Next Generation Research

Welcome to Next Generation Research, the podcast spotlighting six of the UK’s best researchers and their research over six weeks.

Join Cambridge University Professor Giles Yeo as he takes you behind the scenes to find out more about the ground breaking research that is shaping how we’ll live tomorrow. Giles will introduce you to a different Future Leader Fellow (FLF) in each episode, giving you an insight into how their research is done, why it matters and how it has the potential to impact you one day.

About the podcast

This podcast has been developed by Dr Oliver Mytton and Dr Laura Carter (both Future Leaders Fellows) with Hester Cant (producer). The podcast is supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and funded by the Future Leaders Fellows Development Network Plus Funds.

The views expressed in the podcast are the views of the individuals in the podcast, and do not necessarily represent the views of UKRI or the Development Network.

Podcast episodes

6: Turning the tide on childhood obesity: learning what governments need to do

In this, the final episode of our first series of Next Generation Research, we’re going to lift the curtain on who and what influences government policy and whether it ever sees the light of day. The focus of this episode is Dr. Oliver Mytton, he is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Child Health at University College London.

Oliver trained as a doctor and then moved into policy after feeling like he wanted to do more to help prevent illnesses caused by obesity. His main focus is now doing research to develop the evidence base, which can inform policies to prevent childhood obesity. We are going to learn about his work that helped develop the tax on sugary drinks which was implemented in 2017 and how important it is to analyse policies once they are implemented. We will hear from other key people who were part of making that tax a reality and, also what other suggestions to improve children’s health were left behind and why.

Find out more about Oliver’s research at the Institute of Child Health
Learn more about the evaluation of the soft drinks industry levy
Visit the NIHR Obesity Policy Research Unit (PRU) website

5: Why my child? Understanding life-threatening infection

Did you know that our genes can impact how we respond to infections? Most of us can live our lives without even knowing we’ve been exposed to certain diseases. For some, however, that same disease could be life-threatening.

In this episode of Next Generation Research, we’re going to be diving into Vanessa Sancho-Shimizu’s research. Vanessa is a senior lecturer in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London, where she runs a research lab.

Her Future Leaders project is about understanding the genetic influence on life-threatening infections with a particular focus on children. We learn about the new ways genetics are being used in medical treatment and diagnosis, the vital collaboration between clinicians and researchers and, how the study of these very rare infections can help us all.

Find out more about Vanessa’s research
Follow Vanessa on Twitter

4: We have the tools to stop HIV: learning from girls and young
women about the barriers they face

HIV remains one of the world’s most significant global public health challenges. As a result of recent advances in access to medication called antiretroviral therapy, HIV positive people can now live longer and healthier lives, and onward transmission of the infection is prevented. Despite the existence of this medication, many people, are still being infected with HIV.

In this episode of Next Generation Research we meet Valentina Cambiano, associate professor in epidemiology at the Institute of Global Health at University College London.

We will find out about her research project, underway in Zimbabwe, which is aiming to understand why at-risk adolescent girls and young women are not taking the HIV prevention medication. We will hear about the reasons why this medication is not attractive, how it could be made more accessible and how this sort of sensitive research is undertaken.

Find out more about Valentina
Visit the CeSHHAR website
Learn about the HIV modelling consortium

3: Catalysis makes the world go round: understanding how our
society depends on industrial chemistry

Does the climate crisis and our use of fossil fuels ever feel overwhelming? Have you thought about driving an electric car?

This episode of Next Generation Research is all about Dr Andrew Logsdail, a senior lecturer in catalytic and computational chemistry based at the Catalysis Institute at Cardiff University.

Join Giles Yeo as we look at the current projects that Andrew and his colleagues are working on. We’ll learn about how vital is it to find the best catalysts in order to reduce our carbon emissions and how wide-reaching the findings of this research can be for global health as well as reaching net zero. We’ll also hear about how impactful computer modelling is in speeding up the hunt for these vital catalysts.

Find out more about Andrew’s research
Find out more about the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

2. Love shouldn’t hurt: What indigenous communities can tell us about preventing domestic violence

Did you know that worldwide, nearly one in three women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or non-partner? How can we improve this terrifying statistic for future generations?

This episode of Next Generation Research is all about Dr Jenevieve Mannell. She is an Associate Professor in UCL’s Institute for Global Health, where she specialises in the prevention of violence in the world’s high-prevalence settings.

Join Giles Yeo, as we look at Jenevieve’s current research project, based in Samoa, which focuses on researching prevention-based strategies for targeting high rates of intimate-partner violence.

Find out more about Jenevieve’s research
Follow Jenevieve Mannell on Twitter

1. Radishes on Prozac: exploring how human medicines get into our food

How much do you know about where and how your food is grown? Not just where in the world, but the actual ground it grows in, and the water that feeds it? Not much? You’re going to want to hear this.

The first episode of Next Generation Research is all about Dr Laura Carter, an Associate Professor in soil and environmental chemistry in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds.

Join Giles Yeo, as we look at Laura’s current research project which focuses on synthetic chemicals present in our waste. We’ll explore the fate and behaviour of these chemicals and what this means for human and ecosystem health.

Follow Laura Carter on Twitter

Next Generation Research Trailer

Be at the forefront of research and innovation in the UK, and learn about national and international challenges from the experts. Look out for the first episode of Next Generation Research, landing on this page on 27 June 2023.