Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health - Laura Brady, re­search man­ager, Fight­ing Blind­ness


I’ve an in-built body clock — I never set the alarm and I’ve yet to sleep in. I live in Harold’s Cross and my route to work takes me along the canal bank, where I plan the day ahead.


I grab cof­fee at the shop be­side the of­fice in Ely Place be­fore head­ing into a meet­ing with the Tar­get 5000 clin­i­cal and re­search team. Our big­gest ini­tia­tive to date, it aims to pro­vide ge­netic test­ing for the es­ti­mated 5,000 peo­ple in Ire­land who have an in­her­ited reti­nal con­di­tion.


I have break­fast at my desk and catch-up with emails. I search for any re­search news that could ben­e­fit our mem­bers. As a medical re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion, it’s es­sen­tial to stay up to date on ad­vances tak­ing place. I pass any rel­e­vant sto­ries to our com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager to share on so­cial me­dia.


I meet with the CEO and board of di­rec­tors. We are a pa­tient-led char­ity fund­ing re­search into po­ten­tial treat­ment and cures for blind­ness. My job is to im­ple­ment strat­egy and man­age the re­search port­fo­lio.


I de­vote time to or­gan­is­ing our an­nual con­fer­ence, Retina 2017, which brings to­gether lead­ing ex­perts on sight loss. It takes place on Oc­to­ber 13 and 14 at the Radis­son Blu Royal Ho­tel, Dublin. Day two is aimed at the pub­lic, of­fer­ing those af­fected by sight loss a chance to hear first-hand of ad­vances in treat­ment as well as an op­por­tu­nity to speak with re­searchers and doc­tors.


Af­ter lunch I link in with our ad­vo­cacy de­part­ment — we are cur­rently work­ing on pub­lic and pa­tient in­volve­ment in re­search aim­ing to cre­ate an ac­tive part­ner­ship be­tween re­searchers and those liv­ing with sight loss. In all, 247,000 chil­dren and adults in Ire­land are af­fected by se­vere vi­sion im­pair­ment.


I speak with a pa­tient on the phone who has just re­ceived a di­ag­no­sis and seek­ing in­for­ma­tion. I then or­gan­ise a call to our medical and science ad­vi­sory board to re­port on projects we’re fund­ing.


I get a sec­ond wind and do a bit of writ­ing for our newsletter. I walk home at my leisure.


I share with three oth­ers and evenings are of­ten given over to Net­flix.

“It is es­sen­tial to stay up to date on ad­vances”

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