Victory over Blindness: knowledge for the benefit of disabled veterans and wider humanity
Losing your sight is devastating. It is both physically and mentally challenging and leads to a plethora of difficulties at different stages of life, and it often co-exists with other challenges and disabilities. As the Chief Scientific Officer at BRAVO VICTOR, part of the Blind Veterans UK group, I work with these issues with the aim of using research to find solutions to improve the lives of thousands of veterans, all visually impaired. We perform research on factors to enable veterans to maintain and improve the quality of their health and well-being, and their level of social inclusion and satisfaction with life. We accelerate innovation by stimulating the rapid development of technologies based on evidence and research.
Our detailed research of Veterans’ state of health has created a large knowledge base which allows for a personalised and holistic approach, whilst gathering valuable longitudinal data. With an international approach to all that we study, our research cohort includes both UK Blind Veterans and the Blinded Veterans of America. Can we predict sight loss? Can we prevent avoidable sight loss? What is, how and why the association with dementia, brain injury, cognitive decline, circadian cycles, epigenetic profiles? Although focussed on blind veterans, our research has relevance and applicability beyond this population, with implications for both wider veterans, disabled and visually impaired communities throughout the world.
In this talk, I will focus on the translation and acceleration of our research for the benefit of humanity.
Renata is a Professor of Veterans’ Health and Biomedical Research. She established the Research and Innovation department in 2017 at Blind Veterans UK, which has now become BRAVO VICTOR. BRAVO VICTOR is a dedicated research charity which inspires, facilitates, and focus the world’s best research scientists to improve the lives of the visually impaired, those living with disabilities and veterans
Renata is a medical and forensic specialist, and has sub-specialised in regenerative bio-medicine. She has a degree (Hons) in Forensic Medicine, and a MSc in Cardiovascular Medicine and Biology from University College London, as well as an international PhD in Regenerative Medicine and Biochemistry with the University of Oxford (UK), University of Coimbra (Portugal) and the University of Eastern Finland (Finland). Renata’s PhD was followed by a series of research posts in the UK and Internationally.
Her non-biomedical qualifications include an executive MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in addition to Business and Disruptive Strategy from Harvard Business School.
Renata has over 13 years’ experience of international multidisciplinary research, clinical trials, and innovation programmes. Her non-executive experience includes conducting peer reviews, providing expert witness testimony, and act as a government advisor on science, technology, and veteran affairs.
Renata is an experienced humanitarian crisis and rescue operative with active duty in Africa and the Middle East.
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