International collaborations in research and communications are so important!


The current coronavirus issues exemplify this message.

Antibacterial resistance (another subject I have posted about previously) continues to be a major issue where such approaches are very important.

More recently, I hope you have also read the short articles I wrote (and posted here on this website and on LinkedIn) that refer to the value of international collaboration, interdisciplinary approaches and open communication. The articles focus on and link to two recent publications on population health intervention research (PHIR).

I think it is valuable (and also challenging) to be open to a more holistic approach whilst being rigorous and scientifically sound. Future projects may benefit from more partnerships and collaborations.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

The Winter Collection

I just wanted to share some moments of reflection, captured in snapshots I have taken over the winter. Here’s to freedom and flexibility; working on what you want and where you want.

The photos are Manchester city centre; an evening shot from a car park in Cheshire just south of Manchester; and some coastal views in Nice, France.

Sometimes it feels good to pause, take a breath and appreciate the different shades of winter in places where we find ourselves. Beyond traditional winter scenes the winter colour palette can be cool and deep, and also diverse.

Take care – the weather is wild and unpredictable at times these days. Here’s to clearer skies and calmer times…

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

New Publications in Population Health Intervention Research

Population Health Intervention Research (PHIR) is a field of growing interest.
Indeed, PHIR and the evaluation of PHIR may become increasingly important for health systems* at many levels and also for public health policy.

What is PHIR and what is its impact?
‘Population health intervention research (PHIR) can be defined as the use of scientific research methods to produce knowledge on policy and intervention programs’ ‘Whether or not they are conducted in the context of the health system, these policies and programs have the potential to make an impact at the population level’

The complexity of the field of PHIR requires an interdisciplinary approach.

A highlight of 2019 for me and A Tree of Life Sciences® was to see the publication of 2 important papers of which I am proud to be a co-author.

PHIR publications

One of the publications discusses the place of theories in PHIR, and addresses why theories can be useful, and how to choose and use the most relevant of them in evaluating PHIR. The other publication addresses the question of the place or role for pilot studies in PHIR because ‘pilot studies are well-established in biomedical research, but the situation is more ambiguous for PHIR, in which a pilot study could refer to different purposes’

These publications represent the culmination of a challenging and very interesting international project, involving experts from a number of different disciplines and fields. Position statements, further research directions, and recommendations are included in the publications.

I think that bearing in mind all the different possible approaches and methods a key point made is ‘the questions to be addressed should drive the approach and methods’.

Transcending borders and boundaries
I am very proud to have participated in the international workshop held in Paris (November 2016), and to have contributed to the development and the writing of subsequent papers and publications. It was very challenging and also very rewarding to be able to learn so much from the exchanges between researchers from different disciplines and fields, and from different countries including France, Canada and the UK.

Involvement in international collaborative projects and open access publication is in keeping with my personal values, and those of A Tree of Life Sciences® in “transcending borders and boundaries” in high value projects.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth


For further reading, these open access publications are available in Trials Journal BMC (part of Springer Nature):
Moore et al. Trials (2019) 20:285
Thabane et al. Trials (2019) 20:309

*Health systems are all organisations, people and actions whose primary intent is to promote, restore or maintain health. This includes efforts to influence determinants of health as well as more direct health-improving activities (World Health Organization definition).
Health systems can be viewed as the organisation of people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations (Wikipedia)

Holiday Message December 2019

Here’s to successful serious science and the joys of discovery and communication. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Peace and Perspective in this hectic run up period. Take care and have fun fellow Earthlings ❤️🌎⭐.
And here’s a little something I made earlier …..
(Well, I tried and had fun playing )😂

Dr Julie Charlesworth

More publication news: PHIR and the place of theories

I am delighted with the news that another paper I am a co-author on has just been published (open access).
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal: Trials

“Population health intervention research: the place of theories”
Authors: Graham Moore, Linda Cambon, Susan Michie, Pierre Arwidson, Grégory Ninot, Christine Ferron, Louise Potvin, Nadir Kellou, Julie Charlesworth, François Alla and Discussion Panel.

To access to this publication, click here

Involvement in this international collaborative project and open access publication is in keeping with my personal values, and those of A Tree of Life Sciences in “transcending borders and boundaries” in high value projects.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

Moore et al. Trials (2019) 20:285

See also a previous post about different publication of which I am also a co-author:
Thabane et al. Trials (2019) 20:309

Publication on Population Health Intervention Research: Proud to be a Co-author

I am proud to be a co-author of a new and key publication in the field of population health intervention research (PHIR). This is the culmination of a challenging and very interesting 2-year project, involving experts from a number of different disciplines and fields.

It is published by Springer Nature in the Open Access journal ‘Trials’. Click here.

“Population health intervention research: what is the place for pilot studies?”
Authors: Lehana Thabane, Linda Cambon, Louise Potvin, Jeanine Pommier, Joëlle Kivits, Laetitia Minary, Kareen Nour, Pierre Blaise, Julie Charlesworth, François Alla and Discussion Panel.

Involvement in this international collaborative project and open access publication is in keeping with my personal values, and those of A Tree of Life Sciences in “transcending borders and boundaries” in high value projects.

More to follow about this PHIR publication and involvement in related work.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

Work/Life Balance: Springtime ‘Walking the talk’


‘Walking the talk’ with the month of April 2019 spent in Nice, France.

A great thing about being an independent consultant is that much of the work can be done from anywhere – I have a particular fondness for Nice.

Many of you might recognise from one of my photos (the sea-view, from my LinkedIn photo header of several years), that I use my distinctive A Tree of Life Sciences® logo and image as a watermark on my slides in presentations etc.

It’s invigorating to get away and create an environment to facilitate creative thinking and fresh ideas; this time developing talks.

