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University Alumni Festival

Alumni from across the University's teaching disciplines converge on the city for an annual event offering inside views and special presentations at multiple departments and institutions

The University's annual Alumni Festival is an opportunity for previous students to return to Cambridge and spend a weekend finding out about the latest developments and research. We offer a visit of between 90 minutes and two hours including a talk from a high-profile scientist and a tour of specific labs where younger researchers describe their areas of work. These visits always generate lively conversations, and our researchers find it interesting to reflect on the difference between these exchanges and those that they have with young school children or sixth-form students.

*These events are free but due to space limitations we can only accommodate a limited number of visitors at each annual session, so we recommend booking early online once the weekend's full programme has been released.*


iPS cells neurons purple rosettesFriday 22nd September 2017: Studying development to understand disease

How do scientists at the Gurdon Institute uncover what goes wrong in cancer, dementia and other diseases? The answer is: by studying different model systems from yeast to flies to human organoids, in order to understand how cells develop. Join us for a talk from one of the Institute's leading scientists to hear about our work, tour our labs and meet the researchers.



2016 Gallop2016: How to understand disease

23 September: Twenty-six visitors of all ages and backgrounds came to hear a talk from Professor Andrea Brand entitled "Food for thought", about her research on nutritional effects in the developing nervous system, followed by a tour of our super-resolution imaging systems and the Xenopus egg facility, and short presentations from young scientists working with Drosophila in the Brand lab. The visitors were clearly fascinated by what they saw and had plenty of questions, as well as giving us very enthusiastic 'thanks' as the visit concluded.





P Berg picturing Parkinsons winner2015: Stem cells in the brain and in the culture dish

25 September: Twenty visitors were treated to a talk from group leader Rick Livesey about neural stem cell biology and its contribution to research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, followed by a guided tour of three different labs.


Research Associates Bernhard Strauss and Emmanuelle Vire led this introductory talk and tour.