In our website feature “Researcher in Spotlight” this month we ask our researcher Richard Chin to tell us a bit more about himself.
Could you give us a quick overview of your background and career so far?
I graduated in medicine from the University of the West Indies and came to the UK on a Commonwealth Fellowship in Paediatric Neurology. I did my PhD in Neurosciences at the Institute of Child Health, University College London before taking up an NIHR clinical lecturership in paediatric neurology and subsequently a Clinician Scientist Fellowship in paediatric neurology and clinical epidemiology at UCL. I moved to Edinburgh University to take up a tenured post and became the clinical director of the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre.
How did you become interested in your current field of research?
During my PhD I became interested in population health science and epilepsy. That initial work made me very aware that carrying out research using large scale data sets can effectively and efficiently complement and supplement clinical and preclinical research, and help influence policy change.
What are you currently working on and what importance does your work have for autism research?
We have been setting up and working on large scale patient cohorts, registries, and data-linkage platforms to investigate the natural history of neurological disorders (many of which also have autism as a comorbidity), factors that modify risk, and optimum treatment strategies.
What do you enjoy most about scientific research?
Being able to discover ways of curing and or improving the lives of patients and their families.
What do you like about the scientific community in Edinburgh?
You will hear this a lot, but its very true, COLLABORATION. There is a truly inspiring, supportive, collegiate atmosphere in Edinburgh. This helps to facilitate cross-disciplinary work which in turn provides depth as well as breadth to the research here.
What is your favourite high tech research tool?
My own work is not wet-laboratory based so we don’t really use high tech tools outside of high specification computers.
What is your favourite low tech research tool?
A sheet of paper and a pen.
Where do you usually get the best ideas for your research?
Interacting with patients, reading papers, attending conferences/seminars.
What is your hidden talent?
I am a foodie at heart and have been told I am a pretty decent cook. Attending medical school was funded through my DJing skills.
Working to discover the biological mechanisms underlying autism
Simons Initiative for the
Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
University of Edinburgh
Hugh Robson Building