“The Population Laboratory” Crick seminar

Held on 6 September at the Wellcome Trust, The Crick Institute Seminar “The Population Laboratory” brought together representatives from across the Crick's partner organisations to explore the question “how can population health scientists, clinicians and basic life scientists support and learn from each other to better address unmet medical need?”

Organised by UCL’s Population Health Domain in conjunction with the Francis Crick Institute, the event was introduced by Harpal Kumar (Cancer Research UK) and Nick Wood (UCL), and included joint presentations from Paul Kellam (Sanger Institute), Anne Johnson (UCL) and John McCauley (NIMR) on the subject of “Influenza: from pandemic to pathogenesis” and Paul Elliott (Imperial), Carol Dezateux (UCL) and Peter Parker (King's/Cancer Research UK) on “the resources available” to scientists across the partnership and beyond.  The event gave details of existing collaborative partnerships and highlighted the significant future opportunities in a number of disease areas, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s.

The presentations were followed by a discussion about the Crick’s role in facilitating interdisciplinary engagement. Key points raised included the challenge of making resources (such as biobanks, cohort data, imaging technologies, bioinformatics expertise etc.) more visible across the Crick partner communities, and the need to promote creative engagement mechanisms.

Sir Keith Peters, Clinical Consultant to the Crick, closed the meeting by highlighting the importance of engaging industry to encourage alignment of basic science with population health problems. Sir Keith reiterated the importance of encouraging population health scientists, clinicians and basic scientists to work together, and emphasised the Crick’s role in facilitating communication and mutual understanding across the partner organisations.

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