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Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Innovation prize awarded to Dr Claire Jackson

Published: 7 April 2016
Science & Engineering Awards
Dr Claire Jackson receiving the Science & Engineering Innovation Prize

Southampton people were cilia!

NAMRIP pump priming grant holder Dr Claire Jackson was awarded the innovation prize as she dared to be different for her public engagement event ‘Cilia Flash Mob’ for the Science & Engineering Day, which took place at the University of Southampton in March.

The Cilia Flash Mob aimed to educate the public on the function of cilia in our airways (moving hair-like structures on our airway cells). Members of the public re-enacted coordinated cilia movement to music and passed cleaning sponges and cloths (to symbolise mucus) overhead to the top of the steps (against gravity) to B85 at Highfield campus.

Flashmob to demonstrate the function of cilia
Dr Claire Jackson leading the cilia flashmob

Claire also designed a pull-up banner and ‘I’m cilia’ badges showing scanning electron microscopy images of airway cilia (courtesy of the Southampton Biomedical Imaging Unit). Approximately 50 public members of all ages took part and the a video captured this fun activity for future public engagement. 

After receiving the award, Claire commented "Thank you to all who helped and took part! I am particularly pleased that, like the Exhibition at our launch conference, this is tangible output from our public engagement training day funded by a grant from the University's public engagement unit."

I am delighted at Claire’s award – she showed real courage and innovation in coming up with an exciting and educational event that involved so many of the public, and leaves us with a great video for education and public engagement purposes in NAMRIP

Professor Tim Leighton - Chair of NAMRIP
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