Published: 05 October 2018

From cancer lab to backbench

The University is taking part in a unique initiative that pairs scientists with UK parliamentarians to shadow each other to learn about their respective work.

Katriina Whitaker and Anne Milton
Dr Katriina Whitaker, left, and MP Anne Milton

Dr Katriina Whitaker, a cancer care specialist at Surrey, has been matched with Guildford MP Anne Milton in the Royal Society Pairing Scheme. It will give both invaluable insight into how research findings can help inform policy-making, and enhance understanding of how they can support each other’s work.

Mrs Milton, a former nurse and member of the health select committee, visited the School of Health Sciences where she learned more about innovative new health projects at the University, such as ‘Getting Down to Coping- a self-guided web-based programme of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ designed to help those with cancer.

Dr Katriina Whitaker, Reader in Cancer Care, will spend a week with Mrs Milton in November. She said: “For scientific research to change people’s lives, scientists need to ensure that their work gets the attention of key parliamentarians and policy-makers. Through this programme, the science community will learn how to do this and gain valuable insight into the workings of Parliament.

“I am delighted that Anne was able to visit and learn more about the work undertaken here at the University - especially the groundbreaking research we are doing around cancer care.”

The Rt Hon Anne Milton said: “This brilliant scheme means policy-makers, politicians and scientists develop a better understanding of each other’s work. Building understanding is critical to make sure good and innovative ideas gets through in Government.

“It was fascinating to visit the Cancer Care team to learn more about the fantastic projects they are working on to improve cancer care.  I will do all I can to help make sure these ideas can make an impact with policy makers. The University is leading the way with the use of new technologies.”

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