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The Old Road Campus Research Building came alive on the 9th September with the spirit of discovery and knowledge as Oxford Open Doors 2023 opened its gates to the public. This annual event, hosted by the Oxford Preservation Trust, was a unique opportunity for the community to peek behind the curtains of science and delve into the world of cutting-edge research.

Members of the Oxford Cancer Team in action

The unseasonably sweltering heat did little to deter the enthusiasm of those eager to explore the fascinating world of science at the Oxford Open Doors event. Fortunately, we provided much-needed relief in the form of free refreshments, and attendees were able to cool down and stay energised as they joined the guided tours of the laboratories in the Target Discovery Institute, the Ludwig Cancer Institute and the Jenner Institute, not to mention a tour of our own facilities given by PhD student Ben Futcher.

There were also some impressive displays of research in the form of interactive stalls from Oncology, the Department of Surgical Sciences, the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford Cancer, the Centre for Medicines Discovery and the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine. Members of the public were given the chance to engage with scientists, ask questions, and gain insights into the incredible work being done within the Medical Sciences Division, and it was great to see so many young people - potentially next-generation scientists - take a keen interest in the impact of our science in tackling global medical challenges.

A member of the WIMM Team speaks to a member of the public about research

Another of the event's features was the series of inspiring talks provided by our Oncology colleagues. These talks focused on vital subjects - the role of immunotherapy in treating cancer; how to progress into a career in cancer research, and; the importance of maintaining public and patient involvement when designing research studies. Thank you to Ben Fairfax, Jack Flower and Catriona Gilmour Hamilton for providing insight into these important areas of work.

The event was a fantastic success, and served to  strengthen the bridge between researchers and the public. By fostering stronger relationships and promoting understanding, events like Oxford Open Doors play a crucial role in advancing scientific breakthroughs, particularly in this Department's case for the fight against cancer. We eagerly await the next edition of the event, hoping for even more exciting revelations and interactions! 

The Oxford Open Doors sign outside the Old Road Campus Research Building