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Our bodies can become epic battlegrounds in the fight against disease and injury. In this all out arms race, what weapons have we got at our disposal? Can we re-programme our immune systems to fight certain diseases? How much does ‘mind over matter’ help in the fight? And how do we stop diseases like Ebola sweeping across the globe? Join us for an evening of cutting edge research and try your hand at some science poetry!
Using our own Immune Systems to fight Cancer - and Winning the Battle
Alexander Haragan (MRC Clinical Research Fellow)
Our own immune system helps us stay well by protecting us from a wide array of dangers like infections, and can also play a role in combating cancer. As we sadly often see, our immune system can become overwhelmed or “blocked” by the cancer, and unable to fight it. With the right medicines we can help the immune system to re-target and destroy cancer. These drugs can be fantastic – but they come with a cost…. Alex’s talk will focus on lung cancer and will cover the work he and his colleagues are doing to balance the negative and positive, and make sure these drugs are used in the best way.
Epidemics! What happened with Ebola and Zika?
Raquel Medialdea Carrera (PhD Student at the Institute of Infection and Global Health)
In 2014, the worst epidemic of Ebola ever recorded hit Africa. In 2015, Zika spread across Latin America in the largest outbreak of this virus to date. What have we learnt from the worst epidemics of this century? Have those virus now disappeared? Why were these outbreaks so harmful? Join researcher Raquel as she tells of her experience working in Sierra Leone and Brazil during both epidemics, and talks about how these epidemics were controlled and discusses what will be be the next big pandemic….?
The Uncertainties of Surgery: The Most Awesome Placebo
Whilst you probably believe that all surgery has rigorous evidence underpinning in, I'm afraid you may be mistaken. There is very little high quality evidence in surgery, especially orthopaedic (bone and muscle) surgery. In fact, it is increasingly apparent that many operations work, but probably only work as much as placebo operations (i.e. operations with general anaesthetics, with the same cuts in the skin - but no actual operation on the inside!). Clinical trials are now gripping orthopaedic surgery, but how will this change the face of operations that are performed?