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Discovering the science and cake!

Discovering the science and cake!

30 May 2014

Our 25th Anniversary Walk concluded today (Friday 30 May) with a visit to Public Health England (PHE) laboratories in Manchester where we were met with a lovely surprise – a magnificent cake with our microscope logo. It was donated by Cakes by Beth, a local business founded by a former research scientist.

A number of the lab’s staff had joined us on the 100km hike across the Pennines, including Professor Ray Borrow, pictured with the cake. He heads up PHE's Vaccine Evaluation Unit at the Lab and is Chair of our Scientific Advisory Panel.

The Discovery Day at the PHE laboratories started with a welcome by Meningitis Research Foundation Chief Executive, Christopher Head followed by presentation from charity Ambassador Nick Crockatt, who talked about how meningitis affected his family when his daughter, our junior Ambassador Sofia, contracted the disease.

The Director of the Manchester Medical Microbiology Department, Dr Andrew Turner welcomed the members, supporters and charity staff while the Director of the Meningococcal Reference Unit (MRU), Dr Ed Kaczmarski explained what everyone would be seeing.

The Deputy Head of PHE’s Vaccine Evaluation Unit, Dr Jamie Findlow, who with the charity he supports - Youth Adventure Tameside (YAT) – did so much to ensure a successful Anniversary Walk, talked about the new MenB vaccine and how they have predicted the number of strains it will protect against. Ray Borrow then presented on how scientists measure our immunity to meningococci.

And there was a rare opportunity to see the Meningococcal Genome Library, which Meningitis Research Foundation launched online in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE), Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and University Oxford in 2012. Dr Jay Lucidarme, Clinical Scientist at PHE introduced the library and its benefits to MRU while Dorothea Hill, PhD student, Oxford University demonstrated how it is used.

The rest of the day was taken up with tours, focus groups and an opportunity to go in the laboratories and identify bugs and concluded with goodbyes and thank yous from Linda Glennie, our Head of Research and Medical Information.

Lucy Maddison
Meningococcal disease
Meningococcal disease at 2

The first time she lost a digit was the worst experience of my life.

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