Pupils learn about the future of eye research

Fight for Sight

Pupils from Morton Hall School, Shropshire, and the Maelor School, Wrexham, met with scientists from the University of Liverpool to learn about the future of research into disease of the human eye. 

Georgia Parry, 16, from Worthenbury, and Maggie Franklin, 17, from Bishops Castle, visited the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group (LOORG) and the Department of Eye and Vision Sciences at the University, as part of a programme lead by eye research charity, Fight for Sight. 

The visit was the result of a presentation by Senior Advisor of the charity, Julian Jackson, which was delivered at the pupil’s school through the charity’s network, Speaker Network Programme. 

Lab demonstrations

The students met with Professor Sarah Coupland, Head of LOORG, and Senior Postdoctoral Scientist, Dr Helen Kalirai, during a tour of the University’s laboratories. The charity is currently funding a LOORG PhD student, Neil Farquhar, through the Fight for Sight PhD studentship grant. 

They also saw demonstrations of tissue microarray construction and immunohistochemistry, DNA extraction and sequencing, as well as laser capture microscopy giving an opportunity to explore tumour cells in more detail. 

Georgia and Maggie also met with Professor Rachel Williams to discuss ophthalmic bioengineering and had further demonstrations of cells and how treatment is delivered to the back of the eye. 

Future scientists

Professor Sarah Coupland said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the pupils to the lab. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase the importance of eye research to the future working generation, particularly as Maggie and Georgia have an interest in this field, and may one day want to pursue a career in helping create a future we can all see.” 

For further information on Fight for Sight or the Speaker Network please call 020 7264 3900 or visit www.fightforsight.org.uk

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