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Martin Christlieb

Public Engagement Manager

  • Inspiring tomorrow's scientists
  • Thanking our supporters
  • Informing people affected by cancer.

Inspiring the next generation

Science needs scientists. 

Most of the people who work here are scientists.  They either have a PhD or are working to achieve one.

We spend time each year with young people giving them a chance to explore how graduates in maths, physics, chemistry and biology play a role in improving cancer medicine. 

Our UNIQ course allows us to play our part in widening participation in the education the University of Oxford offers.  More importantly it also allows some very talented  people to understand the world of cancer research.  Oxford may not get them this time round, but we may inspire them to come back and have another go as they look for a PhD place.

UNIQ - pratical - 2018

We are always keen to hear from other organisations who want to raise aspirations to study science.  We have worked with The Sutton Trust, Science Oxford, Into University, and Teach First to provide memorable academic content to inquisitive minds.

Each year our Open Day attracts students in Years 10-13 from schools across the Thames Valley and sometimes beyond.  They meet our scientists and explore their lives and work.  They also get to question a representative from the admissions service so they have the Oxford process direct from the people who know.

Open Day 2019

Our educational material includes a range of interactive workshops which illustrate clinical trials, radiotherapy, imaging, cancer biology and much more.  We're always happy to hear from schools and colleges. 

Thanking people for their support

Our work would not be possible without the money we get from the Medical Research Council (taxes) and Cancer Research UK (your generosity). 

We are aware that our work might be difficult to find or read in it's published forms, so we make a big effort each year to make sure that you have a chance to meet us and explore our work. 

The highlight of our year is our week-long road show.  Our contribution to the MRC Festival of Medical Research takes us to towns near Oxford to make sure that you ond't have to travel to us.  In 2019 our trip took us to the Newbury Market, to the Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe, Tesco Extra in Aylesbury, Tesco Extra Bletchley, The Woolgate Centre in Witney and the Tesco Extra in Swindon.

Our scientists can be found at numerous Science Festivals in Oxford and beyond.  This year we had people at ATOM in Abingdon, In Knowle-Bury Park Headington, and at Priory Park Malvern.  You'll find us at this year's IF festival and there will be a welcome for you during Oxford Open Doors.

ATOM 2019

Meeting people affected by cancer

Cancer affects a lot of people.  It's a complex disease and the road can only be made more difficult by not having the information you need. 

We are always delighted to hear from patient groups and spend a little time with them.  Helping them explore and understand cancer and the possibilities that our work generates.

This year we met patients affected by renal cancer and made sure we supported a workshop for patients and carers.  Both events were hosted by the beautiful Maggie Centre at the Churchill Hospital.

Can you guess what it is?

An MRI image from our resources for schools © Nicola Sibson
An MRI image from our resources for schools

Do you eat this or study it?

Eat it! It's a KitKat seen through a CT scanner. © Radiation Biophysics Group
Eat it! It's a KitKat seen through a CT scanner.

Physics in Medicine

When I was in secondary school, I had two great loves: physics and medicine, in that order. It seemed to me at the time, that these were polar opposites. When I chose to study physics, that meant leaving medicine behind, of course, they’re different fields! That was 6 years ago, so it would surprise my younger self to learn that in 2020, I work in a hospital.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

On the 11th of February 2020, we celebrate the fifth International Day of Women and Girls in Science as recognised and implemented by the United Nations General Assembly. This day aims to raise awareness of the biases and gender stereotypes that deter women and girls from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related fields, as well as promote equal access to and participation in STEM education and professions for girls and women. I reached out to fellow students in the Department of Oncology for their views on women and girls in STEM and for them to spotlight a woman in science who has influenced them.

Super Science Saturday

Cancer science amidst the oceans – how could we possibly fit our work into the theme of Oceans?

Fair tests and...fruit!

On 8 November, OCTO Trial Management Director Sarah Pearson and Trial Manager Naomi McGregor joined children from Dr South’s primary school to explore some aspects of the work carried out by the Oncology department during the school’s science week earlier this month.

A gut feeling for cancer treatment

The bacteria that inhabit our gut – the gut microbiome - could have profound impact on our health. The species that live in our guts influence the development of neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease), epilepsy, autoimmune disease, and cancer.4 They may also be helping shape whether our treatments work.