News in 2011

16/12/11- Award for Dr Barwell (HERO programme) 

Dr Julian Barwell was recently highly commended in the University Hospitals of Leicester Caring at its Best Awards.  Nominated by Trust staff the Caring at its Best Awards reward those who achieve over and above the standard expected and whose performance can have a far reaching impact.  All award nominees demonstrate commitment to the Trust’s core values and goals and inspire others to provide caring at its best.

Dr Barwell was highly commended in the ‘We focus on what matters most’ category for his outstanding work with good old-fashion values about caring for patients 24/7, not just whilst on duty and "with a passion for developing and improving service delivery and use of scientific knowledge in a productive way".  This is exemplified by the work Dr Barwell and GENIE are doing with families, schools and the local community to educate about simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of common chronic diseases, such as cancer, through the Health Education Reaching Out (HERO) programme.

HERO has recently started a new project working with Macmillan Cancer Support, the UHL Clinical Genetics, Clinical Dietetics, and Physiotherapy teams and the Chemoprevention team in the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine to provide wrap-around support for families with inherited cancer.  The project will include events for families focussing on cancer prevention strategies and survivorship issues, support groups, and one-to-one counselling.

30/11/11- Clone that Gene!

Read about the event

18/11/11 - HERO's Food@Uni, what do university students think?

As part of a new project with first year undergraduate students at the University of Leicester, GENIE's HERO (Health Education Reaching Out) team are trying to find out how students think their eating and drinking habits have changed since starting university.  The team will use this information to design some workshops for students giving them the advice they want next term. More information on the survey.

11/10/11 - 3rd GENIE Public Lecture

The third in our successful series of GENIE Public Lecture events took place on October 11th, at the University of Leicester. The event was again very well attended, as Professor Anne Willis, Director of the MRC Toxicology Unit, spoke about how the expression of genes can be altered following exposure to toxins, while Dr Colin Glen explored the subject of mutations (in the real world and in comic books) and looked at a partial rehabilitation for the Lamarckian theory of evolution. An informal drinks reception followed, with some really stimulating discussion of the science and how it might develop in the future.

The next GENIE Public Lecture event is scheduled for 6.30pm on March 13th, 2012, when Professor Martin Tobin will ask 'Lung health and lung age: what can genetic information tell us?', while Dr Salvador Macip will speak on 'The multiple lives of p53: from guardian of the genome to king of ageing.'

28-29/09/11 - HERO runs the 'Healthy Body, Healthy Mind' event for schools

The ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ event was a collaboration between the GENIE project HERO and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health team at the Greenwood Institute of Child Health.

200 13-14 year olds (and their teachers) from 5 schools in the region had the chance to discover more about all-round healthy living through HERO’s Healthy Body Lab and the Mental Health team’s workshop. Read more about the event ...

14-15/9/11- Dynamic DNA

GENIE's largest school outreach event Dynamic DNA was once again a huge success. Read more about the event ...

8/9/11- Award for GENIE’s Virtual Genetics Education Centre

GENIE’s Virtual Genetics Education Centre (VGEC) has been given an award by the 2011 Jorum Learning & Teaching Competition. The competition is run in conjunction with the ALT-C Conference, and is designed to recognize exciting and innovative teaching initiatives that have been developed as open educational resources (OERs) and released under a Creative Commons licence.
The VGEC is a collection of evaluated genetics-related open educational resources (OERs) for teachers and students in schools and higher education, health professionals and the general public. Jorum is a national initiative to collect and share OERs developed by universities and colleges across the UK.

2/9/11- GENIE tackles extraterrestials

Read about the event

10/8/11- GENIE Summer School Activities

 GENIE ran Genetics activities for the following Summer Schools:

  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Science- 5th July 2011
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy- 5th July 2011
  • Tri-Uni- 6th July 2011
  • HE experience- 12th July 2011
  • Space School UK- 10th August 2011

For more details about summer school activities and outreach please contact Dr Cas Kramer.

