Imperial College London

Putting the fun in fungi and exploring the future of heart and lung healthcare


Girl at imperial festival watches screen in awe

NHLI was pleased to be amongst the over 500 researchers at the fifth Imperial Festival last weekend sharing our love of science with the public.

Our researchers, who were presenting their latest work on stands as well as running the Heart and Lung Convenience Store, were joined by festival volunteers from our admin staff. 

People at festivalDr Darius Armstrong-James’ team were in the Superbug Zone which brought together researchers working on antimicrobial resistance, microbiology and diseases such as malaria.  The festival allows scientists to engage with the public by demonstrating the wonders of their research and real-life applications, to inspire people into science.

The main focus of Darius’ group display was a real life ‘fungorium’ with an array of different medically important fungi on display, and an associated slide show to illustrate the related illnesses. In addition they had a microsopy stand to allow the public to see fungal microscopic anatomy, and a small area illustrating the global emergence of azole antifungal drug resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.

We massively enjoy public interaction and the chance to highlight medical mycology, which is currently a neglected and high mortality area of medicine

– Dr Darius Armstrong-James

Lucy Bell, an Operations Trainee at NHLI, gives a fresh perspective of the Festival having recently joined the College. “After two months at Imperial I thought that volunteering at the Festival would be a great opportunity to find out more about what goes on across the College, as well as getting to see our own scientists in action. The weather was perfect and I spent the morning handing out balloons and Festival guides to some of the 15,000 visitors who came to the College over the weekend. I was really surprised by just how much there
was to see and do, from finding out how good you really are at washing your hands (with pretty terrifying results!), to meeting Ada Lovelace, and discovering more about the development of the Ebola vaccine. NHLI’s Heart and Lung Convenience Store proved really popular, with visitors learning about air pollution, lung microbes and 3D printing through the interactive stands manned by enthusiastic volunteers. It was particularly great to see so many children getting involved and inspired by our research. If you haven’t been to the festival before I would really recommend a visit next year – it’s a great day out!”.


Ms Helen Johnson

Ms Helen Johnson
National Heart & Lung Institute

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Cardiovascular, Imperial-Festival, Public-engagement
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