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On Saturday 14th September 2019, the Old Road Campus Research Building (ORCRB) opened to the public as part of the Oxford Open Doors scheme run by the Oxford Preservation Trust.

Each unit had a stand in the main atrium of the building with fun activities for all ages, including Ludwig Cancer Research, the Jenner Institute, the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), the Department of Oncology, the CRUK Oxford Centre, the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, and the NIHR Oxford BRC.

 

A photo of the build a cell public engagement board game

 

 

At the Ludwig Oxford stall, we demonstrated how genes are important for determining tissue and cell types in the body with two games. Participants followed the instructions in the DNA to either create their very own blood vessel bracelet to take away or race against a friend to build a cell. Visitors could also test their ability at breaking codes, by decoding the message hidden in the DNA. They could then see how changes or mutations to the DNA can alter this message and result in diseases like cancer.

 

 

 

 

A photo of the blood vessel bracelet public engagement activity (plastic beads on a woollen string)

In addition to our science fair activities, visitors had the opportunity to see a demonstration of our fluorescence microscopes and go on a lab tour to see the state-of-the-art equipment used by scientists.

 

Many thanks to Joe Chadwick, Anandhakumar Chandran, Lucija Fleisinger, Wenjun Huang, Richard Lisle, Olivia Lombardi, Laurine Noblecourt, Svanhild Nornes, and Paolo Spingardi from Ludwig Cancer Research, the ORCRB Building Manager, Charles Parkins, and the volunteers from the other units that helped make this happen.