The MRC CMBI Postdoc Association (CPA) is a group of postdocs and Junior Fellows within the CMBI. We are run by postdocs, for the benefit of postdocs, so get involved!

Our mission is to:

  • encourage interaction between postdocs within the CMBI
  • foster a sense of community and encourage debate and open communication
  • aid in the career development of postdocs
  • help new postdocs integrate into the CMBI
  • provide a voice for postdocs to Imperial College and the CMBI management group.

You can find information on postdoc events by checking our noticeboard in the lobby of the Flowers Building. The purpose of our meetings is to encourage interaction, debate and collaboration, whilst also sharing some laughs and good times.  Details of upcoming events will also be circulated via email.  


CPA meetings

We meet about once per month to discuss science, give presentations, organise events, network or just hang out together. From time to time we also have social events. If you are a CMBI postdoc please join us! Meetings will be announced on the CPA noticeboard (located in the lobby of the Flowers building), but the easiest way to stay updated is to join our mailing list by contacting Julia Sanchez-Garrido (julia.sanchez-garrido08@imperial.ac.uk). 


The committee (as of January 2021)

RoleNameEmail
President Dr Julia Sanchez-Garrido julia.sanchez-garrido08@imperial.ac.uk
Vice President Dr Ines Diaz del Olmo i.diaz-del-olmo@imperial.ac.uk 
Treasurer Dr Will Pearson  w.pearson16@imperial.ac.uk 
Outreach Activites Officers

Dr Anna Klöckner
Dr Carolina Simoes-da-Silva 

a.kloeckner@imperial.ac.uk
c.simoes-da-silva@imperial.ac.uk

 

Outreach Activities

Both 2020 and 2021 have been tough for science outreach activities, as COVID-19 put a stop on the plans for the annual Great Exhibition Road Festival. Looking for alternative ways to communicate with families and the general public, we started a collaboration with the Community engagement team at White City. Thanks to them we were able to reach out to children through the virtual Meet the Scientist sessions organised by NOVA (https://novanew.org.uk/). In these sessions, one of our volunteers would talk about a science topic with some slides, followed by some questions for the children and finally it would be the children (and the parents) asking question to the scientist (ie the CMBI volunteer in this case). The sessions worked very well, and the questions asked were surprisingly good despite the young age of the participants (6-12 year olds). For example, after explaining how specialised immune cells (phagocytes) can eat bacteria and then show the rest of the immune cells how the bad bacteria look (antigen presenting cells), one kid was quick to ask whether bacteria can disguise themselves to avoid being recognised (they indeed can!).

While these sessions were dependent on individual volunteers, we also decided to organise half-term workshops where more volunteers from the CMBI could be involved and work together. This workshop targeted families with young children from the community and took place in the Invention rooms in Autumn 2021, again with the full support of the engagement, who provided the space and did the advertising to the community for us. We put together two different workshops to be held on different days: one more focussed on showing families what bacteria are and how we can study them and the second explaining more about the immune system and how we study it in the lab. The activities ranged from seeing how bacteria spread with a UV gel-hand washing activity to building your own superbug and learning how we can study bacterial infection of cells in the lab! The feedback we received from these was great, the families that came enjoyed the experience and both children and parents learnt about bacteria and immune cells together. Even more exciting, quite a large number of the children said they would like to be a scientist when they are older!

Last but not least some of the volunteers from the CMBI put together and curated an interactive children’s booklist which can be easily seen by families and guide them to amazing books that help you understand the world of microbes better: https://sway.office.com/d2e9uSSvoRYXrL8G?ref=Link

We believe the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted that now more than ever we need science and science communication to step up and reach the public.