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Hammerwich woman presents scientific research at the House of Commons

A Hammerwich woman has taken her science research project to the House of Commons.

Cambridge University PhD student Charlotte Houldcroft, 25,  has been investigating the the Epstein-Barr virus and glandular fever.

Her research was presented to MPs and expert judges as part of the SET for Britain initiative.

“I felt this was a great chance to explain my work to a really wide audience, including the politicians who make science funding decisions,” Charlotte explained.

“The virus I study – Epstein-Barr – doesn’t just cause glandular fever; it also causes some cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers, and it’s linked to multiple sclerosis.

Michael Fabricant MP with Charlotte Houldcroft

Michael Fabricant MP with Charlotte Houldcroft

“Understanding why Epstein-Barr virus makes some people ill and how we can use this knowledge to improve screening and treatment in high-risk patients, is something I’m passionate about.

“This was a great chance to share that with MPs and other scientists.”

Among the MPs who heard Charlotte’s presentation was Lichfield’s Michael Fabricant.

He said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Charlotte and learn more about the virus which not only causes glandular fever, but can also induce some types of cancers.

“Her work in identifying the genome of the virus on its single strand of DNA is ground-breaking.

“Charlotte is a local girl who was brought up in Hammerwich, attended The Friary School in Lichfield, then took her undergraduate degree at Oxford University before going on to study for her PhD at Cambridge. Our local schools can be very proud of her.”

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