The Harnett Labs
Medical Research Scotland Meet the Researcher Event 2017 - 2019
The Harnett Lab secured funding from the British Society of Immunology to develop an interactive exhibit to inspire school leavers to continue into a Biomedical degree and a career in science. Our "Parasites: Friend or Foe?" exhibit demonstrated the many ways that parasitic worms can enter and reside in our bodies and also the diseases that parasites can cause, but also protect us from developing. The event spanned two days at Dundee Science Centre and Glasgow Science Centre with many local schools participating. We also created a careers Poster to help create a dialoue about the career potential following a Biomedical degree.
Westerton Primary School Public Engagement
Recently, the Harnett Labs from Strathclyde and Glasgow University spent the morning at Westerton Primary School, teaching the P6/7s about worms and the hygiene hypothesis. The children were given a short presentation about the types of parasites that infect people and the diseases those people can suffer as a result of infection. The children were then taken round four stations to explore, the Hygiene Hypothesis Jigsaw Map, the Anatomy of an Infection Torso, the Parasite Arms Race board game and lastly (to much disgusted awe) allowed to observe our parasites under a microscope. Finally, the children were involved in a lively Q&A session with all the scientists to discuss any of their thoughts from the day.
Cell Block Science
Cell Block Science is an unique public engagement initiative promoting informal STEM learning in prisons. It is run with HMP Low Moss and HMP Shotts in Glasgow. Members of the Harnett lab visited both prisons, creating an informal lesson on parasitic worms, the hygiene hypothesis and the potential for worm products to create new drugs against obesity and arthritis. It was a really interesting, different public engagement experience.
This summer Billy and Maggie have been travelling; attending conferences, visiting old lab members and talking all things parasites! They kicked the summer off with a visit to Belgrade as part of a European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) visit hosted by the Immunological Society of Serbia. There they also caught up with Drs Mairi McGrath and Verica Paunovic, shown in the picture on the right. Next was a trip down under where Billy gave seminars in Cairns, hosted by Professor Alex Loukas and in Melbourne, hosted by Professor Nicola Harris. Lastly, a short trip down south to the Oxford Centre for Microbiome Studies Microbiome Meeting!.
University of Strathclyde Open Days - October 2019
We brought our Parasites: Friend or Foe exhibit to the Strathclyde Open Day this year to help highlight some of the research that takes place in Strathclyde Insititute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and to give potential new students an insight into the wonderful world of parasites! We brought some of our ticks for students to look at under the microscope and had videos of the different stages of the parasitic worm we work with the create ES-62.
One of the nicest things about working in Science is the opportunities we get to travel to conferences and universities, and to do different public engagement events. These all give us the chance to talk about our research. You can keep up-to-date with our activities on Twitter @HarnettLab or Facebook (Drugs from Bugs).