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 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.
The MRC MBU is delighted to share our new series of scientific movies, which visualise our research and explain some of the mechanisms and processes that take place within our cells:
Complex I: Electron Transfer - Labelling
Complex I: Subunits
Inside the Human Cell
Fission & Fusion
Mitochondrial Matrix: ATP
The MRC MBU is pleased to announce that its first video in the series, "Life at the MRC MBU" is now live on our website.
This video, filmed and produced by Cambridge TV, is aimed at an audience of students up to the end of secondary school. It contains contributions from current MBU PhD students and postdoctoral scientists who have graduated through the University of Cambridge, having carried out their graduate research in the Unit.
Up close and personal with fluorescent fruit flies
On 14 March 2017, members of the MRC MBU visited Queen Edith’s Primary School to communicate their science to children in years 3 and 4. The activities included practical “bench” sessions and the assembly of protein structures using Lego models.
On 23 March, members of the Unit visited Mayfield Primary School where similar sessions were held with children in the reception classes.