Patient, Carer and Public Involvement and Engagement

Professor David Adams, Centre Director  "One of our key aims is to increase the interaction between patient groups and researchers as their input is invaluable"

Liver Focus newsletter: Research, clinial trials and real life stories:

If you have any questions about Liver Focus please email liverresearch@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Our grateful thanks go to the Liver Patient and Public Involvement Panel for their valuable contribution to Liver Focus, and for their dedication to the Panel's activities.  If you would like to find out about joining the Panel, please complete the form at the bottom of this page.

An amazing opportunity coming soon

MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses that are being run by the University of Birmingham.  They are FREE short courses that allow anyone the opportunity to learn about subjects that interest them.  The team from the Centre for Liver Research have a MOOC starting on the 27th October and you can find out more by visiting the MOOC website.  For those of you who want to add it to your learning and development portfolio of completed courses, there is an opportunity to purchase a course completion certificate.

 

2014 Events For You and Your Family ...

 

The British Science Festival (BSF) is a national event being held at the University of Birmingham from the 6th to 11th September 2014.  There are a wide range of lectures and activities being run, some of which are for adults and some for children.  As part of the BSF, the Centre for Liver Research are running two fantastic FREE events:    

FREE:  Your Astonishing Liver: Disease Investigation to Transplant Innovation
(age guide: adults, but older children are welcome attend)
T
hursday 11th September, 2-3pm, Lecture Theatre 117, Physics West Building, UoB Scientists, surgeons and doctors will introduce you to the body’s most hardworking and remarkable organ. See how the transplant technology of the future is being trialled in Birmingham and how a modern diet has led to an increasingly common type of liver disease!

Experts will look at the development of liver disease identification, treatments and advancements, and there will be an ethics expert talking about issues surrounding transplants that most people will never have considered before.  You can even quiz our expert presenters if you want!  This is a FREE event but booking is essential as it will be popular.  Booking opens on the 20th July on the BSF website Getting here is easy as University Train Station stops on campus, or use the pay and display car parks.  

FREE:  Sunday 7 th September:  University of Birmingham Community Day
(
age guide: 4-18 years, all day event)
This is a superb chance for any budding scientist or doctor to take part in hands-on experiments, and for adults to help fuel their thirst for knowledge in a fun and interesting way!  It's a fantastic family day out with plenty of gruesome experiments.  It's completely FREE and there no need to book.  University Train Station stops on campus or there are nearby pay and display car parks .

Thursday 30 th October: Meet the Scientist at Thinktank Science Museum
(age guide: 4-11 years, half-term all day event)

 Do you have a future Marie Curie or Alexander Fleming in your family?  The award-winning public engagement team from the Centre for Liver Research will be wowing children with some fantastic interactive experiments and games and helping drive their desire to have lots of fun, whilst learn about science!   There will also be an activity for parents that may just shock you.  Prebook your visit to Thintank or just turn up on the day. 

Past events

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Research Showcase Open Day, 20th May 2014 Commonwealth Athlete Somto Eruchie was the guest of honour at this event and he spent the day giving advice on how to get the body and health of an athlete.  This was day brilliant for adults who also had the chance to talk with doctors, scientists and nurses about cinical trials we are running, cutting edge scientific news and liver disease.  There was a £100,000 machine on show which is part of a trial to prolong the life of livers awaiting transplant into a patient.  Visitors also had the chance to particiate in some interesting activities which resulted in few raised eyebrows and visitor exclaimations of "oh my goodness, I really need to rethink how much I eat!"

Haemochromatosis Enlightenment - 27th March 2014
A representative of the Haemochromatosis West Midlands Support Group presented at the last Patient and Public Involvement meeting.  Haemochromatosis can be a debilitating disease which impacts daily life, but support is available.  To find out more see the Haemochromatosis WM Support Group website or email them at info@haemochromatosiswm.org.uk

Research Awareness Day - Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham - 15th January 2014 manpreet_IMG_5173

Research into the causes of disease, new treatments and drugs is what everyone wants to hear about, particularly if they suffer with a particular disease.  Researchers (scientists!) and nurses from the University of Birmingham had a research awareness stand in the foyer of the wonderful new Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) recently to highlight the research they are doing, the clinical trials they run and the progress being made. 

The focus of this event was Liver Disease, particularly NAFLD, which is a form of liver disease that is consistently on the increase in the UK and can be caused by obesity.  See the QEH's own write up on this event!   Also see Liver Focus issue 3 for more information (above).

 

Public Engagement Events in 2012 & 2013...

 

31st October 2013 - Meet the Scientist at Thinktank, Millennium Point, BirminghamScientists, nurses and doctors from the University of Birmingham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital descending on Birmingham's Thinktank at Millenium Point

for one day only. With particular focus on how viruses work and the how the liver functions, there were loads of hands-on activities! Children took part in fun, educational and safe experiments run by qualified scientists and nurses.

A Virus in My Liver: Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2nd-7th July 2013The prestigious Royal Society in London was where Dr Zania Stamataki spent time in July presenting to children, teenagers and adults of all ages about the liver: how it keeps you alive, how it filters blood, how it can heal itself (!), and how viruses 'use' the liver. 

Zania-Presenting by videoYou can view one of Dr Zania Stamataki's talks by visiting the Royal Society website.

 

Zania will be part of the public engagement team at Thinktank on the 31st October so come along and ask her questions!

     
University of Birmingham Community Day, 9th June 2013  

On a blisteringly hot day the campus at the University of Birmingham was full of the sounds of children as local families poured on site. Year upon year this event gets bigger and better with an estimated 12,000 people attending this FREE day out.

