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CIR Away Day

June 2019: Staff and students from across the Centre attended the third annual CIR away day

The third Centre for Inflammation Research away day was held on 20 June in Appleton Tower. High levels of attendance and participation made sure the day was a big success, with lots of interactions throughout the CIR.

The day began with a presentation by CIR Director Professor Chris Gregory, welcoming all participants and outlining the future of the CIR in the Centre for Tissue Repair.

Eight research group leaders gave entertaining and informative talks on a wide range of organs and diseases:

  • Sandrine Prost - Dot-to-dot, building a bigger picture 
  • Emily Findlay - When neutrophils and T cells meet
  • Gwo-tzer Ho - How to heal the broken gut, together
  • Jonny Fallowfield - Does my liver look fat in this? 
  • Rodger Duffin - Which is better - long and thin or short and thick?
  • Steve Jenkins - The life and times of tissue macrophages: only the good die young?
  • Lorna Marson - Improving outcomes for patient after kidney transplantation
  • Alison MacKinnon - Galectin-3 goes "sweet" on fibrosis

Donald Davidson gave an update on Public Engagement and Communications from the CIR, including the nationwide success of the Supercytes science education card game for schools, as well as the public lecture series and science festivals.

Lunchtime saw the return of the "Lab Olympics" with fierce competition in pipette-box filling, immune synapse darts, the allergen ball pit and the Operation board game.

In the afternoon session we held the first CIR 3-Minute Talk competition, where Postdocs and PhD students explained their work for a non-scientific audience with a 3-minute, 1-slide talk. No easy feat! Great talks were given by Sam Benson, Giulia Tagliavini, Maria Candela, Caroline Chauche, David Allsop, Jenny Shelley, Katie Smith, Maria Panagopoulou, Piotr Janas, and Rosalind Heron, followed by a public vote to decide on the best talk.

Julia Dorin gave an update on the efforts to promote equality and diversity within the CIR, and the wider CMVM. Clearly there is work to be done, but progress is being made. Mari Pattison presented on ongoing efforts to ensure technicians receive the recognition they deserve, especially in light of the QMRI flow facility receiving the "Most valued Technology Facility Award" in June.

Finally, the day ended with concluding remarks from Centre Director Professor Chris Gregory, followed by prize-giving: Donald Davidson awarded the 2019 "Trainee Award for Excellence in Public Engagement" to PhD student Maria Panagopoulou for her work on the Castlebrae initiative and a careers workshop for schools. The 3-Minute Talk prize went to Caroline Chauche for her presentation entitled "I’m one with the worm, and the worm will guide me … to fight asthma!", and the Lab Olympics ceremonial Eppendorf crown went to Guilia Tagliavini. 

The CIR Away Day was a great success, and it was clear at the drinks reception that new links were being forged, with a better appreciation of the excellent work that goes on in the CIR. Many thanks should be given to Sheila Marshall - without her hard work and organisation the event would not have been the success that it was.