Dissecting the role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor in thermogenic adipose tissue


  • Dr Chris Schiering

    Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world and lives, in many different ways. Restrictions on social contacts and closure of schools have brought with them a significant disruption to children’s daily routines, including exercise patterns and eating habits. The anxiety associated with social isolation, in combination with an increased sedentary lifestyle, has led to serious concerns about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the global childhood obesity crisis. Our interactive science workshop “You’ve got guts!” will focus on positive messages centred around what keeps us healthy and why our guts play a central role in promoting health.

Our workshop is a stimulating virtual as well as real-life learning experience designed for pupils aged 8-11 in our local community (White City). In collaboration with experts in science communication and professional science animators we will create several animated features conveying key aspects of gut health and healthy diets. The animated features, combined with direct two-way dialogue between pupils and scientists, will help pupils gain a better understanding of the connection between diet, gut health and overall well-being. Workshops will be virtual initially, but, as current lockdown restriction are eased, will be disseminated more widely as part of local science festivals and events in dedicated engagement spaces. Scientists involved in this project will gain valuable training and experience in PE with young audiences. Our PE activities will help develop and deepen links between our Institute and local schools, strengthening our Institution’s reputation and visibility in the local community.