• Question: Is there a specific person/charity that you are focused on to help?

    Asked by laura140804 to Craig, Marta, Natalie, Nicholas on 15 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Marta Varela

      Marta Varela answered on 15 Mar 2017:

      Hi again Laura.

      I basically try to help (indirectly) people with a heart disease called atrial fibrillation. My research is supported by the British Heart Foundation, so I guess you could say that a charity helps me, rather than that I help them!

    • Photo: Craig O'Hare

      Craig O'Hare answered on 15 Mar 2017:

      My research is based around trying to understand how our skin cells detect DNA virus infections.

      These viruses cause us to contract chicken pox and cold sores and our cells use the same strategies to detect HIV. However viruses are really good at switching off the immune system after it has detected them. If we knew how the viruses were detected we could design drugs and therapies to support the cell better as it copes with viral infection. We could also make new better and safer vaccines to train our immune systems so that no one gets infected these viruses.

      So in short my research could benefits everyone who has ever had chicken pox or suffered a cold sore.