ITV News Health and Science Editor, and University of Liverpool alumnus, Lawrence McGinty will deliver a talk as part of a major event marking a century of the Medical Research Council (MRC).
Lawrence, who graduated with a BSc in Zoology in 1969, will talk of the impact medical research makes across the globe and his own admiration for an organisation that, he says, has a “long history of backing innovation”.
He said: “Covering health and medical news is endlessly interesting. There is so much good science, and so much good medical science, out there from people who are really committed to doing the work. You can’t fail to be excited by people who give so much to their research.”
Lawrence will be the keynote speaker at the Improving the Health of the Nation event, on 20 June, in the Victoria Gallery and Museum’s Leggate Theatre.
His talk follows a series of demonstrations and short lectures from the University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ researchers, focusing on pregnancy and maternal health, infectious diseases, drug safety and how the human body ages.
Lawrence, who received an honorary degree from the University in 2012, said: “These subjects are obviously important because sooner or later, everyone will need some kind of medicine, so everyone is interested. Everyone has a body that goes wrong, so we know it’s a pull for viewers. People want health stories. Organisations like the MRC, with its long history of backing innovation and its long history of supporting research, is a really good source for any journalist.”
The event will also feature a photo gallery of the University’s pioneering health research in India and Nepal, as well as a short film on the journey of drug development, from laboratory bench to the bedside of the patient.
Home to the MRC’s Centre for Drug Safety Science, the University is at the forefront of increased patient involvement in the development of treatments. And Lawrence considers this a practice that is only going to become more frequent.
He said: “The drugs of the future will be personalised drugs. This has already started to a limited extent but I believe personalised medicine will be the norm in the next 10 or 20 years. In order to achieve this, there must be effective collaboration with the patient because the drug will be tailored for them.”
And in a career that has taken him to warzones and some of the most hostile places in the world, Lawrence says health and medical journalism still has the power to motivate.
He added: “Sometimes I think it’s not just me having a good time – I might actually have done a bit of good.”
Improving the Health of the Nation takes place at the Victoria Gallery and Museum’s Leggate Theatre on 20 June, from 5pm to 7pm. The event is free . To register for your free ticket, visit www.liverpool.ac.uk/events/mrc or call 0151 794 2650