The reception was held to recognise the vital contributions from life sciences in the response to the pandemic across academia and industry. There was a particular focus on the role that vaccines played but diagnostics was not forgotten!
The Chair of the APPG, Chris Green MP, welcomed all of the guests with speeches following from Dame Sarah Gilbert and Professor Sir Andrew Pollard.
The evening continued with everyone mingling and catching up – Doris-Ann was delighted to meet up with Lindsey Hughes (NHS E&I Innovation team) and Prof Sonia Gandhi (UCL) who were with her as part of the core team of the Open Innovation Team which crowd-sourced ideas on testing challenges during the first six months of the pandemic in 2020. Doris-Ann also met Steve Lees from Astra Zeneca who set up the Lighthouse lab in Cambridge and who wants to link BIVDA in closely with their diagnostic group headed by Ruth March.
Doris-Ann was delighted to have a conversation with Earl Howe, a long term supporter of BIVDA and now deputy leader of the House of Lords. Earl Howe is providing support to less experienced peers as they grapple with legislative Bills and is currently immersed in the Health & Social Care Bill with Lord Kamal (who you will remember replaced Lord Bethell last autumn as a health minister). Earl Howe said that diagnostics are very high on the agenda in the political/ministerial circles within Westminster and we will be engaging with him further!
The evening closed with speeches from Lord Sharkey (President of the Association of Medical Research Charities) and Dame Anne Johnson (President of the AMS).