Journey to the centre of the cell
Centre of the Cell is a large orange ‘pod’ suspended over the Institute of Cell and Molecular Science laboratories.
Professor Fran Balkwill and Professor Stephen Mather, Institute of Cancer, Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s Medical School, University of London
Ms Katie Chambers and Ms Nicola Jagger, Centre of the Cell
Professor David Kelsell, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s Medical School, University of London
By investigating how cells work, we can find new ways to detect and treat disease
Centre of the Cell is working with scientists at Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s Medical School, University of London to help young people and families learn about biomedical research.
“Cells work together to keep our bodies healthy. It is important to understand how they work and change when you become ill,” says Professor Fran Balkwill from Queen Mary’s Medical School, University of London. “By understanding what goes wrong with cells, we can improve our detection and treatment of disease.”
One of the teams creates molecules that attach to receptors on the outside of cancer cells. Medical staff use Professor Stephen Mather’s molecules to find cancer cells by detecting the low levels of radiation the molecule emits. The radioactive part of the molecule is then swapped for a high powered radioactive atom, creating a molecule medical staff use to kill the cancer cells.
Another team is investigating treatments for Harlequin Ichthyosis, a rare skin disease caused by a genetic abnormality. Professor David Kelsell identified the disease causing gene and is using that knowledge to grow a Harlequin Ichthyosis skin model to test new treatments.
Centre of the Cell will be opening as a science centre for the public in Spring 2008. Above the laboratories of Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, it will provide young people and their families with a unique interactive multimedia experience to allow them to learn about biomedical research.