Public Engagement

Dr Suwan Jayasinghe (UCL Mechanical Engineering) will speak about Engineering tomorrow's healthcare, synthetic tissue generation at the Electromagnetic Field festival, from 31st August to 2nd September 2012

Electromagnetic Field is a three-day UK camping festival for people with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things. 


Dr Mark Lythgoe co-directs the 2012 Cheltenham Science Festival for the sixth consecutive year.

UCL will once again have a strong presence at this year's Cheltenham Science Festival, which will run from 12 to 17 June. Dr Mark Lythgoe, Director of UCL’s Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (CABI) and co-director of the Cheltenham Science Festival, will be supported by an advisory board including several UCL representatives.

More at Cheltenham Science Festival

Follow CABI activities at the Cheltenham Science Festival

Mark Lythgoe
First UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Retina Patient Day a great success

Patients with retinal degeneration and their families, attending the first UCL/Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology “Retina Patient Day”, had the opportunity to interact with more than 40 clinicians and scientists from Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Department of Genetics and learn about their research into developing effective treatments for blinding retinal conditions.

For more on this story, see UCL News

ucl institute of ophthalmology
Brüstle v Greenpeace: Has the European Court seriously damaged stem cell research?

On Wednesday 1 February 2012 at 6 pm, the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL) at UCL Faculty of Laws and the UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine organised a Special Event to discuss the ruling of the European Court of Justice on the case Brüstle v Greenpeace (which declared that procedures involving human embryonic stem cells cannot be patented) and its practical and ethical implications to this field.

Chair: Rt. Hon. Professor Sir Robin Jacob, UCL Laws
Dr Justin Turner QC, 3 New Square Chambers (lead counsel on the case)
Professor Pete Coffey, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
Professor Jo Wolff, UCL Department of Philosophy
IBIL-Stem Cells
UCL Dr Nguyen TK Thanh goes from lab bench to backbench

Dr Nguyen TK Thanh (UCL Physics and Astronomy) has taken part in a scheme where MPs and Civil Servants are paired up with leading scientists for a week at both their respective places of work.  Dr Thanh was paired with Caroline Jacobs, Senior Policy adviser, EU and International Innovation Policy, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

More at UCL News
thanh pairing scheme

2011 Stem Cell Awareness Day 

On 5 October 2011, UCL marked Stem Cell Awareness Day, a day celebrated around the world to promote greater understanding about stem cell research and the range of potential applications for disease and injury, and to raise awareness why funding stem cell research is so vital. 

Watch the video: The potential of amniotic fluid stem cells

Stem Cells Logo

Professor Alexander Seifalian's work "Face saving nose cartilage moulding" is featured at "Power of Making", a V&A and Crafts Council exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Professor Alexander Seifalian's work developing synthetic human noses and ears, using a polymer scaffold to support cartilage growth, is featured at the "Power of Making" exhibition, from 6 September 2011 to 2 January 2012.


Dr Mark Lythgoe, Director of UCL's Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, discusses the neuroscience of memory erasing in Erased Memories and Spotless Minds, a BBC Radio 4 programme

On Wednesday 20th July 2011 at 9.00pm, in the BBC Radio 4 programme Erased Memories and Spotless Minds,  Dr. Mark Lythgoe, Director of the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, discussed the neuroscience of memory erasing, and asks whether it is an opportunity to eliminate the crippling effects of trauma or a dangerous intrusion into an essential human faculty.

Dr Mark Lythgoe
Professor Pete Coffey discusses with the audience after the screening of the film "Stem Cells: A Vision of the Future" 

Prof. Pete Coffey contributed to this documentary film, which charts the history and scientific evolution of stem cell research – from the earliest experiments that first revealed stem cells in the body, to leading current scientific and clinical developments.

Film screening at UCL on 21st June 2011, followed by an open-floor discussion with Prof. Pete Coffey.

Professor Pete Coffey
Dr Mark Lythgoe, Director of UCL's Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, directed the 2011 Cheltenham Science Festival for the fifth consecutive year.

More at The Cheltenham Science Festival
Dr Mark Lythgoe
Professor Pete Coffey discusses the latest developments in stem cell therapy and comments on the creation of a new bank which will collect and store customers' stem cells.

Listen to BBC Radio 4's You and Yours, 9 June 2011 (from 46mins 39s)
Professor Pete Coffey
UCL Japan Earthquake Appeal Symposium

A Japan Earthquake Appeal symposium was organised by UCL Prof Shin-ichi Ohnuma on 22 March 2011 to raise funds for those suffering the devastating consequences of the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear power plant explosions in the Tohoku area of Japan; all proceeds going to the British Red Cross.
Shin-ichi Ohnuma
Professor Chris Mason  talks about the dangers associated with 'stem cell tourism'

Prof. Chris Mason warns about the dangers associated with "stem cell tourism" and highlights some of the safeguards people should take before considering any stem cell treatment.

