It has been just under six months since we hosted the CHRC Centre Day at Brunel University London, where we presented the various research projects underway and outlined our future plans to an audience of veteran families and scientists.

Rhona Anderson

Dr Rhona Anderson – Director CHRC

At that time we reported that the ‘Genetic and Cytogenetic study’ had finally completed all the necessary regulatory and ethical permission processes which meant we could embark on sending letters of invitations to those veterans we have selected for participation in the study. We are very pleased with the response we have received so far and we are progressively moving towards our target of recruiting 50 test veteran and 50 control veteran family trios. We are also pleased to let you know that we are receiving blood samples from recruited families at Brunel and that analysis to look for any chromosomal and DNA mutation variations between the test and control populations is well underway. Information about this study is available in Exposure, April 2018 and on our website

We would like to say a big thank you to all those families who are already participating. As a reminder, participation is through an invitation letter that we (the study team) send to you via your GP. We encourage all those who do receive such a letter from your GP to contact the study team for more information.

In May a number of CHRC staff and researchers attended the BNTVA AGM meeting in Weston-Super-Mare. Mary Gilhooly, Professor of Gerontology and Health Studies from Brunel University London gave a presentation on ‘Exposure Worry and Cognitive functioning’ and Dr Rhona Anderson gave an overview of the ‘Genetic and Cytogenetic Assessment of BNTV and their families’ study. Amy Prescott and George Collett are PhD students in CHRC working on projects relating to Health & Wellbeing and Psycho-social aspects respectively, and they also attended the event and took the opportunity to meet veterans and their families. During the day George also held a discussion group to gain feedback from the ‘Measuring Exposure Worry: A Pilot Study’ questionnaire. Both Amy and George found this a rewarding experience that is helping them shape the design of their studies.

Julie Whittaker

Ms Julie Whittaker, Centre Manager, CHRC

In the last edition of Exposure we announced Amy Prescott’s PhD project ‘Developing interventions to promote wellbeing around British Nuclear Test Veterans and their families’. We have had an excellent response to this with around 35 interested members of the nuclear community contacting CHRC to get involved, which means Amy has already reached her initial sample size target. Expression of interest forms have been sent out to these potential participants with over 95% of these duly returned back. Over the next couple of months the selection and recruitment of participants will start to take place before Amy can commence with the next stage of her study. Look out for further updates on Amy’s project in future additions of Exposure and on our website.

What’s next?
In this issue, PhD student George Collett is looking for veterans to help with his project, ‘Living with Exposure worry’. This is another exciting project that you may like to get involved with. If you think you may be interested, full details about the project, the project team and who to contact can be found on page 28.

Also in this issue Dr Alex Moorhouse has written an article for our continuing Genome Biology Series entitled ‘techniques to study de novo mutations’. Alex’s article describes the science behind the new DNA technologies that we are using as part of the ‘Genetic and Cytogenetic study’ and although quite detailed, is an interesting read for those wanting to understand more about the techniques we are using at CHRC.