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!

 

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.

 

As part of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) Open Day in October 2014 I gave a talk in catalan aimed at explaining current challenges in anticancer drug discovery from the very basics of drug action and the historical discovery of the first chemotherapy until more state-of-the art research that I carried out as part of my PhD to understand the complex mechanism of action of PARP drugs. I also took part in the station where the basics of DNA were explained to children of a wide range of ages that they could then take home! Yummy!

Xerrada de divulgacio cientifica on introduia els conceptes basics de com funcionen els farmacs contra el cancer, revisavem una mica el descobriment historic de la quimioterapia i introduia tambe la recerca duta a terme durant el meu doctorat sobre el complex mecanisme d'accio dels farmacs PARP. Podeu descarregar la presentació aquí

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.

Organised by the Catalan Association of Scientific Communication, Il.lustraciencia aims at disseminating the importance of science illustration and pushes it in all its forms, supporting science illustrators and rewarding them through the convening of the International Award for Scientific Illustration. In this contest, I joined forces with the french Illustrator Julia del Mar to illustrate my publication in Oncotarget. The resulting artwork is entitled "Choose the red pill (against Cancer Magister)" and it shows the different crab-killing effects of drugs that should be having the exact same effect as they are from the same class. As we showed in our paper, drugs of the same class can have different off-target effects... Il.lustraciencia blog post.

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