Public Engagement News
HRH The Earl of Wessex pays virtual visit to Oxfordshire to meet faces behind county’s world-class innovation
In a special virtual event arranged by Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, HRH, The Earl of Wessex, met Oxfordshire business owners and leaders.
Devon Family’s Fundraising Initiative for Covid-19 Jenner Trials
Meet Rose (12), Gryffin (8) and Bryn (4) from rural Devon whose determination to reach their goal continues each day!
Like many families across the UK, and the world, they are unable to see their extended family, including elderly grandparents. Their mum, Laura Gordon Clark, wrote in to tell us that the realisation was beginning to dawn on her children that it would be a long while before they could give their grandparents a real ‘hug’.
Rose, Gryff and Bryn decided to use their daily exercise routine, to between them, run across a field the distance equivalent to that of the nearest grandparent in Hampshire (143.1 miles). After Laura explained to the children that a vaccine against corona virus would provide everyone the best chance of being able to safely hug their grandparents and loved ones once again, they decided to ask for sponsorship for the run, in support of the vaccine that is being developed at the Jenner Institute.
Weʼre raising money to Help Covid-19 vaccine development with Professor Sarah Gilbert and her team at Oxford University https://covid19vaccinetrial.co.uk/about. Support this JustGivingCrowdfunding Page.
Since the original plea, the total amount raised is now over £2,000! They have made it into their local paper, and been interviewed by BBC Radio Devon. The children now have only 24 more miles to go before they 'reach granny'!
Thank you to Rose, Gryffin and Bryn for your fantastic endeavour and contribution to science!
Science Exhibition 2018 | Monday 2 July - Sunday 8 July | London
(including the Jenner Institute: Designer Malaria Vaccines exhibit)
The malaria parasite is a shape-shifter, changing its surface coat to escape destruction by the human body. This depends upon a malaria protein called RH5 binding to a human protein called basigin on the surface of red blood cells. Unlike the other variable malaria surface proteins, RH5 does not vary, making it more easily recognised and destroyed. Jenner Investigators Sumi Biswas and Simon Draper have immunised human volunteers with RH5. Antibodies isolated from these volunteers prevent the parasite from invading red blood cells. At the RS Summer Science Exhibition they will show the public how it works, using games to detect the unchanging elements in a shape-shifting parasite, 3D models demonstrating of RH5 binding to basigin and antibodies and interactive maps to see the impact of vaccines on global health.
Research Laboratory Tours
As part of the NHS 70 week of events we would like to invite you to take a “behind the scenes” tour of some of our Research laboratories.
We are running 2 tours of the Vaccine Laboratories at the Jenner Institute, with a focus on Malaria vaccines.
Wednesday 4th July 2018 at the Jenner Institute, Old Road Campus Research Building
Tour 1: 13.00 for 45 min (FULLY BOOKED)
Tour 2: 14.00 for 45 min (6 PLACES STILL AVAILABLE)
The Jenner Institute was founded in November 2005 to develop innovative vaccines against major global diseases. Uniquely it focuses on diseases of both humans and livestock and tests new vaccine approaches in parallel, in different species. A major theme is translational research involving the rapid early-stage development and assessment of new vaccines in clinical trials.
The Jenner Institute has an extensive malaria vaccine programme and has conducted more than 60 clinical trials of new malaria vaccines in the UK and Africa. Making a vaccine against malaria is particularly challenging because the parasite has a very complex life-cycle, meaning that an effective vaccine has to induce a strong response involving different types of immune cells. The Jenner Institute is developing new and improved malaria vaccines in the laboratory and rapidly translating these new vaccines through testing in clinical trials.
European Researchers Night: 29 Sep 2017 across town. Further information for 2017 should be available on their website in due course:
Living well Oxford: May 2017
Oxford City Centre Living Well is a collaborative public engagement project between the Oxford AHSN, Science Oxford and the Oxford Health Experiences Institute to support the exploration and understanding of health and healthcare. The collaboration secured a grant from Wellcome to fund a “pop-up shop” entitled “Ageing: From Birth and Beyond” which was held in Templars Square Shopping Centre in May 2017, and involved working with seldom-heard communities to inform activity development and working with researchers to provide opportunities for public engagement and build capacity.
Visit from Dutch students: 11 Jan 2017
In January, a group of 15 students aged 21-24 years from the Netherlands visited Oxford to learn about our research. They were hosted by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccinology Group (OVG). Students took part in hands on activities, attended talks and a laboratory tour.
