The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) has embarked on an ambitious public engagement project to travel to remote areas of Scotland with the aim to give local communities the opportunity to interact face-to-face with scientists working in the regenerative medicine field.
Stem cells and their potential - to study the development of disease, test drugs and ultimately develop treatments for conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease – are often in the news. With so much information available, it is difficult to distinguish between the hopes, the hypes and reality.
The ‘Hope Beyond Hype – Scottish Stem Cell Stories’ project, part funded by the Scottish Government, will be carried out in collaboration with the MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, NHS Highland, the University of Glasgow and the European consortia EuroStemCell and OptiStem.
With local partners in Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Highlands, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Perth and Kinross, Scottish Borders, Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, Edinburgh, and Dundee, we will deliver user led patient and community events.
In addition to the Scottish Government funding to deliver events in these areas, CRM has successfully secured Wellcome Trust funding to run school’s events and to provide teachers with training and educational stem cell resources. This add-on project will be delivered in collaboration with the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC).
The Scottish Government announced yesterday that it will continue to support our efforts in 2014, so there are even more community events to run and festivals to go to. The 2014 project will show the interdisciplinary approach towards science by bringing the two fields of neuroscience and stem cells together. In addition to our 2013 partners we will be working with Edinburgh Neuroscience to deliver this project.