by Emily Grieve
26th January 2015
Once again artists and scientist minds met as our CIIE micro-residency continued last week. Artists explored more of the Ashworth laboratory and the innovative research carried out there. The residency continues to show how skilled the scientists are at explaining highly complex scientific research in a way which can be understandable for the artists, creating many points of access to their research. Over the week Artists spent time at the CIIE Winter Symposium, within the Reece Lab and on a tour of SynthsSys with Manfred Auer to view the revolutionary compound analysis machines there. The innovative scientific technology on offer at the CIIE has been highly impressive and gives us a new appreciation of how the advancement in these technologies has impacted on ever expanding scientific research.
Here Kasia Kokowska (Manager of CIIE) gives us a more in-depth insight into the residency, with some feedback from Mark Doyle on his tour of the Reece lab.
Wednesday: Artists attended a symposium organised by Professors Peter Simmonds and Mark Woolhouse. CIIE Symposia are designed to present a global perspective on current topics researched in CIIE and take place on a regular basis. The Winter Symposium saw a number of speakers talking about emerging infectious diseases including more topical diseases: Ebola, MRSA, Flu and less heard of ones: Klebsiella or Chikungunya. The effects of antibiotic resistance in shaping emerging pathogens was also discussed during the symposium.
Thursday: Artists visited Sarah Reece of Reece Lab. Sarah is one of the younger professors in CIIE and was been awarded chair in evolutionary parasitology last summer. Starting with a discussion about Sarah’s research on evolution and ecology of malaria parasites. We could learn how clever parasites are in the long-term planning of their survival always keeping one step ahead of us. The discussion then moved on to less scientific topics such as the role of women in science.
In the afternoon artists visited Manfred Auer in SynthSys. Manfred is CIIE translational facilitator and a professor in translational biology. Manfred’s background is in chemistry and physics. Manfred showed us his revolutionary machine that does compound analysis on a very small level, using very tiny beads. He also gave us insight into working for pharmaceutical companies and also used to work for Novartis.
Friday: Artists visited Reece Lab in the morning and were given a presentation by Aidan O’Donnell the lab’s manager. Later artists were invited for a chat by Emma Hodcroft, Manon Ragonnet, Gonzalo Yebra in Andrew Leigh Brown HIV and Flu research group to talk about their research into HIV.
Artist Mark Doyle tells us more of the tour of the Reece Lab and the fascinating research on the reproductive cycle of the Malaria parasite:
‘’We even managed to see this process live under the microscope, something that would usually take place in the abdomen of a mosquito. We then had the chance to talk with researchers from the Andrew Leigh Brown HIV and Flu research group about their work on HIV and its transmission’’
The CIIE continues to draw new similarities and comparisons between creativity within both art and science. We are excited to discover what is to come in the next stage of micro-residency. Keep checking back here for more updates.