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The summer of 2019 saw many of our researchers getting involved in initiatives to engage young people with our work.

Group of international students outside the John Radcliffe Hospital © Nicholas Irving

London International Youth Science Forum

The London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) is a two week residential student event held at Imperial College London & The Royal Geographical Society, with lecture demonstrations from leading scientists, visits to world class laboratories and universities combined with cultural interaction, with 500 students aged 16-21 years old from 70 countries.

A group of 23 of these students (pictured) visited our Department.They came from 14 countries including UAE, Australia China, India, Israel, Sweden, Taiwan and New Zealand. Our Breathe Oxford lab got them involved in some interactive activities related to their research into the brain and breathing. The students also had the chance to visit our neuropathology lab, and learned about reaction times and Parkinson’s from our NeuroMetrology Group. 


in2scienceUK is an award winning charity which empowers students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their potential and progress to STEM and research careers through high quality work placements and careers guidance.

Three groups from our Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging hosted In2Science students this year: the Walton Lab, Kia Nobre's group and Cath Harmer's group (the Psychopharmacology and Emotion Research Laboratory). 

Psychopharmacology and Emotion Research Laboratory 

Emma Kemp spent two weeks in this lab, investigating novel and existing medicines for the treatment of depression using brain imaging experiments.

Emma is preparing for an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, so PERL Senior Postdoctoral Research Assistant Cassandra Gould van Praag designed a project to help her gain an understanding of how engineering expertise may be applied in psychiatric neuroimaging.

Emma was tasked to apply a new automated technique for determining the quality of brain imaging data, and see how this compares to manual data quality assessments. Over the course of the project Emma was learning computer programming, how to work on a remote high performance computing cluster, understanding the physics behind magnetic resonance imaging data collection and how it can go wrong, and practising her skills in summarising and presenting research findings. She also gained excellent first hand experience with software, systems and practices which are essential to conducting high quality, transparent and reproducible neuroimaging.

Reflecting on her placement Emma said "I've had such an amazing time here with Cass and the team. [It was] really exciting to have the opportunity to get an insight into an industry I would not have otherwise considered looking into." Cassandra said, "Emma showed excellent initiative and commitment during her placement, and it was very rewarding to see her confidence and expertise grow. I hope that this experience will stay with her and she will remember how much fun it can be working on something you are really passionate about!".

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