Leeds MP sees joint replacement research in action

Member of Parliament for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, has visited the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering as part of the Royal Society Pairing Scheme.

Greg was invited to the Institute to see the pioneering research that Dr Claire Brockett and her team are undertaking on ankle joints and also toured the test laboratories.

The Royal Society Pairing Scheme enables scientists to link up with an MP and attend a range of events as part of their 'Week in Westminster'. The scheme hopes to help MPs establish longstanding links with practicing research scientists and to help research scientists understand political decision making and its associated pressures.

Greg was paired with Dr Brockett, a Medical Engineer at Leeds who specialises in artificial joints. Claire shadowed Greg during a typical week in Westminster at the start of December as well as touring the Houses of Parliament, attending Select Committee meetings and watching Prime Minister's Questions from the gallery. In return, Greg was invited back to the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Commenting on the scheme, Greg said: "This was a fantastic opportunity to meet with members of the Institute and learn about the excellent research that happens at the University of Leeds. I participated in the Pairing Scheme to learn more about research science and believe that it was a brilliant chance to show a local research scientist how Parliament works.

"Building links between academia and Westminster is essential and I would like to thank the Royal Society for organising this. Spending time with Claire has been very useful and I hope that she found the experience just as valuable as I did.

"I am proud that world leading pioneering work on joint replacements is being done here in Leeds."

Dr Brockett said: "I really enjoyed my visit to Parliament in December; it helped me understand how decisions and policies are made. It was very interesting to see my MP ask a question in the House of Commons, and to spend time with him in his offices. I am not quite sure what I expected an average day for an MP to be, but it was certainly enlightening and perhaps the biggest lesson is there isn't an average day!

"It was a pleasure to show Greg around our research facilities here in Leeds. We toured the experimental test labs, and met with researchers from the institute. We've only just established an ankle research group at iMBE, so it was particularly well timed that Greg could talk to our new PhD students. We hope to welcome him again in the future."