Posted on February 8, 2016

Twelve transition year students from Dublin and its surrounding areas will today commence a three day interactive MiniScience programme, which will run from 8th – 10th February. As part of the course, students will experience life as a scientist while taking part in interactive workshops where they will learn about the ageing of the human brain, neuronal cell structure and functioning. They will learn about research into Motor Neuron Disease and will get the opportunity to observe and treat cancer cells. The programme is being led and co-ordinated by Dr Helena Bonner in the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) in conjunction with the Centre for Systems Medicine, based at RCSI.

Dr Ian Miller, a post doctoral researcher in the RCSI Department of Physiology & Medical Physics, shows the TYs how to do a DNA extraction experiment

Other highlights from the week will include students gaining hands on experience in separating DNA using gel electrophoresis. They will also hear from our researchers about the daily working lives of CSM researchers and about their careers to date. The programme will also feature a guest lecture from Claire McDonald, Programmes Directorate, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), who will speak about SFI’s “STEM and Smart Futures” initiatives. The programme will end with sessions on the importance of Systems Biology and Biostatistics in translational research.

Speaking on the programme, Professor Jochen Prehn, Professor of Physiology and Medical Physics & Director for the Centre for Systems Medicine, RCSI said, “I am delighted to welcome the students to RCSI for this programme. Over the next three days they will get a real experience for what life is really like for researchers and scientists. I hope, from this programme, that the students will learn a lot and perhaps it will lead to them considering a career in science”.

RCSI is ranked 46th in the world for ‘International Outlook’ and #251 – 300 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2015-2016). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

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