The Unit has a comprehensive public engagement programme. This includes:
- visits to local schools and other organisations
- mentoring of young scientists
- participation in the Cambridge Science Festival, where we exhibit every year
- our annual Open Day
- involvement in other events for public understanding of science
- engagement with artists and designers on the artistic interpretation of our science
For further information about the activities of the Unit, please contact our Communications Manager, Penny Peck ( ).
The Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) Society held its annual conference on Saturday, 23 September 2017.
Clinicians, scientists and patients met at the Moller Centre and, through a series of presentations and discussion sessions, shared views and information on:
On Saturday, 14 October members of the MRC MBU participated in the Big Biology Day 2017 at Hills Road Sixth Form College.
Scientists explained the Unit's research with hands-on activities. We took our "Find My Mutant Fly" game, along with movies and posters explaining the Unit's research. We also took some fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and used them to demonstrate how mutations in mitochondria might lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease.
During the summer of 2017, the MBU hosted two work experience events.
For one week in July, two Year 12 students visited individual research groups. They learnt about equipment and scientific techniques such as pipetting gels for analysis under a microscope. At the end of their visit, each student gave a short presentation about their experience.
In August, a similar programme was followed on a one-day visit by three students in Years 11 and 12.
The MBU is pleased to announce that two videos in the series, "Life at the MRC MBU" are now live on our website.
Life at the MRC MBU is aimed at an audience of potential MBU members, whether they be scientists wishing to join our research projects or support staff seeking background information on our activities. This video showcases the many scientific and social aspects of life in the MBU "family".
The MRC MBU has participated in two Big Bang events this year.
The first was held on 28 June at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Campus. We took our "Find My Mutant Fly" game, along with movies and posters explaining the Unit's research. We also took some fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and used them to demonstrate how mutations in mitochondria might lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease.
On Wednesday, 21 June 2017 the MRC MBU participated in the MRC's Festival of Medical Research and opened its doors to the public for its annual open day.
Our visitors were extremely interested to hear about the causes and effects of mitochondrial diseases, with explanations of the Unit's research towards the discovery and development of therapies.
Some of this research was shown in a practical demonstration, where fluorescent markings were used to observe the behaviour of fruit flies under a microscope.