Mina is one of our Public Involvement Strategy Group members.
I worked as a Research Biochemist for just over four years and changed my career after having children. I also worked in various departments at the Head Office of one of the UK’s big banks for 25 years, and retired eight years ago.
I have always had a passion for medical research. Having a short-lived background as a Research Biochemist, I felt that I would like to get involved in some sort of medical research. Initially I participated in patient and public involvement in some primary health care research projects. When this opportunity came along to be part of Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) Public Involvement Strategy Group, I grabbed it.
I am passionate about people’s health and would very much like to play a part in improving it in any way I can. I am used to looking at the bigger picture from my role in a change management team when working at the bank. The skills I gained there would certainly help in any project involving risk assessment, methodology, processes, communications etc.
I have been retired for over eight years, but I feel that I still have a lot to offer. Getting involved with the HPRU will also keep me mentally alert. The best part of getting involved is that it keeps my mind active and provides me with a sense of self-worth. Meeting up with other participants and the young people doing the research is an added bonus.
I believe that public involvement in medical research is very important as researchers will benefit from a layperson’s opinion on the topic of research, how it is conducted, who is involved, what the requirements are and lots of other components.
Sometimes researchers are so involved with their topic they can’t see the wood for the trees. This is where a layperson may help, particularly with explaining a project in simple terms that can be understood by people who are not experts.
To bring around change, you have to be part of the change.
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