Date(s) - 23/02/2016
7:30 pm - 9:45 pm
PhD research – explained in the pub!
Research students come to The Cellar House and give a short talk about their work in terms we can all understand.
Talks are followed by the opportunity to ask questions.
Each month we have a set of different speakers, talking about different subjects.
Talks are a £1 donation to enjoy, which pays for our speakers’ drinks on the evening.
Click here to read more, or if you’d like to be a PubhD speaker.
February 2016 PubhD programme:
Speakers this month are from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich.
Speaker: Oliver Charity
Title: Campylobacter: why it should scare the crap out of you
When most people become sick after eating under cooked chicken they will blame well known bugs such as Salmonella, but in the developed world Campylobacter is a significant cause of bacterial food-borne illness, and it is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United Kingdom. It causes 100 deaths and costs the UK economy more than £900 million each year, and each infection has the potential to cause a debilitating neurodegenerative disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome. Species of Campylobacter are successful pathogens and persist throughout the food chain through immense variability; by taking up DNA and changing its genome, varying the expression of certain proteins with each replication, as well as working together to form resilient structures called biofilms to protect themselves.
Speaker: Mikhaela Neequaye
Title: Breeding Brilliant Brassicas for Beneficial Broccoli
It is a fact universally acknowledged that cruciferous vegetables are good for you. Love them or hate them, Brassica vegetables work wonders in promoting human health. This is due to sulphur compounds produced only by plants of this family, giving Brassicas their characteristic tastes and smells (particularly on their way out). My focus is on the well-renowned ‘Super Food’ – broccoli. My work investigates the genetic basis of how broccoli produces these sulphur compounds that make it so good for you. In particular, I focus on Beneforté® broccoli, a commercially available ‘Super-Duper Food’ bred to be even healthier than standard broccoli. My talk will discuss how Beneforté® was developed, what my research entails and why we should all be taking in far more of these delicious greens.
Speaker: Daniel Lock
Title: Vitamin D, bowel cancer, and healthy ageing
Now this is interesting; maintaining higher levels of vitamin D in the blood throughout life appears to reduce the chance of developing bowel cancer later on. Regrettably, unusual social conventions – like clothes and jobs – mean we don’t always make enough of this auspicious compound.
At the molecular level, it’s starting to look like vitamin D might be able to apply the brakes to the genetic lesions that develop in aging cells before they become cancerous. This is quite exciting; here is a mechanism by which we might favourably modify our cancer risk in later life before the disease occurs, and importantly, the mechanism is independent of the inherited genetic risk fixed at birth.
This short talk will explore vitamin D’s biological role in maintaining bowel health and discuss some of the controversies surrounding its association with improved general health
Speaker: Britt Blokker
Title: How food makes your gut and liver talk to each other
It is clear that nutrition has a big influence on our health, just think about the obesity problem. However, how this works at the molecular level is still not completely clear. To look into this I am focussing on two important organs: the small intestine and the liver. In order to deal with the foods we consume these organs need to communicate, but how do they do this? And what are they telling each other when different foods are coming in?