Centre for Inflammation Research

Global Challenges Research Fund strengthens Proteus collaboration with India

July 2018: EPSRC Proteus IRC hosted Dr Prajna and Dr Lalitha from Aravind Eye Care System (Madurai, India) last week.

Postdoctoral researcher Dr Beth Mills tells us about the visit: 

Two visiting doctors from Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, India, stand outside QMRI with Prof Kev Dhaliwal and Dr Beth Mills
L to R: Prof Kev Dhaliwal (CIR/Proteus), Dr Beth Mills (CIR/Proteus), Dr Prajna (Aravind), Dr Lalitha (Aravind), Dr Gareth Williams (CIR/Proteus), Dr Elvira Bohl (CIR/Proteus), Sheelagh Duncan (CIR/Proteus)

"Aravind is the largest and most productive Eye Care Centre in the world, and we are delighted to be working so closely with them as EPSRC Proteus IRC begins to develop point-of-care diagnostics for microbial keratitis. More about this collaboration can be read in a blog post that I wrote as part of my Global Health Policy MSc coursework earlier this year:

Blog post: Bridging the ‘valley of death’ and developing point-of-care diagnostics for corneal infection (EPSRC Proteus IRC external website)

I really want to take the time to thank the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and the Global Challenges Research Fund, for providing us with the funds to bring Dr Lalitha and Dr Prajna to Edinburgh, to meet the EPSRC Proteus IRC and wider team at the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research. Not only were we able to discuss in detail our short and long term collaborative plans (and to identify many more opportunities), but also used the opportunity to demonstrate Proteus technologies, to learn about one another’s research and working cultures, and most importantly, to build trust and friendships with one another.

Each of these things go far beyond the information that can be exchanged through a screen (which is how we have previously communicated). The foundations of this collaboration have been strengthened, and the benefit of such a meeting as we had this week will be felt for years to come – enhancing not only our innovative research together, but also the patient experience as we deploy our technologies to where in the world they are most needed.

Dr Prajna presents in a lecture theate
Dr Prajna discussed the work of Aravind Eye Care System with researchers at CIR

A special mention must also be given in acknowledgement of Dr Prajna’s seminar to the MRC CIR about the Aravind Eye Care System. It was without a doubt one of the most inspiring, humbling, interesting and impactful talks I have ever attended. I know that I was not alone in thinking this, and I believe that his sentiment of tangible innovation to improve patient experiences will have struck a chord reaching far beyond those directly involved in this collaboration at this time. I cannot wait to get started on our upcoming EPSRC-funded work together." 



University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

EPSRC IRC Proteus (external website)

Global Challenges Research Fund

Aravind Eye Care System (external website)

Global Health Policy MSc at the University of Edinburgh

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (external website)