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On 6th December, staff and students from the MRC Toxicology Unit and guests from external organisations and partners gathered at St Catharine's College in Cambridge to celebrate 75 years of the MRC Toxicology Unit.

The afternoon started off with an overview of the Unit and toxicology from Anne Willis, Director of the Unit, followed by a brief history of the Unit and how it has evolved since its inception in 1947 presented by Prof Andy Smith.

Through a series of short talks, our Group Leaders Ritwick Sawarkar, Kiran Patil, Marion MacFarlane and Mike Chapman introduced each of our four research themes. They covered the current research interests of each of the groups and the different collaborations between groups and themes at the Unit.

The conference section of our event programme finished with a fantastic keynote talk from Prof Frank Kelly of Imperial College London. Prof Kelly covered 'Toxins in the air: 75 years of trials, tribulations and tentative triumphs'.

The event concluded with a poster session where postdocs, PhD students and facility teams showcased some of their current work before a celebratory dinner.

To round off our 75th Anniversary Symposium, prizes were awarded for supporting colleagues, Unit culture, public engagement and our science-art prize.

Lucia Pereira Giraldez was this year's winner of our 'Helping Hand' category contributing the successful running of the Unit by single handedly running two of our research facilities. Cat Ficken was our winner of the 'Culture, Diversity and Equality' award recognising all that she does for embedding a positive culture and supporting social and wellbeing initiatives at the Unit. Our Public Engagement prize was jointly awarded to Liza Emirali, Emily Self and David O'Loughlin for their work as active members of our Public Engagement committee and for spearheading our Instagram profile as an outreach tool.


Our science-art competition awarded two winners: one chosen by our panel of judges, and the other voted for by internal Unit members. Naomi van den Berg won the Judge's Choice for her entry 'The Big Bug Hub' and Amrita Mukherjee was awarded the People's Choice for her entry 'Slice of Life'.

Thank you to St Catharine's College for hosting us and Fitzbillies for our celebratory cake and sweet treats.