Researchers take part in community event at White City
2 November 2017
Creative displays and hands-on activities were on show at a public research event held at Imperial College on Saturday 28 October. The Invention Rooms at the new White City campus opened their doors, with activities to explore the fun and creative side of science and research.
The event was part of the Imperial Fringe series and was a chance to learn about research at the university and its partner organisations. Researchers from Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and the National Heart and Lung Institute took part.
The theme was all about 'making', with hands-on demonstrations, interactive experiments and workshops.
Mahitha Gummadi, a research coordinator with the pulmonary hypertension research team, used a collage activity to encourage visitors to think about how certain heart and lung conditions affect patients. Visitors could also have a heart painted on their hands.
Gummadi said: “Public engagement events are a great way for people to find out about the research we’re doing. They're also a great way for us to find out what they think about our research projects."
Dr Andrew Scott is a senior physicist working in the cardiovascular magnetic resonance unit at the Trust. His work focuses on developing a technique known as diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DT-CMR). This technique provides information relating to the shape and positioning of the muscle cells in the heart.
Margarita Gorodezky is a physics PhD student working in the same department. She is developing high resolution DT-CMR techniques that provide more information on the microscopic structure of the heart. This will allow clinicians to use the techniques on patients with thinned heart muscle after a heart attack. Together, they used colourful lolly sticks to show visitors how the heart muscle cells contract.
Jenny Davis, who came to the event with her son and daughter, said: "I've always been interested in the latest research, especially around health, and having events like this is great because it allows me to actually speak to the researchers directly. And of course it's a great day out for the kids!"
Dr Claire McBrien, a research fellow, is currently investigating the communities of bacteria and fungi that live in the lungs of people with various respiratory conditions, including asthma.
Meanwhile, Dr Amit Mandal is looking at how exposure to environmental carcinogens in the air we breathe, such as asbestos, can lead to tumour formation in the lungs.
Together, they developed a game which encouraged visitors to find out about how different types of bacteria in the lungs can grow.
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