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Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Studying at Cambridge


Public Engagement

Why engage?

Stem cell research has, and will, impact large parts of society, and consequently receives a large amount of public interest and scrutiny. As research leaders in this area, we believe our scientists play an important role in engagement with a wide variety of voices. We believe such encounters enhance the quality of the scientific questions we ask and help us build trust in research.

Read this piece by scientist Hans Clevers on the importance of communicating stem cell science.

Engagement Strategy and Prorgamme

To ensure that public engagement remains a core part of our research culture, the Institute has developed a Public Engagement Strategy. The strategy directs our annual public engagement programme of centrally coordinated events, activities and training. It also lays out our strategic priorities, target communities and measures of success.

Click the following links to see our upcoming events or a list of past events and projects.


Download our Strategy and lateast Activity Report

Public Engagement Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee provides academic oversight of the CSCI public engagement programme and allows us to respond to the needs and the interests of our scientific community. The PESC meets four times a year to discuss current and future public engagement plans and pioneer ways to further embed public engagement at the Institute. 

Current members:

Dr Rebecca Jones

Public Engagement Manager

Becky joined the Institute as Public Engagement Manager in March 2017, replacing Philippa Russell. She is responsible for creating a culture within the Institute of openess and dialogue between researchers and the public through developing and delivering the Institute's public engagement strategy. She is always on the look out for new opportunities to bring our researchers and members of the public together as part of our annual programme of public events and activities.

If you would like to find out more about our engagement projects or are interested in hosting an event, please contact Becky at .

Dr David Kent

Academic Champion

David leads a team of researchers interested in blood stem cells. He is passionate about sharing his work and all stem cell research with as many people as possible.

As the Public Engagement Champion at the Institute, David encourages all of our researchers to get involved in public events.        

Dr Cédric Ghevaert

Principal Investigator rep (Biomedical Campus)

Cédric's research investigates the potential for mass producing platelets and red blood cells from stem cells in the laboratory, with the potential of revolutionising blood transfusion service. His research is now entering clinical trials, where his team are assessing these mass produced cells in human volunteers.


Dr Jenny Nicholls

Principal Investigator rep (Gleeson Building)

Jenny’s research focuses on embryonic stem cells and learning more about the way in which they become different cells in the body. Embryonic stem cells are able to become any cell type and Jenny’s team are interested in how cells are influenced into making decisions during this critical developmental phase.  


Dr Thorsten Klampfl

Postdoc rep

Thorsten sits on our Public Engagement Steering Committee. He is a researcher in the lab of Professor Tony Green, our Institute's Director. 


 Julia Spindel

PhD rep

Julia sits on our Public Engagement Steering Committee. She is a postgraduate in the lab of Professor Wolf Reik, an affiliate lab of the Stem Cell Institute, based out at Babraham Institute.


 Dr Helen Featherstone

Wellcome Mentor

Helen is our external Wellcome Mentor and consults on all aspects of our public engagement strategy and programme. Helen has extensive experience of public engagement through both research and practice. She brings over 14 years practical experience in creative STEM engagement alongside a PhD exploring public engagement with climate change. Her research, teaching and practice focus on the publics' experiences in direct and interactive public engagement.

Other representatives: Dr Joann Leeding (CUHP) Dr Hélène Doerflinger (The Gurdon Institute), Gill Currie (CSCI Administrative Assistant) and Dr Abi Herrmann (CSCI Research Communications Manager).

Need advice on planning planning, delivering and evaluating public engagement activities? The MRC have created a set of webpages just for you. Click here to find out more.

Want to involve the public or patients in your research? Check examples of Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) from the NIHR here

Public Engagement Award Winners

Cambridge Stem Cell Institute group leader Dr Elisa Laurenti recently won one of six University of Cambridge Public Engagement with Research Awards. She received a £1,000 prize presented by the Vice-Chancellor in an award ceremony on 13 July 2017 in the Old Schools.

Find our more about Elisa's award winning public engagement work here.