Posts Tagged ‘Medical Research Council’

The MRC Leads UK Research Efforts

Friday, June 11th, 2010

The World Cup, soccer’s equivalent of the Olympics, opened play on Friday in South Africa. The U.S. team’s first match comes Saturday against one of the premier names in international soccer: England.

In honor of the World Cup kickoff, we thought we’d turn the spotlight across the pond to the U.K.’s Medical Research Council. The MRC traces its roots to the National Insurance Act of 1911; a provision of that act took one penny per year from every working person to treat and study tuberculosis.

From there, the MRC grew into a research institute before becoming a corporation with its own Royal Charter. In 1918, the MRC declared that its decisions on the directions of its research would be independent of the U.K. government.

Per the MRC’s Royal Charter, the organization’s mission is to “encourage and support research to improve human health; produce skilled researchers; advance and disseminate knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the UK; [and] promote dialogue with the public about medical research.”

Sir John Chisholm, the chair, and Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the chief executive, currently lead the MRC. Both men have extensive ties to science and research.

In 2008-09, the MRC spent 704 million pounds on research; 225 million pounds of that supported more than 400 grants to researchers and scientists. In 1999, MRC formed an affiliated company, MRC Technology, that helps bridge the gap between discovery and delivery to patients.

UK Report Finds Huge Social Return on Research Investment

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

It can be tricky to compare financial and health systems, especially now when nothing is certain but death and bailouts. But looking to Great Britain, we have new evidence of the value of spending public (and private) dollars on medical research.

A just-released report commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and the Academy of Medical Sciences (PDF) finds a health and national economic benefit equivalent to a 39% annual return in perpetuity for each pound spent on cardiovascular research and 37% for mental health research.

The report also found a 17-year lag between discovery of a therapy and its use in patient care, the shortening of which could increase society’s rate of return. And who in this holiday season of putting on pounds could be against making the pence fit better?