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Early Cancer Institute

Cambridge Festival Logo

On Saturday 18th March there was a definite buzz in the air around the Cambridge Academy of Science and Technology as people flocked to take part in the first in-person Biomedical Campus Open Day since 2019, one of the wide range of events organised for the 2023 Cambridge Festival.

The Early Cancer Institute joined forces with colleagues from the wider CRUK Cambridge Centre and the Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital in setting up a “cancer zone” on the second floor of the College.

The activities were many and varied, all hands-on, encouraging visitors to get involved with fun scientific experiences such as performing an endoscopy on a bag of jellybeans representing an oesophagus; undertaking surgery on a “tumour” in a jelly brain; creating bracelets with colour-changing beads to show how DNA mutations can occur, and using a keyhole surgery simulator to pick up and thread Polo mints onto a shoelace – definitely much more difficult than the experts make it appear!

Attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about the new Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital and see a 3-D model of the proposed building.

Over 1700 people attended the Open Day and the enthusiasm from the visitors and the volunteers was tremendous.

Volunteer Rob Hanson, PhD student in the Early Cancer Institute, commented: “It was a fantastic day at the Cambridge Festival, engaging with the next generation of scientists and clinicians. There were so many curious minds, with so much shared enthusiasm for science and biology within the room!”