It’s been a busy start to 2015 for Diamond – groundbreaking research findings from the facility have recently featured in a range of national publications, vastly increasing awareness of the UK’s synchrotron and the world-leading science it supports.
The year kicked off with a bang, when an interview with Diamond’s CEO, Andrew Harrison, featured in the Times Higher Education
supplement. Andrew was discussing the future of the facility and the importance of strengthening flourishing links with industry and universities. This was followed shortly after by an interview with Diamond’s new Chairman, Sir Adrian Smith, which was published in Cotswold Life
. In the interview, Sir Adrian discusses his rich background in academia, industry, and government, as well as touching on research funding and the wider picture of UK innovation.
This coverage was swiftly followed by a wave of interest in Diamond’s Life Sciences director, Professor Dave Stuart, speaking at the AAAS annual meeting in February. Professor Stuart spoke along with speakers Dr Jeffrey Ulmer from Novartis and Professor Peter Simmonds from the University of Edinburgh. At the symposium on the future of vaccine design, Professor Stuart spoke about a novel methodology for creating vaccines that could help scientists to finally eradicate Polio. Not only that, but the vaccine design could potentially be manipulated to treat other kinds of viruses in the same family.
The news was instantly picked up by a range of publications. The BBC
and The Independent
were first to report, noting the advantages the new vaccine could have over existing solutions and picking up on quotes from Prof Stuart on the vaccine’s similarity to a ‘super chemical’. Soon after, The Economist
looked at the development in the context of wider efforts to create new and more effective vaccines.
The Financial Times
noted what a boon this research could be to the ongoing efforts to eradicate Polio; unlike the current vaccine in use, the synthetic vaccine contains no viral genome, meaning that it cannot revert to a virulent form. This approach was already used a novel vaccine methodology for foot-and-mouth disease
in 2013. With this potential new synthetic vaccine for Polio, it has become possible for the first time to completely wipe out the disease.
Even after the wealth of coverage surrounding the Polio announcement, the pace didn’t die down. Diamond also recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science,
and work on super volcanoes has also been highlighted in the Huffington Post.
As Diamond’s capabilities extend ever further, more and more pioneering research is taking place at the UK’s synchrotron. With exciting science taking place, it’s no surprise that Diamond is hitting the headlines left, right and centre.