Institute of Cellular Medicine

Public Engagement

Public Engagement

Overview

We are keen to engage with patients and the public to ensure our research is relevant and translated into clinical practice.

We work with: 

  • the public
  • patient groups
  • practitioners within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • other hospitals 
  • healthcare facilities 
  • the pharmaceutical industry 

Our members contribute to the wider community through activities such as: 

  • discussions
  • debates
  • schools outreach
  • TV documentaries
  • newspaper features. 

Our research also features in the local and national news.

Inspiring the next generation of scientists

We have an engagement programme through which we seek to inspire potential scientists of the future

We offer work placement in our laboratories for sixth form pupils who wish to go on to study medical sciences. 

Find out more about Getting Involved.

Helping our research

We encourage a wide range of people to become involved in our research. Our research groups often need to recruit subjects for studies

Although their needs are often specific, we welcome enquiries from people keen to contribute. We will add calls for volunteers for specific studies here.

Financial donations

We are always grateful for financial donations, large or small, in support of specific pieces of research or our wider agenda. 

They allow us to take on charitable projects where we are unable to recover all our costs. If you would like to make a donation, please contact us for further discussion.

School pupils look through the microscope at one of ICM's school visit events.
School pupils look through the microscope at one of ICM's school visit events.

Engagement Events

We are eager to inspire, inform and excite school children about opportunities for medical and scientific study. We want them to see the possibilities of where that study could lead.

In our efforts to increase participation and engagement in science we have many programmes.

School events

We hold events for year 9 and 10 pupils about putting science into practice.

If you would like to bring a group of school children to the Institute, contact us in the Institute Office. 

Leading Edge – Aim to Inspire 

The Leading Edge scheme introduces school students to the world of scientific research.

Leading Edge is a partnership between:

  • Newcastle University
  • Newcastle City Council
  • North Tyneside Learning Trust
  • Northumbria University

The scheme has developed over the past seven years. It started with two schools for Year 11/12 students. We now have 12 schools participating with participants from Year 8/9.

The ethos is to team a group of school students with a research-active academic. They can help develop a project and get hands-on experience in the researcher’s laboratory

Recent projects within ICM have looked at how liver fibrosis (scarring) develops and reverses. This gives young people an understanding of how liver disease occurs and awareness of associated risks.

ICM participants include Professor Fiona Oakley and Professor Derek Mann.

If you want to get involved in this scheme, contact the Institute Office.

Student events  

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) 

The 3MT competition invites doctoral students to explain their research in just three minutes using only one slide. The explanation should be easily understood by a non-specialist.

Winners of the University competition will go forward to a prestigious national completion. 

Please contact the Institute office for further details or visit the national competition website.

Science on a Plate

We have now hosted two Science on a Plate educational events. These involved young people from 10 schools across the region.

Through these events we aim to show how our research is changing what we know about how our bodies work. We also highlight how our research is helping us develop: 

  • new and improved drugs
  • therapies
  • technologies 

to help patient care.

Past events

Professor Roy Taylor, of “Hairy Dieters: How To Love Food And Lose Weight” fame, has demonstrated: 

  • how the body handles energy from food
  • how this allows the body to move around
  • what happens when the fuel tank is always overfilled

Dr Fiona Oakley, from the Institute’s Fibrosis Group, helped young people to explore: 

  • how the liver responds to damage 
  • the liver’s capacity to cope with injury
  • the liver's ability to repair and re-grow 

Professor Mike Trenell, from Movelab, asked ‘Which is more important, fitness or fatness?’. 

He gave young people information from why watching television can cause diabetes to why bus driving is bad for your heart. 

The young people also helped with a monitored exercise test, with ECG monitoring and real time analysis of respiration.

Science on a Plate.

School Visit

School visits have offered children the opportunity to learn about the activities and work that takes place in our Magnetic Resonance Centre and MoveLab.

Whitley Bay High School have visited the Magnetic Resonance Centre (video on this page) and Alston High School visited the MoveLab.

Our school visits.