Going viral: MP tours world leading virus research centre

Local MP Jo Swinson visited the Medical Research Council - University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) in Bearsden for a tour of the facilities and to meet researchers.

The CVR was established in 2010 and is home to the world’s largest grouping of human and veterinary virologists, working together to understand viruses and viral diseases and thus improve health.

Jo was also given a tour of the Scottish Centre for Macromolecular Imaging (SCMI), a national centre for structural biology research. New imaging technology at the SCMI will be used to support vital research into diseases posing the greatest threat to human and animal health. It will provide greater capabilities in areas such as vaccine development, cancer research, and drug design and discovery.

Jo met with Professor John McLauchlan, Associate Director of the CVR, as well as Dr David Bhella, Director of the SCMI, and Dr Stephanie Rainey, Research Associate at the CVR.

Commenting, Jo said:

“It was a pleasure to meet the friendly and hardworking team at the CVR. I thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating tour of the centre, which included a demonstration of the new state-of-the-art Cryo-Electron Microscope.

“A particular highlight was the amazing insectary. This contained mosquitoes that had been bred with Wolbachia bacteria, which are then being used to prevent the spread of Dengue Fever in Malaysia.”

Prof John McLauchlan said:

“It was a pleasure to welcome Ms Swinson to the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and discuss the research we do here to understand viruses and the diseases they cause. We are committed to building links with local politicians to raise awareness of the Centre and the international nature of our research.”

Dr David Bhella said:

“Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy is revolutionising the field of structural biology. The Scottish Macromolecular Imaging Centre is a tremendous opportunity not only for the CVR, but also for Life Scientists throughout Scotland and I’m delighted we were able to give Ms Swinson an insight to this new technology that will help us undertake vital structural biology research.”

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