The Section of Investigative Medicine is at the forefront of hormone research. Our research interests include investigating how the gut and brain control appetite and hormonal control of fertility. We are passionate to share our research with you. We regularly hold outreach events so please come and pay us a visit.

Outreach Activities

Society for Endocrinology Summer Studentship, Summer 2017

Society for Endocrinology

Dr Kevin Murphy is currently hosting a summer studentship funded by the Society for Endocrinology. The ten-week placement offers undergraduate student Hassan Khan the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience by working within an active research environment under Dr Murphy's supervision.

Imperial Festival 2017

Over the weekend of 6-7th May, the Kisspeptin research group took part in the annual ‘Imperial College Festival’ – an outreach event that sees tens of thousands of members of the public interact with researchers at festival stalls and stands.

We used two interactive stations at our stand to engage members of the public and to explain our research.  At the first, we used a model arm, fake ‘blood’, and a centrifuge to demonstrate how we undertake clinical research and our reasoning behind it.  We used this alongside a ‘fertility quiz’ to discuss the clinical application of kisspeptin, the neuropeptide we investigate, and its physiological role. At the second stand, we used ‘scratch and sniff’ cards, as well as fMRI images, to explain to those attending how senses, such as smell, may stimulate reactions in individuals that can then be assessed using fMRI.

Imperial Festival

Using forms, we received feedback from participants who attended.  100% of those who completed the forms stated that they enjoyed the activity (either ‘yes, lots’ or ‘yes’) with those who attended stating that they learnt about, ‘advancements in alternative reproduction methods’, that the stand was, ‘(a) great mix of theory, practical skills & fun’ and that they had learnt ‘about a hormone I had never heard of.’

The Imperial Festival weekend was a great event, which provided us with a fun and unique opportunity to interact with members of the public, explain our research and received feedback from them.

To find out more about Imperial Festival 2017 please see the Festival page.

Imperial Festival Schools' Day

The Kisspeptin research group were fortunate to be selected to present at the Imperial Festival Schools’ day on 5th May 2017.  300 local school children 9-10 years old attended as part of a strategy to engage young local children in science. 

Schools Festival 1Using two interactive stands we were able to introduce our research areas to the school children – at one stand we used ‘smelling jars’ and fMRI images to introduce the concept of hormonal responses to stimuli being visible on fMRI images – and at the other we demonstrated how we undertake clinical research, using an model arm with ‘blood’ and a centrifuge to show how we process samples.

The schoolchildren were accompanied by teachers who provided feedback using a feedback form at our stands.  100% stated of teachers that their pupils enjoyed the activities (using the ‘yes, lots’ option provided), 100% stated that the activities were age-appropriate, and 90% had never undertaken a similar activity before. We received overall positive feedback including the following from a teacher, ‘It was an engaging intro into the research.  Thank you!’

The Imperial Festival Schools’ day was a brilliant opportunity for us as researchers to engage young children and their teachers in science, and to consider how our research might be of interest to those attending. 


'We all remember our first kiss' - Pint of Science festival, 23-25 May 2016

In May 2016 the three-day Pint of Science festival took place on the floating pub, Tamesis Dock, across the river from the Houses of Parliament. 'Pint of Science' was founded by previous Waljitpostdoctoral scientists from Imperial College and has continued to run successfully each year since 2013 with the events designed to engage the public in science and make scientific research accessible to everyone in a relaxed pub atmosphere!

On Tuesday, Professor Waljit Dhillo from the Section of Investigative Medicine spoke to the public about his pioneering work on kisspeptin, a hormone important for puberty, and his translational work at using kisspeptin to help make fertility treatments safer which has led to 30 healthy babies.

For more information on the Pint of Science event please visit the blog post 'Putting the pub into public engagement'.

For more information on Professor Waljit Dhillo and his work, please see his personal web page.

Research Nurse Debbie Papadopoulou demonstrating the kisspeptin team's clinical studies to local children Imperial Festival, 7-8 May 2016

Researchers from the Kisspeptin team presented their work at Imperial Festival 2016, which welcomed an estimated 15,000 members of the public. The festival was a fantastic opportunity for researchers to share the fun and fascination of their research with the public, and for the public to learn about the cutting-edge research taking place at Imperial College.

Using a demonstration of the team's clinical studies, attendees were able to participate in a live display of centrifuging and discover more about the team's innovative research.

To find out more about Imperial Festival 2016 please see the Festival page.