Itching For A Career In Bioscience

Nottingham students will scratch below the surface of infection and infectious diseases when they attend a morning convention aimed at stripping away the rumours and hearsay of some of the scariest and most prominent current health issues.
By: Louise Third, Integra Communications
Feb. 26, 2011 - PRLog -- Swine and Bird Flu, hospital acquired infections and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are frequently high on the news agenda but seldom scientifically explained. On Thursday 17th March, around 70 Nottingham sixth formers will gather at BioCity Nottingham for the ‘Infection and Infectious Diseases’ convention delivered by nationally-recognised experts.

The convention - the first event of its kind coordinated by the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet Bio-Ed Lab (formerly the bioKneX Edu-Lab) with the support of Medilink East Midlands - is a contribution towards schools’ National Science and Engineering Week and aims to open up the fascinating world of science to students considering a career in the sector.

Delegates will receive an exclusive insight into how these infections are spread and the battle to contain and treat them. Confirmed speakers include  Nottingham Trent University’s bacterial genetics and molecular microbiology expert, Dr Alan McNally; Director of Nottingham’s Centre for Healthcare Associated Infections, Professor Richard James and Dr Fran Pitt, Lead for Sexual Health at the Health Protection Agency East Midlands.  

Dr McNally, who will speak about the facts behind the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic and the return of the virus this winter, said: "There has been massive media coverage of Flu over the past 18 months, yet the general public has been given very little scientific detail on what happened, how it happened or that the return of the virus the following winter (and every winter afterwards until the next pandemic) was perfectly normal and to be expected.

"Being able to present this to the next generation of bioscientists is of great value in showing that, in science, the facts are even more interesting than the media-hyped stories.  It’s also a chance to educate the general public on one of the greatest threats to public health."

Sally Baker, Bio-Ed Lab Manager, said: "We’re really privileged to have such a fantastic line-up of speakers at this event who I’m sure will inspire the next generation of scientists.  Events such as this are vital in our vision to make Nottingham one of the world’s leading science cities."

Part of the A Level curriculum is based around immunology and antibiotics and students attending the Infection and Infectious Diseases Convention will also have the chance to pitch any questions to the panel of expert speakers in order to help them with their on-going studies.  

Professor James commented: "It is an important role for scientists to try and help inform the wider public about science.  Hopefully we will have some success in explaining our science and responding to the questions of the 6th form students attending this Convention. In addition, perhaps we can enthuse at least some of the students to consider becoming one of the next generation of researchers."

Away from the Convention, the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet Bio-Ed Lab is giving Nottingham’s science students a taste of laboratory life by delivering workshops with an emphasis on practical exploration.  Students have the chance to work in a real-life laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art facilities on activities such as extracting their own DNA, analysing it and even taking it home as a necklace!

Sally added:  "There’s no better way to inspire students than with practical, hands-on activities.  In the Bio-Ed Lab, they even get to play the role of a forensic scientist and solve a murder mystery!  It’s great to see them so fascinated by the results of practical science."
The Healthcare and Bioscience iNet is funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


Press photo call and interviews with students: 12 noon at BioCity on 17th March
Please call for a press pass.

Media contact:
Louise Third, Integra Communications
T: 0115 912 4350 / 07773 288342


Infection and Infections Disease Convention
Date: Thursday 17th March 2011
Time: 09:00 - 12:00
Venue: BioCity Nottingham (please call to check the parking situation in advance).

About the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet

The Healthcare and Bioscience iNet helps people in the sector, particularly in East Midlands’ businesses and universities, to develop new technologies, processes, products and services in order to build a healthy economy

Innovation is a key strategic priority for East Midlands Development Agency (emda). Four sector specific Innovation Networks (iNets), including Healthcare and Bioscience, have been established to help turn innovative ideas in to business opportunities.

The iNet concept was developed by emda and East Midlands Innovation (the Regional Science and Industry Council) to bring together businesses, colleges, universities, public sector representatives and individuals with a shared interest in a market or the technology that underpins it.

A key aim of iNet is to provide a sector-specific focus that enables organisations to exchange knowledge and form collaborations to exploit new ideas.

The Healthcare and Bioscience iNet is based at BioCity in Nottingham, a renowned life science industry centre of excellence but it covers the whole region.

About Medilink East Midlands

Medilink EM was established by emda in 2000 and formed a limited by Guarantee Company in February 2004.  Medilink EM is the networking organisation for the healthcare and bioscience sector in the East Midlands, encompassing medical technologies, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.  Membership benefits include specific healthcare support in marketing, regulatory affairs, clinical evaluation and procurement, access to training and networking events, international conference and exhibition support, and use of sophisticated research tools.  

Medilink EM’s diverse membership base includes large healthcare companies such as 3M Health Care in Loughborough, medium size companies including Pennine Healthcare in Derby and smaller companies like Hospital Aids in Northampton.  Membership is also drawn from the region’s broader healthcare community including service companies, the universities, and the NHS.  

Medilink EM is also part of a national network of similar organisations, Medilink UK, which is driving national healthcare strategy through its links with central government.

About ERDF in the East Midlands

The East Midlands is eligible for Euro 268.5m (approximately GBP 236m at current exchange rates) between 2007 and 2013, which when combined with match funding, provides a programme value of approximately GBP 472m - a significant investment in the economic development of the region.

The East Midlands qualifies as a competitiveness and employment region under the EU’s Cohesion Policy, which aims to meet the EU Lisbon objective to become ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social inclusion.’

A Programme Monitoring Committee, chaired by the Regional Director of Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM), guides the strategic direction of the programme and works closely with emda.

To find out more about ERDF, the region’s strategy for delivering the funds, how to apply for funding and how the programme is managed, please visit

About emda

East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development.

emda is committed to supporting the region through the current downturn and has put in place a range of measures to provide real help during these challenging times.  

For more details visit

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Source:Louise Third, Integra Communications
Zip:NG1 1GF
Tags:Infection, Infections Disease, Convention
Industry:Education, Biotech, Science
Location:Nottingham - Nottinghamshire - England
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