08/7/11- Dr Gretton attends regional science fair

Read more about the event

30/6/11-1/7/11 GENIE presents at Proceedings of the Effective Learning in the Biosciences Conference

Read more about the meeting

16/06/11 - The HERO Schools Project Reception featured in the Big Ideas for the Future Report

Read further details

14/06/11- Dr Goodwin joins International Steering group

Dr Mark Goodwin has joined the Steering Group of a project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) to develop a national awareness raising programme to change the perceptions that the public at large has about Afghanistan and Afghans. The Building Bridges project is associated with the Afghan Action NGO and aims to foster links between the Afghan diaspora community in the UK and other groups through discussions, talks and cultural events.

14/06/11 - HERO Schools Project Reception

Over 40 health and education professionals, teachers and researchers attended an evening reception to learn about the HERO Schools Project on Tuesday 14th June 2011.

Read more about the event

14/06/11 -BBC Radio Leicester interview about the HERO Schools Project

Podcast logo

Listen to Dr Joanne Singletary and Gartree High School Head of Science Ms Helen Atton being interviewed about the HERO Schools Project on BBC Radio Leicester on 14th June 2011 (courtesy of BBC Radio Leicester).


09/06/11- 23,000 viewings of GENIE video this year

Since the GENIE videos Using a Micropipette and Making an agarose gel were placed on the University's Youtube site a year ago, they have become two of the most viewed videos on the site receiving over 23,000 and 13,000 viewings respectively.

13-14/5/11- Dr Kramer attends European Science Events Association (EUSCEA) Annual confernence

Dr Cas Kramer attended EUSCEA Annual Conference 2011, which was held  in Gothenburg, Sweden. During the conference Cas gave a talk entitled "Wider Impact of Outreach - Science Communicators of the Future". The annual conference coincided with the "Vetenskapfestivalen", The International Science Festival Gothenburg.


04/04/11- GENIE publishes Genetic Code extension for the Chrome browser

Raymond Dalgeish has published a Genetic Code extension for the Chrome internet browser. The extension can be found on the extensions website.

23/03/11- Educational resource triumphs in Virtual World event

A University of Leicester educational video has won first prize in an international competition.

18/3/11- Local School Visits during National Science and Engineering Week

As part of National Science and Engineering Week 2011, 18 students from Leicester High School for Girls visited GENIE for a Molecular Biology Taster session. The students were able to perform a DNA amplification experiment for real, which gave them an insight as to how DNA evidence can be used in solving a crime. When asked what the students enjoyed most about the day, one student commented:

“Learning how to use new equipment and the hands-on practical skills”.

12/03/11- Regional Schools Biology Competition

As part of National Science and Engineering Week GENIE and the East Midlands branch of the Society of Biology hosted a competition for school pupils based around the theme 'Communication'. 43 students entered the competition. Prizes were awarded to students in the senior section (years 11 and 12 ) for the best essay and podcast, and in the junior section (years 10 and under) for best poster and a runner up.

02/03/11- Bioscience Students engage in GENIE Second Life Project

Ms Ni Ni Moe Myint, a first year student, was the lucky winner of an Apple iPad in a random draw.

15/02/11 - 2nd GENIE Public Engagement Lecture

Professor Charalambos Kyriacou and Dr Turu King spoke about "Genes and Biorhytms" and "What's in a name? The link between surname and genetics" respectively. This was the second in our series our lectures designed to make cutting edge genetics research accesible to the public, and was once again well attended.

Details of forthcoming lectures

20-22/01/11- HERO present at International Conference on Health, Wellness and Society

Dr Nicola Suter-Giorgini and Dr Joanne Singletary presented the work of the HERO schools project at the 2011 International Conference on Health, Wellness and Society at the University of California Berkeley, from 20th-22nd January 2011.  The Conference addressed a range of critically important issues and themes relating to Health, Wellness and Society.

20/01/11 - 2nd Edition of GENIE news

The second edition of the GENIE newsletter is published.

12/01/11, 13/01/11 and 25/01/11-HERO schools visit

Groups of Year 8 students from 3 local schools attended the University to participate in interactive healthy living mornings as part of the HERO schools project.  The activities helped students to think about their own diet and activity levels so they can make small changes now and create a healthier future.

Staff and students from GENIE and the Department of Genetics are also visiting the schools to deliver the health education activities in a classroom setting.

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