The Drug Development Unit held its biannual Open Evening for their patients during May 2018 and the Institute of Cancer Research also organized an open evening the 3rd of December aimed at 50 sixth form students from eight local schools. In both events we ran our sucessful VR outreach activity where students learn how drugs bind to their protein receptors and the challenges associated with drugging difficult targets using the Oculus Rift. Very good fun!



La taula rodona per impulsar els treballs de recerca va tenir lloc el passat dilluns 19 de novembre, a les 18 h, la sala Lluís Companys de la Seu del Districte d’Horta-Guinardó, Barcelona.

El posterior debat entre el public i els membres de la taula va ser molt animat i interessant i va tocar temes com la formulacio de la hipotesi, l'idoneitat de fer treballs de forma individual o en grup i la col.laboracio amb institucions cientifiques. Un plaer haver format part d'aquesta taula rodona!



I participated together with a team of ICR scientists in the Royal Holloway annual science festival that took place Saturday 5th March in Egham (Surrey). With the goal of inspiring children with the cancer research we do at the ICR, we decided to create an activity to explain targeted cancer therapy (as opposed to more toxic chemotherapy) in a way that children could have fun whilst learning. We named the activity "Targeted Therapy Game" and we played with ball sizes and spoons and tongues to show how targeting the drugs to the tumour in a more precise way was a much better approach to treat cancer. It was really very good fun! Link Activity Description.


The Imperial Festival took place between 6-7 May 2017, at Imperial’s South Kensington campus. The yearly event draws attendance of around 15,000 Imperial students, alumni and members of the public. 

We developed several activities around the topic of Data Science in cancer. I participated the development of two activities. First, a Guess Who game-board to illustrate how we select protein targets for new drug discovery campaigns and explain the concepts of cancer driver and druggability. The second one consisted in displaying a protein-ligand complex and use the Oculus Rift Virual Reality (VR) to allow visitors to experience VR and feel as if they were inside the protein. This helped us explain how drugs work and talk about the drug discovery efforts undertaken at the ICR Cancer Therapeutics Unit! Everybody loved the activities, particularly the VR which had a consistent queue during both days! It was really good fun!


As part of the ICR Open Evening in November 2015 we developed together with the PhD student Lizzie Coker an adventure-game like activity aimed at 17-year old students to explain them the many challenges we face at selecting targets for follow up drug discovery projects at the ICR. We introduced them the concepts of loss-of-function, druggability and gave them an overall view of the drug discovery process as a whole. They did succeed in selecting the targets of many of the drug candidates discovered and developed at the ICR Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit making it a very interactive and entertaining evening. You can find the poster of the adventure game here and a brief description of the activity here.

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