UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation Open Day Twenty students from Year 10 and 12 attended a UCL open day event on Monday 27th June, travelling to the Institute of Immunity & Transplantation in North London, newly opened in 2021. The session began with a welcome nonetheless from Prof Hans Stauss, Professor of Tumour Immunology and Director of the Institute of Immunity & Transplantation. Students were treated to talks on a range of topics given by eminent speakers and experts in their field that provided deeper insight into the workings of the immune system and careers in scientific research. At the end of the session, students had the opportunity to take part in interactive activities that included a pipetting competition, viewing cells under a phase contrast light microscope and a game modelling herd immunity. They were also able to talk to medical students currently completing their intercalated degrees in Infection and Immunity and put questions to Prof Richard Milne who leads the teaching of this course.
- Dr Anne Pesenacker - Policing our body and how this fails in auto-immunity
- Dr Diana Matei - Be nice to your gut, your immune system will thank you for it!
- Dr Ashleigh Boyd - Stem cells for disease modelling + regenerative medicine
- Professor Emma Morris - Gene editing and gene therapy in immune diseases
- Professor Richard Milne - Introducing BSc Infection and Immunity at UCL
Poorwa in Y10
We travelled by train and bus and were welcomed with refreshments on arrival before the important lectures. There were five talks in total, ranging from how bacteria in the gut affects autoimmunity to the topic of virology. The lectures were fantastic, given by experts in their areas, and were very relevant to what we are currently learning in Biology. I especially enjoyed the talk on stem cells and how genetic engineering could aid the transplantation of donor organs. Afterwards there were some excellent interactive sessions, which informed us about different aspects from herd immunity to the Royal Free Charity (which anyone from the ages of 16-23 can join!). Personally, my favourite was the table on how to insert catheters and we were shown demonstrations using model by arms nurses working in the NHS. Overall, it was a great day, which definitely widened our understanding of Biology.
Denushka in Y12
The trip to the UCL Open Day was an amazing opportunity that I thoroughly enjoyed. I really enjoyed learning about the impact of gut permeability on the incidence of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, as it gave me a new insight into the high quality research that is conducted at UCL. Being able to talk to a 3rd year medical student and a university student doing the UCL Immunity and Transplantation degree was extremely useful, as we could gain more knowledge about the entry process into UCL and the content of the 2 degree choices, learning about the benefits and challenges of the 2 degrees. Our group also took part in some fun challenges such as the pipetting challenge, that ignited some friendly competition between us!
Folaju in Y12
I found the trip to UCL both exciting and engaging. The lectures all offered some new concepts I had not yet come across, allowing me to learn many new things, especially about the role of the immune system and autoimmune diseases. I most enjoyed the series of activities at the event's end, which combined the opportunity to learn even more with accompanied activities and competitions.