The meeting of the panel on Monday 28 October 2019 was attended by ten participants, three of the research team members and two visiting researchers. Following Professor Kay-Tee Khaw’s recent interview about healthy aging on Radio 4’s Women’s hour, a BBC TV crew came to film the first section of the meeting and also interviewed two participants and one of the researchers. A short item was broadcast on BBC Look East in the following days.
Appropriate use of stored samples and data in public-private partnerships
Dr Claudia Langenberg, a group leader at the MRC Epidemiology Unit and Honorary Consultant Physician for Public Health England, gave an informative presentation about the appropriate use of samples and data in public-private partnerships. She explained how the EPIC samples were helping us to better understand the genetic basis of a wide variety of diseases.
The importance of preserving the 25,000 EPIC-Norfolk samples was explained and also the need to use these appropriately. EPIC-Norfolk samples are an extremely valuable resource to investigate a large range of blood biomarkers with many different diseases at the same time. Through dramatic improvements in various technologies it is now possible to instantaneously measure thousands of these macromolecules from a single blood sample. In turn this helps us to better understand the genetic basis of a wide variety of diseases.
It was agreed that four dates should be provisionally arranged for 2020 but meetings should only go ahead if it was thought to be useful and not for the sake of having a meeting. Topics suggested for future meetings included that PhD students using the EPIC-Norfolk data could come and present their work to the panel. It was also suggested that EPIC collaborators could be invited to present updates on their research. An additional area requiring the panel’s thoughts is the development of a newsletter to the EPIC-Norfolk participants or a possible public meeting.