Watch BBC One's 'Fake Britain' (from 29mins 13s)
Professor Chris Mason
Women scientists must speak out

"Female researchers still battle sexism. The media gives them an opportunity to be heard alongside male colleagues", says Jennifer Rohn, a cell biologist at UCL, in an article published by Nature

Read the article at Nature
Dr Jennifer Rohn

"Jenny Rohn: Most vital" according to Nature Medicine's list of key people who made headlines in 2010

Dr. Jenny Rohn, a cell biologist at UCL, is featured among the key people who made headlines this year for launching the Science is Vital campaign.

More at

Dr Jennifer Rohn

HM Government response to our petition to greatly raise the funding for stem cell translation programmes of work

Regenerative medicine and stem cell research is a strategic priority for UK public funding. The UK is at the forefront of regenerative medicine and the Medical Research Council (MRC) and other Research Councils are leading the way for the UK to delivering stem cell based therapeutic technologies.
Full text available here

Our petition: The UK is a world leader on stem cell research and we are at risk of not gaining the health and financial benefits from translating this research to application in the clinic e.g The London Project - A Cure for Blindness is almost totally being funded from non-UK sources.
Read the full text and signatories


Science is Vital Campaign

Dr Jennifer Rohn, a cell biologist at UCL, has started the Science is Vital campaign which hopes to persuade the UK government that science cuts would harm the economy.  

A march is organised in London on Saturday 9 October 2010 at 2pm.

More at:

Dr Rohn works in the Baum laboratory of the UCL MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology.

Dr Jennifer Rohn
2010 Stem Cell Awareness Day

On 6 October 2010, UCL marked  Stem Cell Awareness Day, a day celebrated around the world to promote greater understanding about stem cell research and the range of potential applications for disease and injury and to raise awareness why funding stem cell research is so vital. 

More information:
Watch video: The importance of stem cell research
2010 Stem Cell Awareness Day

Logo 100
Professor Pete Coffey participates in the first International Legislative Stem Cell Day celebrated simultaneously in the UK and USA

Professor Pete Coffey advocates for continued support of regenerative medicine in the UK to ensure clinical translation of stem cell research currently undertaken in the UK.
The event held today at The Science Media Centre in London, UK, is part of an international movement looking at regenerative medicine legislation; a parallel event is organised by the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine in Washington, USA.

More information:
BBC Newsnight blog

Prof Peter Coffey
Dr Mark Lythgoe directs the Cheltenham Science Festival for the fourth consecutive year

Dr Mark Lythgoe, Director of UCL’s Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging and Cheltenham Science Festival Director, discusses the range of activities on offer this year.  The Cheltenham Science Festival runs from 9 to 13 June, 2010.

Listen at
Dr Mark Lythgoe

Dr Roberto Mayor comments on the earthquake's impact on Chilean science

Dr Roberto Mayor's concerns on the long-term impact of Chile's earthquake on its scientific research are published today in Science.

Dr Mayor is raising funds to help the Chilean scientific community; anyone interested in contributing please contact Dr. Roberto Mayor at

More information:
Dr Roberto Mayor

Dr Roberto Mayor
Dr Mark Lythgoe on the images that changed the world

Dr Mark Lythgoe reveals, in a five-part series airing on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 25 to Friday 29 January 2010 at 15:45 hrs, why the pictures that have really changed the world are not those from history or art but those from the medical profession. “Images that see inside our bodies, into our very cells, have had a bigger impact on society than the photographic or artistic image.”

Further information at:
UCL News
BBC Radio 4
Dr Mark Lythgoe

Stem Cell Awareness Day celebrated around the world

UCL marked Stem Cell Awareness Day on 23 September 2009 in a tradition honoured within research universities across the world.

Read more on this story at: UCL News

Logo 100
Prof Pete Coffey of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology warns against untested stem cell treatments

Read more on this story at: The Sunday Times

Prof Peter Coffey
Pigs offer new stem cell source

Prof Chris Mason comments on the generation of pig induced pluripotent stem cells and its implications for clinical use.

Read the full story:
Times Online
BBC News
Professor Chris Mason

US stem cell funding ban lift: the implications

USA President Barack Obama overturned the ban on US federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. Professor Claudio Stern, Chair of the steering committee for the UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, explains what stem cells are, the benefits they bring to medical research and UCL’s strengths in this area.

Read the full article on the UCL News website

Prof Claudio Stern

Prof Chris Mason comments on USA stem cell research funding

In an interview with BBC News, Prof Chris Mason of UCL comments on the decision by US President Barack Obama to lift restrictions on federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells.

Read the full article at BBC Online

Prof Chris Mason

Prof Martin Birchall discusses UCL research

Prof Martin Birchall, UCL’s first Professor of Laryngology and winner of Morgan Stanley/’ ‘Daily Telegraph’ 2008 Great Britons (Scientific and Innovation category) discusses how his role will strengthen UCL research in this field. You can listen to Prof Birchall's discussion online by downloading the file by clicking on the mp3 link below. The programme is approximately 10 minutes long.

Listen now (mp3 format)
News roundup on iTunes U
UCL on iTunes U

To learn more about Prof Martin Birchall's work, read his paper: Clinical transplantation of a tissue engineered airway. Lancet 372: 2023-2030, 2008

Martin Birchall

Page last modified on 20 aug 12 14:13