Published: 18 May 2018

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research is holding a drop-in reception in Parliament on 5 June 2018 to highlight the importance of international mobility to medical research and how Brexit presents a huge opportunity to enhance the UK’s world-leading status.

While Brexit presents challenges, the forthcoming immigration bill provides an unprecedented opportunity to create a system that allows the UK to further strengthen its position as a science superpower by attracting global scientific talent – from PhD students and technicians to leaders in their field – from across the world.

The event will provide an opportunity for parliamentarians to have honest conversations with researchers on the frontline – funded by the Medical Research Council, Arthritis Research UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Wellcome – about the issues they face and hear why the unique requirements of medical research make it so reliant on people moving easily between places.

In addition, speeches from leading figures in the sector will offer unique insights into the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Professor Anne Barton, keynote speaker and Professor of Rheumatology, at the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics, commented:

“Medical research today is intrinsically collaborative. My research collaborations extend to Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Greece and the US, as well as across the UK, and have led to major advances in understanding why diseases develop in certain individuals.

“Discoveries are not made in isolation, but through the ability of people to quickly and easily travel across borders to work together.

“In order to speed up the discovery of life-saving treatments there must be mobility and the freedom to collaborate. The future health of patients everywhere depends on it."

Chris Green MP, Chair of the APPG on Medical Research, said:

“The UK is a world leader in medical research. We are home to four of the world’s top ten universities, have more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the USA, and are responsible for 15.2% of the world’s most highly cited research publications.

“Half of the UK’s research output in 2015 resulted from international collaboration. Mobility is absolutely vital to this position, enabling the rapid exchange of ideas and expertise that keeps the UK at the cutting edge of science and technology.

“The UK has an unprecedented opportunity to get the forthcoming immigration system right for medical research. Drop by to hear speeches from leading figures and discuss the key issues with those who lead, undertake and support research and innovation.”

Researchers funded by the Medical Research Council, Arthritis Research UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Wellcome, will be present. If you would like more information on this event, please email [email protected].