A new initiative at the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre is to give people an insight in to what different members of our team do on a day-to-day basis. It’s the centre’s hope that with this people can feel that bit closer to the research process and understand how so many different people fit in to make a big, successful research programme! Our first blogger is Dr Jon Hazeldine – Post Doctoral Research Scientist.
7 AM: I start my day by working on the experiment I set up the day before. This may have been something like an 18 hour cell culture that has grown over night. During this, where I can, I check my emails to see what’s been happening during the night.
9 AM: After this, I design and set up my experiment that I plan to spend the rest of the day doing. I need to think about the small part of my research question I’m trying to answer today and work out what methods and techniques I think would work the best.
10 AM: Once I know how I’m going to approach my problem, I go to the main hospital and bleed patients to get blood samples for our trials. I usually do this until I go for lunch.
12 PM: In our University of Birmingham Department (The Institute of Inflammation and Ageing), we have lunch time seminars with one internal and one external speaker. This is really good because we get to hear first-hand about the exciting research happening within the Department and then wider afield. I find this really useful; I really appreciate regular seminars. In basic science inspiration can strike at any time and you might see similarities in completely unrelated things and come up with a great idea.
1 PM: After the seminars we have a departmental meeting which is split in to two parts. First, we discuss the most recent literature and talk about how any significant findings might affect the trajectory of our own research. After this, someone from the Department presents their own research to the group. If someone wants some ideas on how they might tackle a difficult research problem then it’s a really good opportunity for everyone to pitch in and offer up their own advice and experience.
2 PM: After my afternoon activities I go back to the lab and continue the experiment I began to set up and plan earlier in the day. I usually continue this until I leave for the evening.
3 PM: At this time I often give tutorials to students in the Medical School on immunology. These are usually Q&A sessions where students can ask any tricky questions they have from their course.
4 PM – 7 PM: After I’ve finished teaching for the day, I continue with my experiments. I am still usually on call after 7 PM and weekends as some of our trials are really time-sensitive (like Golden Hour) and so the samples must be run as quickly as possible. This can be challenging but I find what I do really interesting and believe in the work of the NIHR SRMRC. I feel like I’m helping people, which makes it all worthwhile.
The NIHR SRMRC’s aim is to transfer new emergency medicine practices developed in the military frontline to the NHS to improve outcomes for all patients. In addition, the SRMRC takes findings from the science lab to the patient’s bedside to improve emergency medicine practice in the military and civilian setting. Since the Centre’s start in 2011, civilian and military scientists have worked alongside civilian and military clinicians in a variety of specialist areas to improve the care and treatment of trauma patients.
The Centre is jointly funded by the NIHR – the nation’s largest funder of health and care research – and the Ministry of Defence, the British government department in charge of putting into place the Government’s defence policy and the headquarters of the British Armed Forces. Additional ‘matched’ funding is also received from BHP founder members the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham.