22 episodes

MRC talks is a podcast from the Medical Research Council, bringing you stories from inspiring scientists working to improve lives through medical research. Tune in to our seven-part 2019 career inspirations series to find out how our scientists got to where they are and what makes them tick. Part of UK Research and Innovation, we've been funding research dedicated to improving human health since 1913. More at https://mrc.ukri.org.

MRC talks The MRC

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

MRC talks is a podcast from the Medical Research Council, bringing you stories from inspiring scientists working to improve lives through medical research. Tune in to our seven-part 2019 career inspirations series to find out how our scientists got to where they are and what makes them tick. Part of UK Research and Innovation, we've been funding research dedicated to improving human health since 1913. More at https://mrc.ukri.org.

    Career inspirations: Chris Ponting, computational biologist

    Career inspirations: Chris Ponting, computational biologist

    Professor Chris Ponting, computational biologist, is interviewed by Isabel Harding.

    Chris gave up biology at the age of 16 to focus on physics. But after finishing his Masters, he changed his mind and decided to follow his gut instinct – going back into biology via a degree in biophysics. He then specialised in bioinformatics and genomics.

    Chris and his team are looking at ways to improve human health, and find new ways to treat disease, by looking at how single letter changes in our DNA affect our disease risk.

    At the intersection between population scale and molecular data, Chris leads a fellow’s programme, training people with PhDs in physics, maths, statistics and engineering, to work on biological puzzles.

    In this episode, he explains how by bringing people together with different skills and perspectives, he hopes to change biology and medicine for the better – while also enriching people’s careers.

    View the transcript: https://mrc.io/2RWanFO

    Producer: Isabel Harding
    Presenter: Debs Barber
    Editor: Hasina Sacranie

    Music credits: "Clean Soul" and "Brittle Rille" Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

    • 21 min
    Career inspirations: Caroline Relton, population health scientist

    Career inspirations: Caroline Relton, population health scientist

    Caroline Relton, population health scientist, is interviewed by Debs Barber.

    Today she’s a highly-respected scientist and research group leader, but Caroline first set off down another career path. Caroline’s love of science led her to study for a degree in applied biology and nutritional science, followed by the pursuit of a different passion – teaching.

    Ultimately, after completing her PGCE and teaching in a secondary school for five years, she decided that academia was her true calling and returned to university to do a PhD in molecular genetics.

    Caroline and her research group use the tools and methods of population-based research for understanding the role of epigenetics – changes to the way genes are read by cells – in health and disease.
    In this episode, she shares how educating teenagers equipped her with valuable skills as a scientist, her tips on forging a successful career and why she believes in a whole team approach to science.

    View the transcript: https://mrc.io/2QLP2xZ

    Presenter and Editor: Hasina Sacranie
    Producer: Debs Barber
    Music credits: "Clean Soul" and "Brittle Rille" Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

    • 14 min
    Career inspirations: Toby Jenkins, biophysical chemist

    Career inspirations: Toby Jenkins, biophysical chemist

    Toby Jenkins, biophysical chemist, is interviewed by Petra Kiviniemi.

    Professor Toby Jenkins is fascinated by bacterial and fungal infection of humans, particularly wounds and bladders. When beginning his research, he’d assumed that all clinicians and microbiologists understood what was happening in an infected wound. But the more he drilled into the subject, the more he realised how little we understand about infection.

    Using his love of building things and science, he’s creating materials and medical devices that detect infection. He’s also designing systems that can control the release of drugs to combat disease.

    His interdisciplinary team consists of material scientists, engineers, chemists and microbiologists. They work closely with clinicians, including the burns team at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Together, they’ve been developing an advanced wound dressing that glows under UV light if the wound is infected.

    Here Toby tells us about the importance of teaching, failure, and his bacterial ‘death ray’ side project.

    View the transcript: https://mrc.io/2H8605l

    Presenter: Isabel Harding
    Producers and Editors: Petra Kiviniemi & Hasina Sacranie
    Music credits: "Clean Soul" and "Brittle Rille" Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

    • 17 min
    Career inspirations: Mark Skehel, technology specialist

    Career inspirations: Mark Skehel, technology specialist

    Mark Skehel, technology specialist, is interviewed by Isabel Harding.

    A born scientist – thanks to his father’s influence – Mark has a job that allows him to play with big bits of equipment, as well as do his own biomedical research.

    His high-tech instruments help fellow scientists identify proteins from complex biological mixtures. ‘Mass spectrometry’ – or ‘mass spec’ for short – is a sensitive technique used to detect, identify and measure molecules based on their mass-to-charge ratio. Studying our biology at a molecular level helps scientists understand how our bodies work when healthy, what goes wrong in disease, and how we might fix disease pathways.

    His attitude of “Don’t be afraid of change – embrace it!” has served him well. By moving between industry and academia, he’s learnt transferable skills allowing him to help solve difficult biological problems. His experience proves that you can move around and change paths at any point in your career.

    Find out more about Mark’s work on our blog: mrc.ukri.org/blog
    View the transcript: mrc.io/2WJHkX6

    Presenter and Editor: Hasina Sacranie
    Producer: Isabel Harding
    Music credits: "Clean Soul" and "Brittle Rille" Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

    • 24 min
    Career inspirations: Fiona Watt, stem cell scientist

    Career inspirations: Fiona Watt, stem cell scientist

    Fiona Watt, stem cell scientist, is interviewed by Isabel Harding.

    Fiona’s love of animals led her to study zoology at the University of Cambridge, where she discovered the topic she’s dedicated her career to studying: cell biology.

    Director of the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at King's College London, Fiona is fascinated by stem cells – cells that give rise to all cell types in our bodies. She’s made important discoveries about their behaviour, including how the normal connections between skin cells go awry in cancer and skin disease. Inspired by combining her love of science with practical benefit, she wants to see cell therapies developed to help treat patients - including those affected by disfiguring scars that restrict movement.

    In her role as Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, Fiona leads on talent and skills. She’s committed to tackling gender issues in science and helping junior scientists progress in their careers.

    Find out more about Fiona’s work on our blog: mrc.ukri.org/blog
    View the transcript: mrc.io/2NKvHMd

    Presenter and Editor: Hasina Sacranie
    Producer: Isabel Harding
    Music credits: "Clean Soul" and "Brittle Rille" Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

    • 24 min
    Career inspirations: Nita Forouhi, nutrition scientist

    Career inspirations: Nita Forouhi, nutrition scientist

    Nita Forouhi, nutrition scientist, is interviewed by Isabel Harding.

    Nita trained as a doctor, but while treating patients with diabetes she realised this wasn’t enough. She wanted to find out what causes diabetes and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
    She looks at something that matters to us all but is notoriously hard to study: the food we eat and how it affects our health. Inspired by studying the diets and biology of large populations, she’s shown how sugary drinks and specific types of dietary fat can increase our risk of disease. An advocate for good, solid evidence – and a passionate champion for equality, diversity and inclusion in science – she hopes that one day she’ll be able to give people personalised nutrition advice.

    Find out more about Nita’s work: mrc.ukri.org/blog
    View the transcript: mrc.io/2C5aHve

    Producer and presenter: Isabel Harding
    Producer and editor: Hasina Sacranie

    Music credits: "Clean Soul" and "Brittle Rille" Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

kllin ,

Covers a wide range of interesting medical research

A well-presented podcast covering really interesting medical topics from mental health to vaccines. More please!

wwtucker ,

Great podcast

Love this podcast. Makes medical research understandable to anyone.

robert'o1234 ,

Outstanding accessible science

Great podcast, covering summaries of interesting science in a manner accessible to all.

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