Life throws all sorts of things at us all, over the years; but these days I am loving my work and being able to contribute something a bit different on occasions.

It was great to get away on this occasion in Nice, France. It is also great to be back home, in the UK.

Returned to the UK and discovered something new for the ‘The Spring Collection’

Full of the joys of Spring and with a spring in my step, I’d like to share some photos taken on 5th May on a family outing.

I wanted to capture a moment to share the magical experience of a walk in a bluebell wood, near to home in England! Awash with a carpet of bluebells, indicators of ancient British woodland.

For 6 things you might not know about bluebells click here

Here’s to work/life balance!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

(All my own photos. P.S. that’s me and and my hubby of 39 years! We are also proud parents and grandparents together!)

Science, poetry and a personal thank you

I was honoured and very chuffed to have received a personal thank you from the University of Manchester for my support of the University of Manchester Access Programme (MAP) and in addition my student mentoring as part of the Manchester Gold programme in particular the impact on one of their PhD students.

A reception with about 150 people was held on February 27th in the Manchester Art Gallery. What a wonderful welcome with a personalised ‘party bag’ – actually it was very tastefully presented and it included a beautiful limited edition art print of Manchester University on the front of the card. Inside was a handwritten personal letter – what a lovely thoughtful gesture. It will be treasured!

The event was hosted by the university chancellor and poet, Lemm Sissay. Lemm opened the celebrations with a stirring and inspiring rendition of his poem ‘Making a difference’ – now that’s how to connect with an audience (learning point to self here)! A participant in the MAP recounted how the programme had truly ‘made a difference’ to her life and career opportunities.

Meeting Lemm Sissay

The guests at the reception were made to feel like special friends. It was great to see some now familiar faces and also to meet new ‘friends’ with diverse talents and careers: people with a common respect and fondness for the University who had contributed their time and ‘given back’ towards the future.

There was much mingling and serious talk; merriment and banter; and opportunities for happy photo shots.

[Note to myself – in 2016, the first time I saw Lemm speaking I think it may have rekindled the embers of my inner poet self – a little part of my soul. Subsequently, after a particularly inspiring science event I briefly dabbled in the art of poetry myself with a short poem. Better stick to the day job me thinks – but I’m happy to be a scientist and science communicator who might occasionally get carried away in the moment and burst into poetry (of a sort) – much to the embarrassment of my family. After all, science can also be ‘sheer poetry’!]

I left the Gallery with a sense of the importance of friendships and giving. I had a lovely evening and I very much appreciated being acknowledged in such a friendly and personal way.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

World Cancer Day: Tomorrow’s Treatments Made in Manchester

What an Inspiring event!
The event was held on February 5th 2019 in honour of World Cancer Day 2019. (Bright Building, Manchester Science Parks, UK).

Leading research conducted in Manchester is improving treatments for patients across the world. The format of the event included a review of recent achievements and areas of research activities; the vision for the future; compelling stories from 2 patient advocates; and a clear and informative panel discussion on Proton Beam Therapy. Presentations were followed by a reception with a chance to meet and put questions to some of the scientists and experts actively involved in research in Manchester.

The progress and achievements are phenomenal! The vision for the future is challenging, promising and positive.

Thank you to the organisers for the invitation to attend this special event.

For more about this read on…

We heard about research activities and achievements – recent, current and on the horizon. Here is an indication of just some of the exciting and important areas of research in Manchester; with a few comments and thoughts:

Prevention and screening – addressing questions such as: “Can we use circulating DNA or proteins in the blood to find lung cancer at its earliest stages?” “Can we use it to detect recurrences at the earliest stages?”

Aiming to enable health screening to be earlier and easier for some patients who are at higher risk (and who might otherwise present with more advanced lung disease). For example, a pilot study in Rochdale used mobile vans in more convenient locations for patients. This is now being further evaluated in a wider NHS roll-out taking ‘screening to supermarket car parks’ (recent media coverage).

Approaches in research and treatment taking into account multi-morbidity – because people with cancer are living with other diseases.

Enabling real time follow up of patients – using technologies to see how patients are doing in real time.

Precision medicine – the use of linked bio-banks, advances in genomics and informatics to try to close the gap in translational research and treatment of patients.

The new Proton beam facility located here in Manchester – the first patient was treated in December 2018. Pioneering research and collaborations are being facilitated and encouraged.

‘Team Science’ – as the way forward. ‘Cancer research conducted in an interdependent fashion in a large group across many subjects to deeply integrate knowledge.’

‘Town Hall’ events are also enabling wider discussion including the involvement of patients.

Finally, an overall aim is to provide the best cancer care – with opportunities facilitated by the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) involving 3 partners working so closely together: The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University and Cancer Research UK. There will be interesting findings to report.
Of course, not all research will lead to big breakthroughs. Research involves a lot of hard work and can be frustrating and even disappointing at times. On the other hand, science can also be surprising; serendipity is also a factor on occasions. With a wealth of sound research activity, cross-disciplinary teams and fresh perspectives there is every reason to feel optimistic that cancer research will be contributing to knowledge and understanding of fundamental biology, mechanisms, real life implications and benefits for patients.

Life can throw up unexpected circumstances and events. A terrible blow was dealt by the devastating fire at the Paterson building in April 2017.
There are now prospects of a new building and new opportunities with ‘team science’.

There was a palpable ‘buzz’ in the air at this event in February.

As I have said before there’s a lot happening in Manchester UK these days!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth


The Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) is a unique partnership between the University, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.
Further information about the MCRC

Previous related posts:
Feeling proud and honoured to be invited to such events which also included a preview of the opening of the MCRC in 2015
and here is a short report of a visit in 2016 also touching on why the location holds special memories from my own early research years.

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