Leicester pupils learn about research

Posted by ap507 at Jun 30, 2016 01:19 PM |
Students from a Leicester school got an insight into health research during a visit to the Leicester Diabetes Centre

Issued by the Leicester Diabetes Centre on 30 June

Students from a Leicester school got an insight into health research during a visit to the Leicester Diabetes Centre 

Pupils from Beaumont Leys School had a guided tour around the centre, based at Leicester General Hospital, as part of a study into the prevention of Type 2 diabetes in young people.

The centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation.

The visit was staged because researchers based there are working on the PRE-STARt study, an international project for developing and piloting prevention strategies for Type 2 diabetes in young people aged between 12 and 14 years.

Organiser Dr Deirdre Harrington, from the University of Leicester and the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit and is based at the centre, said: “The visit was an opportunity to further establish our links with the local community while also providing pupils with a real insight into some of the important work carried out at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.

“If you are a parent, principal, teacher or school governor and would like to get your school involved in health research at Leicester Diabetes Centre please email me on dh204@le.ac.uk.”  

More than 20 students aged 15 and 16 attended as part of their biology studies. They visited the exercise testing laboratory, got the opportunity to use specialist equipment as well as learn about Type 2 diabetes and the reasons behind why this type of research is carried out.

Teacher Emma Henson said: “Giving our pupils real world experiences helps to bring their studies to life, providing context and a greater understanding. We found out about what can cause Type 2 diabetes and all about the work at the Leicester Diabetes Centre being carried out to help people manage the condition better and also prevent or delay its onset.”

One pupil said: “Because it is a fun environment to learn about essential knowledge for students upcoming exams”, while another added: “It’s relevant to our GCSE and interesting to have another perspective of what working in science could be like for us”.

As part of the PRE-STARt project, the Leicester team has been working on a tool for identifying young people who have risk factors for developing diabetes in the future.

They are also developing an eight-week interactive course programme, with sessions covering the importance of health, being active, eating well and eating breakfast.

The 24-month project is being led by the Leicester Diabetes Centre and is funded by the European Commission. Other countries involved include Germany, Portugal, the Basque Country and Greece.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

For more information about the young people’s research at Leicester Diabetes Centre, email Deirdre Harrington on dh204@le.ac.uk.

ENDS

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