Earl of Wessex visits University of Reading to learn about Covid-19 testing

On Friday, The Earl of Wessex met scientists tasked with tackling Covid-19 during a visit to the University of Reading.

The Earl was given a socially distanced tour of the Health and Life Science Building, home to brand new teaching and research laboratories at the University. The laboratories have remained open to staff and students throughout the UK’s lockdown for work on research into coronavirus.

Edward met scientists, including Doctor Al Edwards and Doctor Sarah Needs, who are working on new testing technology for Coronavirus and had the chance to witness different prototype kits in action.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, Professor Robert Van de Noort commented: “HRH The Earl of Wessex is always a welcome visitor to the University, and it was an honour to introduce him to colleagues and students who are exploring areas of science that have grown in prominence over the past year.”

“I am proud of the work they and many others at the University have done, both to find innovative solutions to the pandemic, and in maintaining our world-class research and teaching.”

The visit took place the day after Prince Edward headed to Newbury market, to hear from traders about the effects of the pandemic on business and how they have coped.

Doctor Sakthi Vaiapuri, a researcher in blood cells, informed the Earl about his work to protect snakebite victims. Doctor Vaiapuri has been looking at developing a new simple test to see if a snakebite victim has been injected with lethal venom, and encouraging people in rural India to seek lifesaving treatment.

During the visit, the Royal met students from the School of Biological Sciences as they took park in a practical session. The teaching session focussed on the evolution of birds, with some students learning face-to-face whilst others joined via online technology.

Other members of the Royal Family have visited universities in the wake of the pandemic, including The Duchess of Cambridge. Catherine visited University of Derby to hear how the pandemic has affected students and more about the mental health resources the University are providing.

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