LMS research on show at this year’s Great Exhibition Road Festival

 10 March 2022   Public Science

Three activities from the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) have been selected to be part of this year’s Great Exhibition Road Festival – a weekend-long festival led by Imperial College London that will take place 18-19 June.

The activities include a puzzle game that will see attendees challenged to solve a real data question faced by the LMS Developmental Epigenomics research group. Professor Juanma Vaquerizas, who heads up the lab said, “We are really happy to have had our proposal accepted to be part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival. Everyone in the lab is looking forward to sharing our work and talking with people about what we’ve discovered and how! It’s all about the scientific process and sharing the story of how we had our own Eureka moment that we hope participants will have when they do our activity.” 

In another activity, Festival attendees will have the opportunity to explore research from the LMS Gut Signalling and Metabolism group, which investigates gut plasticity. Attendees will participate in a bungee run challenge that illustrates how the gut can change in length, and how this influences the ability to extract nutrients from our diet. 

Professor Irene Miguel-Aliaga, head of the lab said, “We’re excited to share our research in such a creative way. I think it will be a really fun and engaging experience for attendees, but I also think it will be great for all of us in the lab to do something a bit different together.” 

The third activity selected for the Festival is a classic science fair activity that will see children and their families getting messy and hands-on as they extract DNA from a strawberry. 

“The Festival is a fantastic way to engage new audiences with our research,” says Ellie Cawthera, Events and Engagement Manager at the LMS who is supporting the design and delivery of the activities. “I’m already enjoying working with Juanma and Irene to help their innovative engagement ideas become a reality and the strawberry DNA extraction activity will offer a great opportunity for all staff and students at the LMS to get involved with the Festival.” 

The Great Exhibition Road Festival is completely free and open to all and, in 2019, around 60,000 visitors engaged with activities across the weekend. The Festival is a collaboration between Imperial College London and cultural partners in and around Exhibition Road in South Kensington where the Festival will take place.