Oxford Open Doors

Date: Saturday 10th September 2016

Venue: Chemistry Research Laboratory, 12 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TA

Oxford Open Doors (http://www.oxfordpreservation.org.uk/content/ood-events) is an annual Festival of Oxford, organised by Oxford Preservation Trust in partnership with the University of Oxford.  It is a weekend when we celebrate the city – its places, spaces and, most of all, its people.

The Chemistry Research Laboratory on Mansfield Road was the setting for this event, entitled “Cardiac Chemistry: Understanding, Imaging and Treating Heart Disease”.  It was organised by the Department of Chemistry (http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/) and the Radcliffe Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Medicine (http://www.cardiov.ox.ac.uk/home).  The Living Well Oxford project was invited to bring along activities related to the cardiac theme.

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The afternoon included an interactive panel discussion with scientists from the Department of Chemistry and the British Heart Foundation, discussing heart disease research, from drug development to the latest heart scanning techniques.  Visitors were also given the opportunity to meet the scientists and have guided tours of the laboratory to learn more about the latest research.

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In addition, there were a number of other activities including the British Heart Foundation stall, where visitors were encouraged to have their blood pressure measured so that they could “know their numbers”, and the Keytones (the Chemistry Department’s very own choir).

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Visitors to the Living Well Oxford stall were invited to have a go at using the stethoscopes to listen to their own hearts, which can be easier said than done sometimes.  There was a model heart to open up and examine, and some associated information about the heart and blood pressure.  We also had a couple of quizzes, one based on the NHS Choices online blood pressure quiz, and one which included some beautiful microscope images provided by the researchers.

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It was a good opportunity to meet members of the public interested in research, as well as the researchers themselves.

Feedback from the event included:

I was really impressed by the facilities and equipment in the lab.

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