Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sometimes I wish I'd behaved myself and become a neuroscientist...

One of my little tasks for the Guillain-Barre syndrome support group is to keep an eye on any new GBS-related research via Trinity's pubcrawler service, which emails me a link to my search results on Sundays.

If I find anything which seems particularly relevant to patient support I send it on to the GBS chairman, Jamie Babington Smyth, and if he thinks I'm right he sends it on to the rest of the charity's Exec. In the meantime I womble about on the net piecing bits of the puzzle together. Most of it is alphabet soup.

But I do notice that large centres of excellence and institutions which allow researchers to be more multidiscipinary seem to be having most success in neuroimmunology. The National Hospital in London (which is the MRC centre for neuromuscular conditions), Glasgow University, the University of Florida, the research group around Pieter van Doorn in the Netherlands, the psychoneuroimmunology group at the University of Trier in Germany...

I wonder why Oxford, which invented the idea of producing neuroscientists with a broad based education back in the 1930s, doesn't seem to figure that much, yet in areas like evolutionary psychology and biology, and social anthropology, it has.

I'd have been a crappy neuroscientist - no patience and too much selective pattern matching. I prefer my patchwork quilt of a career even if it's "all a bit scattered" in conventional terms.

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