What Does the Medical Research Council Do?
Category : Health
You may have heard of the Medical Research Council but always wondered what exactly it does. The Medical Research Council, the MRC, is a government funded body that helps promote human health through medical research. Read on for a quick briefing on the history, achievements, activities and responsibilities of the MRC.
History of the MRC
The MRC was founded in 1913, then named the Medical Research Committee and Advisory Council. It was borne out of a recommendation from the Royal Commission on Tuberculosis but its activity was not intended to be limited to research on tuberculosis. Its initial role was to distribute funds raised after the National insurance Act of 1911. In 1920 it received a Royal Charter and was renamed the Medical Research Council.
How It Works Today
Today the MRC is a non-departmental public body which distributes funds from the government’s science and research budget to worthy research projects. It is run by a council made up of 14 members who come from a range of backgrounds including academics, business experts, those form government and NHS employees.
Scientists and research bodies apply for funding and the applications are considered by independent expert panels. Funds are awarded across the biomedical spectrum and may be used for all sorts of research, from the kind of clinical trials carried out by groups like http://www.gandlscientific.com/ to lab-based research. Funding for research may be used for equipment, premises or clinical staffing.
In the century that the Medical Research Council has been around it has distributed funds that have gone into some of the UK’s, and even the world’s, most important medical research, ultimately resulting in live-saving cures and preventative measures for human diseases. Some of this includes the dietary causes of rickets, the link between tobacco and lung cancer and the discovery of the structure of DNA. Its funding has also helped develop penicillin use, increase survival rates for babies with HIV and even discover the important finding that influenza was a virus back in 1918.
The MRC strives to be a transparent and fair public body that helps lead science to better human health for everybody, both at home and abroad. The mission of the council is also to improve public debate around health and create an economically advantageous nation of expert researchers.