Hosted by the Oxford Centre of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism (OCDEM), 'Is Science for Me?' took place in OCDEM at the Churchill Hospital and was aimed at showing students what a career in research is really like and giving students an opportunity to talk informally to scientists and health care professionals about how they got into their careers.
Approximately 40 students from 10 schools attended the two hour event. The first hour comprised of tours of the Human Islet Isolation Facility, the Clinical Research Unit and the Diabetes Research Genetics Laboratory.
Dr Sarah Cross, Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Islet Transplant Research Group at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and Deputy Manager of the DRWF Human Islet Isolation Facility, gave the tours of the Human Islet Isolation Facility. The students were able to see the clean room labs in action, including a mock-up of the islet isolation process, a model of the pancreas and the abdomen with removal organs and a film of the islet isolation and transplantation process in Oxford.
For the second hour the students had a chance to meet up with a wide variety of staff as well as talk to representatives from Oxford Brookes, the University of Oxford, the Oxford University Hospitals NDS Foundation Trust and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). There were stalls on endocrine research, islet physiology, the Oxford Biobank, commercialisation of research, diabetes trials, podiatry, dietetics and diabetes nursing. Students also received a handout containing ‘career stories’ from a selection of OCDEM staff.
The day was supported by the BRC along with the Society for Endocrinology and the Oxford Academic Health Science Network.
Dr Cross commented: ‘It was a really enjoyable day and feedback from the students praised the event for providing them the chance to see real life research and to be able to speak to different clinicians and scientists about how they got into their careers.’