Medical Research Inspiration for Scottish School Pupils

Today’s school pupils could be engaged in pioneering and life-changing laboratory work in just a few years.

That was the message from Medical Research Scotland, which hosted a special event in Dundee today to inspire more young people to pursue careers in this exciting field.

Over 80 senior school pupils and teachers from across Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Lothians and Perthshire took part in the ‘Meet the Researcher’ showcase, organised by Medical Research Scotland and hosted by Dundee Science Centre for the fourth year in a row.

The pupils met a group of 19 Medical Research Scotland-funded scientists working at the forefront of developing new treatments for a range of ailments. They explained their cutting edge research and how they hope their findings will improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Dundee Science Centre’s newly developed Medical Marvels exhibition space proved the perfect venue for the showcase and exhibitors from the University of Dundee used the Centre’s high-tech exhibits to discuss their research, providing real examples of the medical advances being aspired to, including endoscopes, ultrasound, MRI and minimally invasive procedures.

Exhibitors from the Universities of Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews, Strathclyde and SHARE (Scottish Health Research Register) provided other innovative and fun ways to relay research on parasites, viruses, cancer, heart disease, personalised medicine and dietary portion sizes.

External speakers explained the breadth of opportunities in the medical research field. Mrs Mary Ballantyne (Consultant to Scientific and Commercial Businesses, The Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Dundee) encouraged entrepreneurship in the pupils, sharing her inspirational journey in the medical research field. Dr James Ainge (Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews) provided a memorable talk about his research into memory formation and Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Philip Winn, Chairman, Medical Research Scotland said, “What schools are looking for is a better understanding of medical research and I believe the reason these events are so attractive to them is that we put our students from Medical Research Scotland on display to make the direct presentations.

“Our students are terrific scientists and it helps communicate science to have people that are actively engaged, that weren’t school students themselves that long ago, making the presentations.

“Right now in medical research there is so much to do and so much excitement. Today shows that within a few short years they can transform from being in secondary education to doing active real research in real labs across Scotland, which will be fantastic for them.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Dr Alex Graham, Scientific Adviser
Email: alex.graham@medicalresearchscotland.org
Tel: 07818 096553

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