CMBI Postdoctoral Association
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The committee (as of January 2021)
|President||Dr Julia Sanchez-Garridoemail@example.com|
|Vice President||Dr Cordelia Weissfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Treasurer||Dr Carrie Mullineaux-Sandersemail@example.com|
|Outreach Activites Officers||
Dr Crystal Vincent
In addition, we are active as CMBI_CPA on Twitter, so please follow us if you are interested. We use this platform to make science accessible to the wide public, such as the recently launched #TweetAPaper campaign.
The Imperial Festival has been a staple in the Spring-Summer season for Imperial College London since it started in 2014, an opportunity to share and showcase the research done at the university with the public. The Superbug Zone, ran mostly by volunteers from the MRC CMBI, became one of the most popular zones within the Imperial Festival and has been running for four consecutive years. Each year this zone attracts 2,000+ visitors over the Imperial Festival weekend and takes the public on a journey to discover the world of microbes. In 2019, the university decided to go bigger and recruited the help of museums and other institutions situated around the South Kensington area to create the Great Exhibition Festival. The Festival brought together science and the arts in a unique programme of creative workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances - all in the spirit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s vision for the Great Exhibition. All of this meant that the Superbug Zone had to be bigger and encompass more diverse activities.
The outreach activities officers of the CMBI post-doc association (CPA), Crystal Vincent and Julia Sanchez-Garrido, thus became the coordinators of the Infection Zone; consisting of two areas: Bugs&Drugs and the Malaria Area. Bugs&Drugs featured researchers from theCMBI together with the Imperial Antimicrobial Research Collaborative (ARC) and NIHR Health Protection Research unit (HPRU), the Medical Education Research Unit (MERU) and Dyson School of Engineering, and the Glycosciences Laboratory (Dr. Yan Liu). The Malaria Area was an interactive walk-through jungle exploring malaria research, coordinated by Christo Hall and Dr. Roya Haghighat-Khah and involving volunteers from the different groups within the Imperial College Malaria network.
During the months leading to the event, a lot of effort was put into coming up with new, interactive activities for different age groups to demonstrate what microbiology research is all about. Over the entire Great Exhibition Road weekend, more than 70 CMBI members (Erasmus, Master’s, PhD students, post-docs and PI’s) were involved in various activities to ensure the event was a great success.
In the CMBI Bugs& Drugs area, the journey started with the public using microscopes to play detective and discover what bacteria they were looking at. There were also supersized lego models representing the complex proteins structures you can find in such small organisms.
They then discovered what proteins are and got to see some cool experiments that can be repeated at home. Major themes in microbiology research such as tackling antibiotic resistance, studying the bug causing tuberculosis and viral recognition of target cells were also explored with fun games for the children, and visual representations and chats with our experts for the adults. Visitors also had the opportunity to feel like a real scientist by taking part in the microbiology mock lab. Our popular bioluminescence room brought out the excitement with some fascinating designs showing glow in the dark bacteria and their uses in research. There were many fun games to showcase how our body’s immune system is our major weapon against invading microbes, and how we can use animal models like fruit flies to study its mechanisms.
This zone highlighted how our scientists in the CMBI are tackling the global rise of superbugs that are no longer responding to the current antibiotics we have available, and how basic research is the essential first step in the fight against infection worldwide. The inclusion of activities for all age groups meant that children also learn about microbes, and how cool science is! Now more than ever we need science and science communication to step up and reach the public. We hope to see some of these families baxck again in 2021, and some of the chidlren growing up considering science as a possible future.