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Cancer research in the classroom

21 June 2012

A level students at Pencoed Comprehensive School recently took part in an engagement project titled Cells, genes, mutations and cancer. Dr Karen Reed at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences gave pupils the chance to participate in hands-on experiments, demonstrating research methods and techniques used in her research into bowel cancer. The pupils gained scientific understanding of cancer development, and greater awareness of the importance of lifestyle choices on cancer risk.

The pupils visited the School of Biosciences for a day long workshop, and performed experiments of their own in the classroom. They also hosted demonstrations of their new-found skills, communicating what they had learnt to other pupils in the school.

Mrs Helen Roberts, Head of Science at Pencoed, said: "The opportunity provided by Dr Reed’s work is invaluable. It is great for the pupils to experience the application of the techniques, and the trip to Cardiff University is a real highlight."

Year 12 pupil Rachel Johnson said: "It was a very interesting experience which answered many of my questions regarding scientific research, and has encouraged me to pursue this field in my university studies." Lewis King, also year 12, said: "I have gained research development and career ideas."

Dr Reed said: "The chance to inspire the next generation of researchers was a great privilege. This project is now in its third year and I would like to thank everyone at Cardiff and Pencoed who has helped the students gain so much from it."

This year’s outreach project was funded by the Biochemical Society.


For further information and pictures, please contact:

Stephen Rouse,

Public Relations Office,

Cardiff University.

029 2087 5596


Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.