Research proves a hit as hundreds visit open day
29 June 2015
The second annual research open day at UCLH attracted hundreds of visitors this month.
The special exhibition of research saw two floors of University College Hospital accommodate 39 interactive stalls where researchers demonstrated the latest technology and techniques tackling conditions such as cancer, dementia and arthritis.
Almost 60 students from local secondary schools attended; they were given talks by researchers and had opportunity to ask questions such as what a normal working day is like for a researcher and which challenges they have faced. After the talks the students went on a tour of the event.
There were prizes for the best research stand and the adult rheumatology exhibition, which had impressive demonstrations of arthritic joints, scooped first prize. Runners up were the UCLH stroke research team whose stand allowed visitors to know their blood pressure and take part in a chocolate trial - using chocolate to explain how randomisation in clinical trials works.
Dr Coziana Ciurtin, who led the adult rheumatology exhibition, said: "The research open day was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the public and get them interested in what we do as a rheumatology research team. I would also like to say a special thank you to the whole team who worked very hard on making the stall a success".
Renuka Erande, Lead Research Practitioner for the UCLH stroke research team, said: The research event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our work and interact with staff and public to raise awareness about stroke research and get their views. Without our patients there is no research".
Visitors were able to put on headphones and try a cochlear implant simulator, which allowed them to hear how people with cochlear implants hear sounds; there was also a cookbook to combat breast cancer on display, written by one of the stall holders who is a surgical oncologist.
Some of the comments from attendees remarked the open day was "a fantastic experience"; "very informative" and "a brilliant event".
UCLH Director of Research Professor Bryan Williams said: "Many thanks to the stall holders who made the day very special with their energy and enthusiasm. Patients and the public are at the heart of what we do, from helping shape the questions we ask to participating in trials. The open day was an exciting way of sharing our work and saying thank you to them also for their support."