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Oxford Sparks: How can we improve endometriosis treatment?

Did you know there are different types of pain? Our very own pain researcher, Dr Lydia Coxon, speaks to the Oxford Sparks team on the Big Questions Podcast about endometriosis and how people experience different types of pain.

Lydia is looking at the mechanisms that cause pain in patients with endometriosis. Through her research she hopes to better understand the type of pain that endometriosis causes, so that it can be treated more effectively.

Click here to listen to the episode. Or click here for a transcript of the episode.

Lydia also co-authored, along with Katy Vincent, Associate Professor, Pain in Women Group, an article on The Conversation: Endometriosis: targeting a different type of pain may be key in improving treatment – new research.

BSGE Uncut Podcast Featuring Christian BEcker

The EndoCaRe Centre's own Professor Christian Becker, co-director of the Endometriosis Care Centre at Oxford and the Chair of the ESHERE Endometriosis Guideline Development Group, talked to Martin Hirsch on episode three of the BSGE Uncut Podcast.

BSGE Uncut is the official podcast of the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE) hosted by Martin Hirsch and Rebecca Mallick. Tune in to hear them talk with the biggest names in the field of gynaecology. The hosts explore their guest’s lives, careers, and what keeps the motivated to push the speciality forward.

Click here to listen to the episode on Spotify.

 Promo image for episode three of the BSGE Uncut Podcast featuring Christian Becker. Image shows Prof Christian Becker and host Martin Hirsch.

Power up for Change: A Virtual Event hosted by The Endometriosis Foundation

Christian Becker, co-director of the Endometriosis Care Centre at Oxford, joined a panel of speakers to discuss everything endometriosis. Hosted by The Endometriosis Foundation, the virtual event focused on the causes and symptoms of endometriosis and the treatments available. The panel of speakers included:

A recording of the event will be available here soon.

The Endometriosis Foundation Power up for Change

IF Oxford: Pelvic pain: diagnosing endometriosis sooner

Christian Becker, co-director of the Endometriosis Care Centre at Oxford, gave a talk at the IF Oxford Science and Ideas Festival, explaining how researchers are analysing blood, saliva, urine and tissue samples to better understand endometriosis and develop more effective tests. This event is part of the art of the Health Research and You series of talks from the National Institute for Health Research.

Endometriosis Conference by the Rotaract Club of Sheffield

EndoCaRe DPhil student Magda Mareckova gave a talk at the Rotaract Club of Sheffield's Endometriosis Mini Conference entitled: Why Studying Endometriosis Matters - Innsights from the Research Lab. Magda joined a number of speakers for the Conference.

The Rotaract Club of Sheffield is a group of young people "determined to change our community for the better, locally and globally!" More info on the group and the Endometriosis Conference can be found on their website and Instagram page.

The Rotaract Club of Sheffield held a mini-conference on endometriosis that included a number of educational and inspiring speakers, inlcuding EndoCaRe Centre DPhil researcher Magda Marečková who gave a talk entitled: Why studying endometriosis matters - insights from the research lab.

PUPIL ENGAGEMENT AT CHENEY SCHOOL

A group of EndoCaRe DPhil students (Magda MareckovaLydia Coxon, Hannah Nazri and Danielle Perro) delivered a thought provoking and popular workshop to year 7 and 8 students at the Cheney School in Oxford on 23rd September, as part of a "Future of Genetics" Day organised by the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics.

Photo of Magda Marečková teaching pupils at Cheney School about endometriosis and single cells.

Photo: Magda Marečková teaching pupils at Cheney School about endometriosis and single

The aim was to inspire the next generation of scientists on how their research utilises “future technology” single-cell RNA-sequencing for studying endometriosis. This consisted of teaching/explanatory slides and fun hands-on activities, to enable students to appreciate and understand some of the more difficult concepts and techniques used in genetics research. The students practised what they learnt; making DNA out of sweets, analysing single cell RNA sequencing data, interpreting and discussing results, exploring the human body and organs anatomy, and specifically focusing on the female reproductive tract. They also learnt about endometriosis and had a chance to analyse a 'real dataset' of single-cell RNA-sequencing data from a healthy patient and one with endometriosis. The students were encouraged to think about how scientists perform experiments, why they choose certain techniques to do so, how they analyse the data, what the results mean in the end and what we can do next when we have some findings.

Positive feedback from the day included praise such as: "I'm good at making things" and "I am interested in DNA and genetics". Reflecting on the workshop, Magda commented: “It was a great opportunity to do a bit of outreach work, raise endometriosis awareness and encourage students to think more deeply about science, new technologies and how and why we do research. Seeing the students have fun, grasp the new (sometimes very complicated) concepts quickly, ask interesting questions and engage with us was very rewarding”.

OXFORD HANDS-ON SCIENCE (OXHOS) SUMMER ROADSHOW

Oxford Hands-On Science (OxHOS) is a student-run society based in Oxford that believes science is fun and relevant to everyone. OxHOS spreads Oxford's enthusiasm for science to children and their families by taking a range of hands-on experiments into schools and public venues, with helpful undergraduate and post-graduate student volunteers explaining the science behind them.

Photo of EndoCaRe Centre student Magda Mareckova at the 2019 OxHOS Summer Roadshow.

Photo: Magda Mareckova 2019 OxHOS Summer Roadshow.

The 2019 OxHOS Summer Roadshow (24th June - 5th July) started with a week in Oxfordshire before heading to Essex and Manchester. The roadshow features interactive experiments where student volunteers deliver fun experiments and demonstrations to children and members of the public at schools and community centres far and wide. EndoCaRe's own Magda Marečková took part in the 2019 OxHOS Summer Roadshow.

FAMELAB UK 

FameLab UK, a science communication competition where contestants have just three minutes to talk about their area of science - no PowerPoint presentations allowed! - saw its biggest ever Oxford cohort this year, with 27 performers.

Photo of FameLab 2019 finalist Danielle Perro and other finalists.

Photo: FameLab 2019 finalist Danielle Perro.

Three heats were held in February before the 27 entrants were whittled down to 12 finalists to perform at the Wig and Pen in Oxford.

First year DPhil student in the EndoCaRe Centre, Danielle Perro, used dramatic imagery to bring to life the finely orchestrated mechanism that is menstruation, initiated by “Queen GnRH” (or gonadotropin-releasing-hormone to you and me), and made it to the final.