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Science in Health Live

17 March 2017

Science in Health Logo

How can we generate new tissues and organs? What can stop cancer cells from spreading? Can our genes make us susceptible to psychiatric disorders?

A-Level pupils from across Wales and the border counties had the opportunity to discover the answers to these questions and many more at the University's annual Science in Health event.

800 young people and 49 teachers from 51 schools gathered at the Heath Park campus for Science in Health Live.

‘Step-Up to University’

The event, now in its 23rd year, is designed to give pupils an insight into the science behind medicine, showing them first-hand the range of career options open to them in healthcare, biomedical and scientific fields. Considerable efforts are made to ensure that pupils registered on the University's widening participation scheme, ‘Step-Up to University’, are able to attend.

Attendees at Science in Health Live

Nia Cwyfan Hughes, A Cardiff University undergraduate who attended Science in Health before enrolling at the University, said: “The Science in Health Live programme was an eye opening opportunity for me where I got to experience the different options and careers, apart from being a doctor, that are available in medicine…”

“Before attending this event, my knowledge of medicine was solely the jobs of the front line staff, the doctors and nurses. Science in Health Live gave me an insight of the medical research field and allowed me to get access to working labs and gain valuable experiences and skills that would not otherwise have been available to me.”

Nia Cwyfan Hughes, Cardiff University undergraduate

“As a result of Science in Health Live, I returned in the summer to take part in the SIH laboratory work experience scheme coordinated by Dr James Matthews and I subsequently decided to apply for both medicine and biochemistry. I am currently studying biochemistry at Cardiff University and doing a placement year in the immunology field in Professor Paul Morgan’s lab.”

Kit Lam, Cardiff University School of Medicine Undergraduate, added: “Science in Health Live gave me a first-hand insight into how the fundamental aspects of science underpinned medicine and the wider society…”

“As well as achieving my goal of reading medicine, I have since undertaken various research projects, an intercalated BSc in Psychology and Medicine and I got to work in the new world-leading Cardiff University Brain Research Centre. During the Science in Health event, I met people like Dr James Matthews and Dr Keith Hart whom have influenced my career on that day and onwards.”

Phlebotomy demo at Science in Health Live

Science, music and medicine

The students participated in laboratory tours, interactive exhibitions, and a series of talks on various hot topics in medicine. They also watched a Sound Science performance, showing the link between science, music and medicine.

Science in Health Live is organised by the University's Public Understanding of Science in Health (PUSH) committee. Dr James Matthews, School of Medicine and PUSH co-chair, said: “To our knowledge, there is no equivalent event in the UK of comparable scope and scale...”

Reginald Matthews

“The positive comments from students and teachers at the event show that we are going a considerable way to meeting those aims and reflect the tremendous efforts of a large number of motivated individuals.”

Dr James Matthews, Senior Lecturer

Professor Anthony Campbell, Welsh School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, added: “Our aim is to excite young people about the science at Cardiff University that is having a real impact on medical research and clinical practice…”

Tony Campbell

“The event is designed to allow pupils to discover how an amazing diversity of basic science, developed here at Cardiff, has led to discoveries about the mechanisms that cause diseases and how these are being used to find new ways of preventing them, or to develop new treatments.”

Professor Anthony Campbell, Honorary Professor

Science in Health Live involves more than 130 members of staff and students at all levels, from postgraduates to Professors, representing the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Healthcare, Dentistry and Optometry.