News in 2013

12/06/13 - 400 Local school pupils enjoy Richard III themed outreach

The School of Archaeology and Ancient History and the Department of Genetics have been working together to deliver Richard III-themed outreach.

Over the past fortnight 400 children and almost 50 teachers from nine local primary schools have visited the University of Leicester to learn more about the archaeology and genetics behind the recent discovery of the remains of Richard III. Read more about it on the University's Newsblog

04/06/13 Caring at it's Best by Supporting Families with Cancer

The Clinical Genetics team at the Leicester Royal Infirmary have received a University Hospitals of Leicester ‘Caring at its Best’ award for it work linked to GENIE’s Supporting Families with Cancer project. The team was highly commended in the ‘We are one team and we work best when we work together’ category for ‘working together to improve awareness of inherited diseases and access to specialist services in the community and constantly striving to improve care and patient experience’. The team have collaborated with the University and other local charities and organisations to improve awareness of inherited cancer, support for patients and families and access to genetics services through taking part in road shows and radio interviews, developing policies and systems, training healthcare professionals and contributing to the Lifestyle and Cancer Awareness workshops run by GENIE. They have also created the only world-wide clinical genetics YouTube channel seen in 125 countries. Videos of the presentations from the last Lifestyle and Cancer Awareness workshop, which focused on breast, ovarian and prostate cancer, have recently been uploaded to the channel.

 29/04/13 - Molecular Biology Taster Days - Visit by students from Bosworth Academy

On 12th and 19th April we had the pleasure of hosting two molecular biology taster days for students from Bosworth Academy.  As a result of the successful sessions we ran last year, Bosworth Academy asked for further taster days this year.  The first of our sessions used ‘bead’ chromosomes and a meiosis card game that enabled the students to see the effects of random recombination events and how they can result in genetic diversity.  In the second half of their session, the students learnt about DNA fingerprinting and profiling and took part in a crime scene activity to help ‘solve’ a murder case.

The second day was a practical based session, where the students learned how to use micropipettes to handle small volumes of liquid.  In groups of 3 and 4, the students had a chance to load agarose gels and learnt how electrophoresis allows separation of DNA according to its molecular weight.  They also learned how DNA is amplified and analysed.  At the end of the session they were able to take a photograph of their gels and use this to solve the crime scene activity.  The crime scene activity can be found on our Virtual Genetics Education Centre website and can be downloaded and used by anyone.

23/04/13 - GENIE at HEA STEM Conference - University of Warwick

On 17 April 2013 Dr Mark Goodwin gave a presentation at the Higher Education Academy (HEA) STEM Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2013 on the student employability work he has been doing with undergraduates in the School of Biological Sciences. The title of the talk was ‘Identifying and developing student aspirations’.

22/04/13 - A successful first Food@Uni week caught on film 

Jon and the Food@Uni stall before the crowds arrived
Jon and the Food@Uni stall before the crowds arrived

For four days in February (18th-21st) the HERO team relocated to the Students’ Union to run our first Food@Uni week with the help of Residential and Commercial Services, the Education Unit and course reps. The week included lots of information, activities, demonstrations and freebies, including our new Food@Uni guide and recipe book all designed to help students know how to eat well, easily and cheaply. The idea for the week came out of research we undertook in 2012 about the difficulties students at the University of Leicester can face when it comes to eating a healthy diet. Two of the main problems were the lack of knowledge some students have and the idea that eating well is time consuming and expensive. During Food@Uni week we promoted how easy and cheap it can be to eat well, as well as how important it is!

A full report will follow on the Food@Uni website as well as links to our resources. In the meantime, you can watch a video filmed by the student news website Browzer during the week, including an interview with our project assistant and University of Leicester student, Jon Ordish.

If you visited Food@Uni week and would like to tell us what you thought of it, please complete our follow-up survey. 

16/01/13 - Supporting Families with Cancer - Radio interview and upcoming event

Dr Julian Barwell was interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester to give advice about testing, screening and preventative treatment, including the use of tamoxifen, for inherited breast cancer. This is in response to the consultation on new guidelines for familial breast cancer by NICE (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) launched on 15 January 2013.

On Saturday 23 February HERO is running the third Lifestyle and Cancer Awareness event for families with a history of cancer. This third event will focus on inherited breast and ovarian cancer. Families with a history of breast and ovarian cancer are being invited and experts will be on hand to advise on preventing or delaying the onset of cancer and detecting it at an early stage through screening.

Three themes will be covered at the event – prevention and survivorship, genetics and screening, and wrap-around care. Talks and sessions will be led by clinicians, researchers and support groups including experts in clinical genetics, developing a blood test for breast cancer, diet, physical activity, chemotherapy and preventative breast and gynaecological surgery.

The event is part of the Supporting Families with Cancer project designed to provide families with information, support and advice to help them protect themselves from cancer. It will take place on Saturday 23 February 2013 in the Maurice Shock Building at the University of Leicester. Contact us for more information and to register.

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Department of Genetics
University of Leicester
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United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3319
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