The MRC CMBI had its annual Away Day on 21 June at the Linnean Society London in London’s Piccadilly. The theme for the day was “The Art of New Biology: Creativity, Technologies and Multidisciplinarity”. The day-long activities included five scientific talks and a treasure hunt organised by students and postdocs.
Professor Alain Filloux, who took over as Interim CMBI Director in March 2019, started the day’s proceedings with a brief history of the CMBI which is now in its 7th year and has grown to 22 members of PIs, 75 PhD students and 75 postdocs.
Among the speakers was Molly Stevens, Professor of Biomedical Materials & Regenerative Medicine, Department of Materials, who presented a breath-taking overview of her group’s work on new materials and diagnostic tools. Karen Polizzi from the Department of Chemical Engineering spoke on better biosensor designs for various bioprocesses. Roser Vento from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge presented insight on maternal-foetal crosstalk deciphered using cutting-edge single-cell RNAseq technologies. Professor Peter Childs, Head of the Dyson School of Design, captured everyone’s imagination by showcasing exciting and commercially successful products designed at Imperial and by inspiring the audience to be creative in their scientific projects. Professor Tony Cass, Department of Chemistry, spoke on devices his group invented to help quantify various health parameters in humans.
PhD students Will Pearson, Amy Switzer, postdoctoral associate Camilla Godlee and laboratory manager Megan Winterbotham together organised a fun-filled treasure hunt in the Piccadilly area. Participants tweeted pictures of themselves at various stops along the way and winners received chocolate hampers! The day concluded with drinks, nibbles and, for those interested, cricket at a local pub.
The CMBI Away Days aim to foster team building and networking and includes talks by scientists from diverse fields. Past themes have included “Evolution” and “The Science of Language and the Language of Science”. As with previous years, the 2019 Away Day was organised by Dr Avinash Shenoy, Lecturer in the Centre, with help from the Centre Manager, Nicola Tingley.