Upcoming and Recent Activities
Leicester Riverside Festival – 3 to 4 June 2017
The MRC Toxicology Unit hosted a stand at the Leicester Riverside Festival from 3rd to 4th June 2017.
Leicester Riverside Festival is a lively weekend of activities for the whole family, offering boat trips, live music, a variety of food stalls from around the world and an exciting choice of activities for all ages, making it a fun packed weekend not to be missed!
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Leicester’s Riverside Festival, which has grown from a small Sunday afternoon event on Bede Park into a major two day festival and a summer highlight of the city’s programme.
The Unit’s stand was focused on the subject ‘Our medical research is funded by you – Ask us what we do’ to enable our scientists the opportunity to explain their science in everyday language to members of the public.
The stand attracted a wide variety of visitors, who were keen to find out more about the medical research that is being conducted in Leicester.
Peterborough school visit – 14 March 2017
A group from the Muller lab visited Peterborough School to give a series of talks to four different groups regarding their research and using animals in medical research. Members of the lab also gave careers talks and interactive activities highlighting cancer cells with a fluorescent microscope.
MRC Festival of Medical Research – 18 to 26 June 2016
The first annual MRC Festival of Medical Research takes place from 18 to 26 June 2016. Research establishments from around the UK will be showcasing and discussing their work through events and activities. Events include open days, public lectures/debates, activity days, workshops, interactive seminars and quizzes.
Fighting Disease with Science – Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester – 25 to 26 June 2016
Join the MRC Toxicology Unit at the Highcross shopping Centre in Leicester (outside Debenhams, lower mall) on Saturday 25th June and Sunday 26th June to talk with our scientists about their work and take part in interactive displays to suit all ages.
Learn how cancers can develop, the genes responsible and how we perform experiments to study them.
Understand the drug discovery process and how MRC research directly impacts human health.
View a printed copy of the human genome to see the enormous amount of information it takes to make up one human body.
On 26th April 2016 Professor Anne Willis gave a lecture at the ‘Women in Science’ seminar to a broad audience at the School of Live Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton.
The Big Bang Science Fair 2016, Birmingham NEC – 16 to 19 March 2016
For the second year running the Public Engagement Team hosted an exhibition stand at the Big Bang Science Fair, which received over 70,000 visitors over 4 days!
The interactive stand featured a printed copy of the human genome (the 130 books would take up to 95 years to read!), a 3D ‘Guess What’ activity, a ‘Creepy Crawly Cancer Cells’ game and a challenging electronic buzz wire activity. A big thank you to all our supporters, volunteers and visitors for helping make the event such a great success!
The Parkinson’s East Midlands Research Support Network is for anyone who is interested in research into Parkinson’s and wants to support Parkinson’s UK’s research aims and objectives.
On Saturday 5th March a selection of our scientists hosted the 4th Annual Researchers’ Meeting for the Parkinson’s UK East Midlands Research Support Network. Scientists from the local area gave short presentations to patients and clinicians about the progress they have made since last year.
UCL Biology in Action, Institute of Education, University College London – 2 March 2016
Professor Giovanna Mallucci provided a public lecture at the UCL Biology in Action event entitled ‘Preventing brain degeneration: from molecules to medicines’.
Biomedical Society Lecture – Oxford High School – 29 February 2016
Professor Anne Willis gave an inspiring lecture to A level and GCSE students at the Biomedical Society at Oxford Girls Day School Trust about her current research.
On 1st June 2015 a local college visited the University to hear about Ethics in Animal Research, where one of the Unit’s PhD students delivered a talk about using animals in research.
The MRC Outreach Team visited a local primary school to provide practical lab experiments using ph testing and a talk on what it’s like to be a scientist.
Parkinson’s UK East Midlands Research Support Network
In March 2015 some of our scientists took part in the Parkinson’s UK East Midlands Research Support Network by providing small lectures for patients and clinicians regarding their scientific work in this area.
The Big Bang Fair 2015 , Birmingham NEC
The MRC Toxicology Unit rose to the challenge to host its first ever interactive stand at the Big Bang UK Young Scientist & Engineer Fair, which took place from 11-14 March at the NEC in Birmingham.
20 MRC Toxicology Unit staff and students volunteered to take part in the event, which is the UK’s largest science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fair, aimed at raising awareness of the exciting and rewarding opportunities available in these subjects, and is visited by over 75,000 people, primarily aged 7-19 each year.
Our exhibit, led by Professor Andrew Tobin and Paul Alexander, was an exciting mix of genetic codes, DNA, malaria, microscopes and electronic buzz wire games – which certainly proved very popular with children and adults alike. We even received a special visit from The RT Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities.
An estimated 6,000+ people visited our stand over the four days, with the ‘buzz wire’ game proving to be a huge attraction!
About our interactive stand
Visitors were invited to view a printed and bound copy of the human genome book which demonstrates the sheer size of a single human chromosome and how just a slight difference can determine our gender.
Interactive displays included observing a malaria parasite through a microscope; observing a real DNA sample; revealing a hidden world as viewed from an electron microscope, which included a ‘guess what’ game of some familiar objects. We also created our very own electronic ‘GPCR buzz wire game’ to demonstrate how difficult (and expensive) it can be to get a pharmaceutical drug to market.
The activities reflect some of the work currently researched at the MRC Toxicology Unit and aim to make a complex subject more accessible and understandable to the general public. In turn, we hope this will promote interest of careers in STEM. Careers captains were available to discuss how to pursue a scientific career and also highlight that you don’t necessarily have to be a scientist to enjoy a career in science.
For further information about The Big Bang visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk
On 17 November 2015 two of the Unit’s postdoc scientists visited a local high school to talk about careers in science and their current research work.
The MRC Outreach Team visited two local schools in July 2014. On 3 July Scientists from the Unit provided an inspirational workshop on the subject of STEM careers relating to medical research and science at a local school’s Industry Day. On 4 July Scientists from the Unit delivered a workshop on the subject of the human heart, which included a practical hands-on experiment for the pupils to undertake. Both events were extremely well-received and we have already been invited back to both schools next year.
School pupils sample toxicology – 18 October 2013
The Big Bang East Midlands – 2 July 2013
Scientists from the Unit delivered a workshop entitled “How does your body deal with drugs?” The event was a huge success; students were thrilled to have the opportunity to perform hands-on experiments.
MRC Centenary Open Day – 22 July 2013
The MRC Toxicology opened its doors to celebrate 100 years of life changing research. A choir from St John the Baptist Church of England Primary School performed a song, which had been composed specifically to celebrate the Centenary, opened the day. An Outreach programme with the Northern Ballet School led to a 15 minutes performance of “A life in 3 parts”. Visitors were also able to visit laboratories to perform experiments, listen to talks and take part in interactive displays.