Centre for Reproductive Health

CRH welcome budding young scientists to MRC Festival 2019

The Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Festival of Medical Research took place around the UK and Africa from 13-23 June 2019, an initiative where MRC-funded units, centres and institutes showcased their work through events and activities.

The Centre for Reproductive Health’s (CRH) participation in the festival was held on the 18 June, inviting Edinburgh’s high schools students to learn more about exciting careers in science and meet with some of CRH’s eminent researchers.

Students from both Portobello High and Preston Lodge High School took part in a series of activities from viewing cancer cells through a microscopic lens to competitively dressing the part, donning laboratory protective clothing in the fastest time possible.

Dr Rod Mitchell, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist at the Centre for Reproductive Health introduced the group to the Centre’s latest research in fertility preservation.

Dr Mitchell commented on the event, “It was great to be able to educate and inspire the next generation of scientists. This is a truly exciting time for scientific discovery with rapidly advancing technologies and cross-disciplinary working. The enthusiasm of these young people shows the future is bright.”

Students were also assisted throughout the day with activities and their questions answered by many of the Centre’s talented research fellows and PhD students.

One of CRH’s PhD students, Gabriele Matilionyte commented on her experience interacting with the group:

 “I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the MRC festival this year on my favourite topic - fertility preservation. It was interesting to hear from high school students that they knew some children being affected with cancer and that some of their relatives were born with the help of IVF. I believe this personal experience made them very related to our research. Also since the majority of students were young ladies it was great to act as a female role model showing that everyone can do science, no matter the race, gender, nationality, educational background or age.”


CRH MRC Festival of Science 2019 Photo 1

Left to right: Students from Preston Lodge High School and Portobello High Edinburgh begin their tour of the Queen’s Medical Research Institute as part of the CRH MRC Festival events. Dr Roseanne Rosario demonstrates how CRH researchers use the histology lab’s confocal microscope and the technique it uses to provide targeted, high resolution imagery. CRH PhD Student Melissa Tharmalingam shares with high school students the many career paths options in science.


CRH MRC Festival of Science 2019 Photo 2

From left to right: High school students enjoy experimenting with CRH histology lab equipment. CRH’s team of researchers and staff hosting high school students for the MRC Festival on 18 June 2019. From L- R (first front row) Gabriele Matilionyte(CRH PhD student), Aleks Tsolova (CRH PhD student), Hristina Gyurova (CRH PhD student) , Melissa Tharmalingam (CRH PhD student),(Second row) Spyridon Deligiannis(CRH PhD student),Dr Forbes Howie(CRH Chief Medical Bioscientist), Gayle Fitzpatrick (CRH Communications), Mathias Lorbeer (CRH PhD student) Caroline Allen(CRH PhD student) (Third/back row), Dr Michael Rimmer (CRH, ECAT Clinical Research Fellow) and Dr Rod Mitchell, (CRH UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist).

All images courtesy of Centre for Reproductive Health, the University of Edinburgh.