A recent, somewhat unexpected, public engagement by our vaccine development project manager Rebecca Ashfield:
Whilst on holiday recently in Grenada (aka the ‘Spice Isle’) I was chatting to the owner of the hotel, who volunteers at local schools on the Island. He suggested I give a talk about vaccines to year 5 and 6 students at Vendome primary school, located in the mountains near the capital Saint George’s. Naturally, I agreed. We discussed the importance of vaccines and how they work. The students (about 25 of them) were very interested to hear about vaccines being developed at the Jenner against Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya, which are all endemic in Grenada. Nearly all of the students had been infected with Chikungunya in 2015!
Oxford Open Doors 2016: Saturday 10th September 2016, 10am-4pm. NDM Research Building - Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford OX3 7FZ.
On a very dreary and damp Saturday, numerous visitors made their way to our stall in the basement of the NDM building. Our researchers chatted to a variety of people about vaccine development and other topics related to infectious diseases. As usual, our "build a mosquito" was popular with children. Our new "Bacteriology Detectives" activities got people talking about their microbiome.
LIYSF visit, 4th August 2016
In August a group of top international students attending the London International Youth Science Forum visited Oxford and learned about our research during a visit co-hosted by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccinology Group (OVG). Students took part in hands on activities, attended talks and a laboratory tour.
The Oxfordshire Science Festival 2016
The Oxfordshire Science Festival ran from 23rd June to 3rd July 2016, in a new and exciting format. The Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) were in the Town Hall on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June. As well as discussing our challenge clinical trials which are part of the development of vaccines against Malaria and Typhoid, the visitors were able to take part in hands on activities, quizzes and games on vaccines and infectious diseases. A “snakes and ladders” game enabled players to learn about the complexities and challenges of the process of taking a vaccine from a theoretical concept through to clinical trials, while our youngest visitors enjoyed the popular “build a mosquito” craft. Budding scientists were given the opportunity to learn a few practical everyday laboratory techniques, such as how to use a pipette. We also surveyed public attitudes on vaccination through a written questionnaire which was also a good starting point for discussions about vaccines and vaccination.
The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 7-12 June 2016
On Tuesday 7th June there was a panel discussion on Genetically Modified Vaccines: Infection specialist Andrew Pollard and vaccinologists Adrian Hill and Bryan Charleston were in the Helix Theatre to discuss the importance of vaccines in animals and humans and the pros and cons of recent research. The Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) were in the activity tents throughout Saturday, where visitors were able to see mosquito dissections and take part in hands on activities, quizzes and games on vaccines and infectious diseases.
The stall was a huge success! Around 1000 visitors came to chat to our researchers and find out more about vaccine development and other infectious disease-related sciences. Adults were very willing to answer our short questionnaire on the use of vaccines in public health. Children of all ages (as well as a few parents!) were keen to make use of our arts and crafts activities including "build a virus" and the ever popular "build a mosquito". A snakes and ladders game in which players could learn the practicalities of taking a vaccine from its theoretical conception through pre-clinical development, clinical trials and into the field, also proved very popular with young budding scientists, as did learning a few practical everyday laboratory techniques such as how to use a pipette.
The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre – Open Day, 21 April 2016
The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre held a public open day “Celebrating Medical Research in Oxford” on Thursday 21st April from midday to 5pm at the John Radcliffe Hospital. The event, at Tingewick Hall in the Academic Block, included interactive stands, lectures, debates and tours about the work of the Oxford BRC, which funds medical research across seven areas including cancer, diabetes, stroke and genetics.
We participated with a stand on malaria and typhoid challenge clinical trials, in collaboration with the OVG, with many hands-on props illustrating the clinical and laboratory activites surrounding clinical trials.
13th Annual Schools Science Conference, London, 20 April 2016
The 13th Annual Schools Science Conference: Science for Your Future was held at the University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish St, London W1W 6UW.
The conference was for students in school years 9 - 11 and aimed to:
• Inspire studying science
• Demonstrate the importance of science in health and everyday life
• Showcase the exciting and rewarding careers open to those who study science
The day had sessions of interactive hands-on stands, workshops, lectures and presentations by the students. Most of the content was relevant to the school curriculum and the students could learn about the various routes of entry into different science careers.
Together, the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) held an interactive stand on various vaccinology concepts. We had good discussions with the attending students and teachers and ran a survey on the student attitudes to vaccines.