image of test tubes to illustrate blog post about genetic translationIn November I attended a record number of CPD events. The total amount of time spent was 20 hours and each event was in London. I felt rather like a regular commuter on the  London-bound train to Waterloo and made good use of my Oyster card.

The most important event was a day-long translation masterclass organised by  the ITI Medical and Pharmaceutical Network and held at the Royal College of Surgeons. The lectures were given by Professor Pirmohamed,of the University of Liverpool who is also NHS Chair of Pharmacogenetics and was highly-knowledgable and entertaining presenter. He explained how in Pharmacogenomics explaining how medicines are now being personalised to an individual’s genetic make up. This increases efficacy while reducing adverse effects. The science behind certain potentially-fatal side effects were covered in detail. After lunch the speaker also discussed societal considerations.  It was evident that he was impressed at the level of questioning from the floor. I am not sure that medical professionals realise the complexity of the materials that we medical translators have to deal with. I am working at the cutting edge of Pharmacovigalance as I translate adverse event reports for Pharmaceutical companies that are gathering data on global adverse events. Translation is invaluable in this field and again is a hidden facet of this particular industry.

I was also  busy with other ITI events. I attended a network and regional groups event about the future direction of ITI  as I currently coordinate the Japanese network of ITI. This covered virtual meetings and also data protection issues. It was a good chance to meet several of my well-respected and capable translation and interpreting colleagues. Meeting people when I tend to work alone is invaluable.  I am naturally outgoing and need to get out of the office  to balance  the intense concentration and tight-timelines that my usual work comprises.

I was also in London to Chair  the last ITI Professional Development Committee meeting of 2013 at which we met our new PD office, Ann Brooks. We were able to formulate clear plans for 2014 and are really looking forward to getting a lot of CPD events into the calendar for 2014.