Since the Mesothelioma UK Research Centre (Sheffield) (MURC) was established in July 2020, the first of its kind research facility has made great progress. A few key achievements from its first year are summarised below.
- In addition to the full research team, honorary researchers joined the team (Drs Peter Allmark and Matt Johnson) and an additional 2.5 days of research associate time has been secured to support projects. A Centre administrator (Angela Milton) has also been appointed.
- The budget for year 1 of MURC is currently underspent. This underspend is partly due to COVID and research activity being conducted online/virtually. In addition, project funding for year 1 will be rolled over and will be spent in years 2 and 3 in response to the Research Prioritisation Exercise.
- A MURC website was set-up and launched ready for the official launch of the Centre in November 2020.
- The Centre is active in Twitter @meso_sheffield and social media with 280 followers.
- A PPI Panel has been established with 19 members. This operates as a bank of PPI advisors and collaborators.
- A MURC-S Advisory Group has been established with approximately 30 members meeting on an annual basis to discuss project related advice and support.
- It is a goal of MURC to provide a resource for researchers and the academic community across the UK. Support, information and advice has been provided to researchers who have contacted the centre and this could lead to collaborations in the future.
The team at the Centre is currently working on several different research projects including:
– palliative care in mesothelioma and role of CNS
– mesothelioma in education workers
– the psychological impacts of mesothelioma on family carers of UK military veterans with a diagnosis
– long term survival in pleural mesothelioma
– impact of Covid-19 on mesothelioma
The team has published seven papers in peer review journals and has presented at a number of national and international conferences including 12 abstracts at the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMIG) conference. International links have been established with other academics and clinicians with an interest in mesothelioma research which will hopefully lead to future research projects and external funding.