2020 was a huge year for science; in particular, the health sciences related to the detection of disease and development of pharmaceuticals. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 was awarded jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing - the genetic scissors approach - which contributed to many important discoveries with clinical trials of new cancer therapies underway, and the dream of being able to cure inherited diseases is about to come true. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind. Incredible milestones for science have also been achieved in vaccine development with multiple companies on the verge of developing, testing, and achieving approval for new vaccines for COVID-19. At the moment of writing, Pfizer & BioNTech and Moderna look to achieve approval within weeks for their novel mRNA-based vaccines – a whole new vaccine type that has yet to be commercialized for any disease. A truly remarkable undertaking, unthinkable just a few months ago.
Many laboratories across the globe have delivered important research in their field, despite shuttering for lock-downs and with the uncertainty of business continuity as a constant operational challenge. Many of us remain in lockdown. Here in the UK, we face the uncertainty of reopening before year-end. But, we are encouraged by the advances in diagnostic techniques, screening, treatments, and vaccines that are arriving by the day. Science is doing its thing. The future is bright.
Spread some socially-distanced holiday cheer!
So let’s celebrate and send off this crazy year with a party and hope for the future. We know it’s likely many of you will be unable to join a traditional office party this year. So, we are bringing the office party to you.