Medical secrets uncovered at the Science Centre

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The mysterious but fascinating world of medical research was brought sharply into focus for a group of Kirkintilloch High School pupils this week.

Following their stint at the Glasgow Science Centre some of them may even be contemplating a career in a field in which Scots have traditionally been world leaders.

Malaria, osteoporosis, cancer, lung and kidney disease were just some of the areas of pioneering medical research carried out in Scotland highlighted by the Meet the Researcher Showcase earlier this week.

The event also demonstrated Medical Research Scotland’s commitment to supporting scientists it funds, who are at the earliest stages of establishing their careers, and promoting collaborative work between academia and industry.

Pupils had the opportunity to meet a group of 21 Medical Research Scotland-funded undergraduate and postgraduate researchers with their supervisors from universities across Scotland and find out more about their fascinating work.

The research topics on show ranged from how exercise affects the body clock, whether deep sea bacteria can fight cancer and the potential of fatty acids as a treatment for spinal cord injury.

Pupils also engaged with exhibitors who used innovative and fun ways to relay research on parasites, viruses, cancer, dementia and endoscopes from the Universities of Dundee, Glasgow and Strathclyde, the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and TC BioPharm Ltd.

Professor Philip Winn, chairman of Medical Research Scotland said: “The Meet the Researcher Showcase aims to inspire and inform pupils about the wealth of careers linked to medical research.

“The medicines, medical devices and diagnostic tools used in medical practice – as well as the basic biological understanding of diseases – require a huge amount of skill, expertise and effort before anything reaches medical practice.

“By meeting real-life researchers who, in some cases, are just a few years older than themselves, and hearing from scientists engaged in truly pioneering work here in Scotland, we hope that pupils leave the event with a sense of ambition and of their own potential as they move towards university and on into their working lives.