Gut health on the curriculum as LMS researcher receives public engagement grant

 29 June 2021   Grants and awards

By Shannon Quinney

Dr Chris Schiering, head of the Inflammation and Obesity group has been awarded a £69,000 Wellcome Research Enrichment grant. The grant will be used to deliver a series of interactive science workshops for 8–11-year-olds centered around how the gut plays a key role in promoting health. 

Wellcome’s Research Enrichment – Public Engagement grant supports Wellcome grantholders who want to use public insights to develop their research.

The grant will be used to increase awareness of gut health and its importance for overall well-being. Working with schools in the local community, the Schiering lab will work closely with the GECo team to deliver a series of interactive workshops called “You’ve got guts!”. This stimulating learning experience – featuring professionally animated content – will cover subjects such as the anatomy of the digestive tract, gut bacteria and immune system, and the influence of certain food groups on wellbeing.

Speaking about the grant Dr Schiering said

“This public engagement grant means our lab gets the chance to interact with local communities to raise awareness of the importance of gut health.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world and lives, in many different ways. Restrictions have brought with them a significant disruption to children’s daily routines, including exercise patterns and eating habits. The anxiety associated with social isolation, in combination with an increased sedentary lifestyle, has led to serious concerns about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the global childhood obesity crisis. Our interactive science workshop will focus on positive messages centred around what keeps us healthy and why our guts play a central role in promoting health.”