press release
Published: 09 March 2020

Bringing research to the public with neighbourhood events

Researchers from the Section of Statistical Multi-omics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at the University, are involving the public in their research on “Diabetes and Cancer: Using Genomics to Probe the Biological Mechanism,” which is led by Professor Inga Prokopenko and funded by the World Cancer Research Fund.

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Statistical Multi-omics blends several types of biological data – for example, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics -- to harness a more holistic view of life systems. This allows researchers to analyse complex biological ‘big data’ and make more sophisticated insights and connections between systems, enhancing understanding of how systems interact and influence each other.

With this series of public outreach events, researchers and post-doctoral fellows Dr Ayse Demirkan, Dr Zhanna Balkhiyarova and Dr Harmen Draisma explain the factors influencing our risk of developing diabetes, including environmental and genetic factors, as well as how the genetic risk factors for diabetes could be the same as those for cancer. Targeting audiences from different neighbourhoods such as Manor Park and Westminster in London gives the researchers the chance to interact with a range of elderly residents who are at higher risk of getting the disease.

The latest Westminster Senior Citizen Forum also featured Ruth Bush, Lord Mayor of Westminster. The exchanges have been very popular and have raised interesting and useful discussion points for the research team; it’s clear this approach to research is bringing genuine practical value to all the participants.

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