of my pet peeves is the lack of OPEN ACCESS research reports. I can understand that back in the day large publishing houses (with the resources required for printing thousands of copies of scientific journals) were a necessary evil. In the modern era, however, they sometimes strike me as just an evil.

I work at one of the best universities in the world (not bragging, just providing context), and I am regularly frustrated by the lack of access we have to published research. I am continuously confronted by journal websites that have ‘pay-to-view’ walls blocking access. My university simply cannot justify the expense demanded by some of these companies, and as a result researchers (who need access to the research) are blocked.

This system does my head in. Tax-payer and charity money funds the vast majority of the research being conducted, so why doesn’t the tax payer have access to it? And why is an archaic industry being allowed to maintain a broken business model? Seriously.

Sorry for the rant. I’m trying to write a post at the moment and I can’t access the research reports I need to finish the post. Very frustrating.


27th September – Grand Challenge

The Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease and Rallying to the Challenge conference kicks off today at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids (Michigan). For those of us who can not make it to the event, there will be a Facebook Live chat tomorrow at 12:30 EST which will cover the latest research, drug repurposing and recent clinical trial findings. The discussion panel will include Prof Patrik Brundin (Van Andel Institute), Prof Tom Foltynie (University College London – lead investigator of the Exenatide clinical study), Dr. Richard Wyse (Director of research at the Cure Parkinson’s Trust) and Jillian Carson (PD patient advocate, physiotherapist and co-founder of ParkinGo). It should be a very interesting discussion – click here to find out more (requires a Facebook account).

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24th September – Questions and Answers

For those of you who are not aware of PD365, you really should watch this Youtube channel run by Emma Lawton (if only for her father’s occasional hilarious cameos!). It is a brave and informative view of life with Young-onset Parkinson’s disease. And Emma has decided to add an interesting new feature:


18th September – Also beautiful


15th September – Beautiful


12th September – Tom Isaacs

An amazing night tonight was had by the Parkinson’s community in London. Folks came from as far away as New Zealand to pay tribute to an amazing man: Tom Isaacs.

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The event was held by the Cure Parkinson’s Trust (of which Tom was a co-founder) at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall. It was a fantastic event – a worthy tribute to an amazing man.

And on a personal note, it was wonderful to be able to meet and chat with so many people there.


9th September – Anniversary

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Two years ago today, the SoPD website kicked off with a post looking at new research on the gut in Parkinson’s disease (Click here to read that post). What an amazing period of time has passed since then.


6th September – BREXIT

I don’t usually like to get political or to give opinions on this site, but this issue hits pretty close to home. Yesterday a document was leaked from no. 10 Downing street apparently. It could just be political theatre or indicative of the divided forces in power at the moment, but the implications are massive – not just for UK research, but also yours truly.

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Immigration is a major issue for UK research – the funding of research is secondary. Just under 20% of researchers in the UK come from the EU. In Cambridge, my guess is that this number is a lot higher. The institute I work in is definitely over 30%, and one lab is 80%. But if an expensive and prolonged visa process is installed with limitations attached, is this intellectual talent going to shrink? Why should an Austrian researcher come to the UK if they can do the same research in Germany, Sweden or Italy without the bureaucratic hassle?

On a more personal note, I am only allowed to stay in the UK on my EU wife’s passport (EEA family member certificate). Having paid taxes for over 10 years, we are seriously wondering what to do. ‘Just get a UK passport’ people say. But those individuals don’t realise that EVERYONE in the UK will require new passports (and drivers licence!), and I would rather wait till we have some clarity before going through the expensive process.


For older blog of the blog posts, please click here!

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