Research Horizons is the University of Cambridge’s research magazine.

Foreword for Issue 29 from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research:

I am delighted to welcome you to this issue of Research Horizons, the first in my new role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) for Research. I am really thrilled to take this position, and especially look forward to working as part of the new PVC team. I want to express particular thanks to my predecessor, Lynn Gladden, for leaving me a great set-up to run, and also for being incredibly supportive over the last few months as I grappled to understand the role.

It’s always an exciting time to be working in Cambridge, but now feels particularly so with all the developments in research infrastructure – on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, in the City centre and in West Cambridge. The recent announcement of a £75 million investment by the government in our Cavendish Laboratory was especially pleasing.
One research area that has been growing and diversifying is neuroscience – the Spotlight focus of this issue. We have over 700 researchers in more than 60 different departments across the University and its local institutes, working in everything from biomedicine and maths, to psychiatry and philosophy, and education, engineering and economics. They are connected by Cambridge Neuroscience, which was launched in 2007 and became one of the University’s first Strategic Research Initiatives in 2010.

We hope the articles give you a sense of one of the cornerstones of Cambridge Neuroscience – the need to translate fundamental advances into an understanding of the healthy and diseased brain and how we apply this knowledge. As a research chemist working in drug discovery, I appreciate the importance of making this connection happen.

Elsewhere in the magazine, we cover far-reaching territory indeed – from 20 years of exoplanet discovery to the history of paper and of polio vaccination, and from the science of cake to the story of how a headache led to the discovery of a possible treatment for thrombosis. It is really gratifying to see articles covering the work of researchers at all stages of their careers, including postdocs, whom I have long championed.

Professor Chris Abell
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research