The Centre for Liver Reserch stand was in the spectacular and grandiose setting of the Great Hall. Visitors from young children to adults took part in some fabulous new experiments designed by our scientists, and learnt why the liver is so vitally important to body health and that liver disease has many causes - it's not just alcohol! Scientist Demonstration at Community Day 2013

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Showcase Day, 20th May 2013The new Queen Elizabeth Hospital held its annual Showcase event on the 20th May highlighting some of the innovative and revolutionary research being undertaken, much of it in collaboration with the University of Birmingham. There were 33 different exhibition stands with some very amusing - and some very gory - activities.

Patients, families, students from local colleges and general members of the public were learning about body health and research in a fun and very uncomplicated way. The enthusiastic exhibitors, stacks of information, and of course freebies all helped make the event the most successful Showcase yet.

QEH Showcase Day 2013 - TeamPrizes were awarded to the top three most unique and interesting stands and the Centre for Liver Research was awarded third place – which was a great achievement considering the outstanding interactive exhibits and activities.

 

 

'Meet the Liver Scientist at Birmingham's Thinktank, 22nd October 2012Crazy Experiments and Gooey Madness: Science is FUN!That was the message scientists and nurses from the NIHR Birmingham Liver BRU and Centre for Liver Research were passing on at Birmingham’s Thinktank museum. The team are passionate about showing that science is fun and their enthusiasm was very infectious. Hundreds of children had the opportunity to dress up like a scientist and take part in real experiments. They learnt how the liver works and why we need it, felt a mock scarred (cirrhotic) liver, participated in games, made badges and asked questions to doctors, nurses or scientists. 

Adults took part in games that highlighted the hidden calories in drinks from coffee shops – even the so-called ‘low fat’ options! They also had the opportunity to show how well they know their alcohol by measuring a unit of wine, beer and spirits. Unsurprisingly,
most over-estimated a unit and poured twice the actual amount!

Think-Tank-Body-TunicThink Tank event


L-R: Children guessing where body organs live, and visitors undertaking REAL laboratory experiments!

 


Seminar on Current Liver Research and Trials, 20th September 2012

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are the research side of the NHS, it funds many initiatives throughout the UK and is driving research from bench to bedside for the benefit of patients.The NIHR Birmingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit hosted a free seminar on the 20th September 2012 focussing on some current studies funded by the NIHR. If you missed this seminar and would us to host another, then please let us know. You can still view a summary of the talks* in a PDF document. Academics (researchers), clinicians (medical doctors) and members of the public attended and talks were suitable for all levels of knowledge. The presentations on current clinical trials were fascinating and a great deal of questions and interest were raised by members of the public who were present.   

University of Birmingham’s FREE Community Day, 10th June 2012

Community DayEach year the University welcomes everyone from the local community to visit our campus and find out what we do, as well as take part in some fun activities. Outside there were bungee robes, a myriad of giant inflatables, mini golf course, helter skelter, rock climbing wall and fairground stands.

Inside the Aston Webb Great Hall, our liver stand had lots of hands-on, gooey and interesting science activities to fascinate, captivate and stimulate brains of all ages, and which showed the diverse range of liver research undertaken at the University. T here were also informal discussion sessions on ethics and the role of stem cells, presented by Prof Jon Frampton and Dr Phil Newsome. Research Open Day at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 9th March 2012The NIHR Birmingham Liver BRU and Centre for Liver Research once again took part in this popular annual event.  Many visitors came and tried our 'guess the units' game and learnt just how many calories there are in alcohol! Visitors also learnt more about our research.

Big Bang at the NEC, Birmingham, 17th March 2012

Big BangThis event was aimed at children aged 5-18 years to show how exciting science and engineering can be. 29,000 children attended, many of whom were fuelled up on the free sweets being handed out. Our activities included an ‘I’m A Celebrity’ style box where children could blindly feel a normal liver compared to a cirrhotic liver (actually jelly filled with popcorn in!). Children learnt where organs live on our speical organ tunic, and found out learnt why Homer Simpson may have a liver problem! 

PSC Annual Support Meetings...

PSC Support is a patient led support group for people suffering from the inflammatory liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis. Prof David Adams updated the group on our current research including the facilities and trials portfolio established through the NIHR BRU. We are also a participating centre for the National PSC Genetics study. Their newsletter has up-to-date information and contact details.  The last meetings were on the 10th March 2012 and Saturday 9th March 2013.  Watch this space for the date of the 2014 PSC annual support meeting.

Current Clinical Trials ...

The NIHR Birmingham Liver BRU undertake continual research into the causes of liver disease, and potential new drugs or treatments.

Three of our current trials look at:
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- the use of stem cells to repair liver damage
- blocking Hepatitis C particles infecting a new liver after transplantation

To find out more about all our current clinical trials, click here

Liver Disease Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch this short YouTube video to find out more

Get involved - your views are important!

We know that your views and opinions can help us to develop a better research programme. Our Patient and Public Involvement panel is a small group of volunteers who come together twice a year to listen to presentations from doctors on the latest liver research and hear how current clinical trials are progressing. They also suggest future research plans, help review patient information sheets and help produce articles for Liver FOCUS. We greatly value their ideas, suggestions and opinions.  They also advise how we can best communicate our research findings to the public.

Panel members have no special training, they are just interested in liver disease or have perhaps had experience of liver disease (personal or through family/friends).  We can reimburse travel and parking costs up to £40 each time.

GET INVOLVED!  Review Panel Application Form:

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  • [*This is a summary of independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)’s Bimingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit programme. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health]