Cell EXPLORERS Future Neuro

 
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Contact the Cell EXPLORERS Future Neuro team and arrange a school visit | cellexplorer@rcsi.ie

The Cell EXPLORERS Future Neuro team is currently facilitating the Fantastic DNA in a Box session remotely to schools around Dublin for Spring 2022

 

About 

 

The Cell EXPLORERS Future Neuro team was established in May 2019. The team is based in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland with collaborators in Trinity College, UCD, DCU and NUI Galway. The team was developed through collaboration with Linda Coyne, the Communications, Outreach and Education Officer at Future Neuro. The team is currently coordinated by Franziska Walter and Amaya Sanz Rodriguez (see The Team below).

You can learn more about the the research focus of Future Neuro here: https://www.futureneurocentre.ie/

 

The team started off by bringing the Fantastic DNA School Roadshow to primary schools around Dublin in September 2019, and conducted more school visits around Science Week 2019. The activity of the team was disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In 2021, the team focused on training their members to deliver the new Fantastic DNA in a Box session, and facilitated their first remote visit in December 2021!

 

The Team

 

The Cell EXPLORERS Future Neuro Team is made up of enthusiastic postgraduate students and researchers from the Future Neuro research center.

 

The team is currently coordinated by Dr Franziska Walter, honorary lecturer, and Dr Amaya Sanz Rodriguez, Laboratory Manager, both based in the  Department of Physiology & Medical Physics.

Their team members have a passion for communicating their love of science to young children and are excited by the opportunity to interact with primary schools around Dublin. 

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2019 Future Neuro team
Franziska and Aileen on FDIAB visit 2021
Franziska (top) and volunteer Aileen (bottom) facilitating their 1st Fantastic DNA in a Box visit 

Current team coordinators (2022-present):

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Franziska Walter

Cell Explorers Future Neuro

Co-coordinator

 

Honorary lecturer, Department of Physiology & Physics

Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

Franziska Walter (PhD) is a researcher in the Department of Physiology & Medical Physics. She is interested in cellular stress responses and neurodegenerative disease.

 

As part of her research, she investigates how mitochondrial bioenergetics in neurons change in Parkinsons disease.

Franziska is passionate about engaging young people in science and enabling them to experience science as something they can understand and take part in.

As part of her role as co-coordinator of the Cell EXPLORERS Future Neuro team, Franziska recruits, trains and manages the volunteers, organises school visits and events, and contributes towards reporting on the team activity. 

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Amaya Sanz
Rodriguez

Cell Explorers Future Neuro

Co-coordinator

 

Laboratory Manager, Department of Physiology & Physics

Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

Amaya is the laboratory manager of FutureNeuro lab at the RCSI. She obtained a BSc in Biochemistry (2004) and a PhD in Neuroscience (2009), from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain. In 2010 she joined the laboratory of Prof. David Henshall (RCSI) as a research assistant. The main research foci of the lab which main interests are in the molecular mechanisms underpinning epilepsy and investigating possible treatments. and treatment of epilepsy. In 2019 she was appointed as Laboratory Manager of FutureNeuro. She ensures that the laboratory operates smoothly and helps researchers in their different projects.

She is very passionate about Science, both in research and education. Her role as co-coordinator of the Cell EXPLORERS FutureNeuro programme involves recruiting and training volunteers, preparing, and managing kits to send to schools, and facilitating hands-on workshops to young people.

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Ciara Courtney

Cell Explorers Future Neuro Coordinator 2020-2021

 

Communication, Education & Public Engagement Lead,

Future Neuro, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

Ciara worked as a journalist for over 10 years. Working within the world of radio, she has worked for AA Roadwatch, LMFM Radio, RTE Radio One and Newstalk. During her time in radio she has worked with Joe Duffy, George Hook, Ivan Yates and Dr Ciara Kelly. She also has written a number of articles for The Irish Examiner. Before becoming part of the Future Neuro team, she worked as PR and Communications Executive for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).

She looks after our website, social media and press, as well as our Education and Outreach programmes, including the Cell EXPLORERS team at Future Neuro. She works closely with our researchers in FutureNeuro to develop their communication skills and community engagement skills. 

A big part of her role is to work with groups such as charities, policy makers, patient representatives and schools to help inform our research and improve how we communicate FutureNeuro's work. 

During her J1, Ciara worked as a group leader in a science summer camp. This ignited her passion for outreach programmes, working with young people and encouraging young students' interest in the world of science.

Previous Coordinators: 

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Linda Coyne

Cell Explorers Future Neuro Coordinator 2019-2020

Communication, Outreach and Education Officer,

Future Neuro, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

Linda was the Communications, Education and Outreach Officer at Future Neuro for 2019-20. During her time in the role, she looked after the website, social media and press, as well as the Education and Outreach programmes such as Cell Explorers. She worked closely with the researchers at FutureNeuro to develop their communication skills. A big part of her role was to work with groups such as charities, policy makers, patient representatives and schools to help inform our research and improve how scientists communicate their work.

 

School Visits

The first Future Neuro Cell EXPLORERS school visit took place in October 2019 as a training visit at Gardiner Street with the coordinators from the NUI Galway team.

 

The team further visited another school in South Circular Road, Dublin. Overall, hosting  3 classes, and engaging with 74 children on Fantastic DNA and learning about scientists at Universities.

In 2021 the team focused on training their members in the new remotely facilitated format of Fantastic DNA in a Box, and did their first visit in December 2021. They are now looking to do more visits for 2022! If you would like Cell EXPLORERS Future Neuro to bring Fantastic DNA to your school contact the team by email. 

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Future Neuro Fantastic DNA school map 2019

What do Pupils and Teachers say?

We collect feedback from pupils and teachers about their experience of the Fantastic DNA (and Fantastic DNA in a Box) visits. 

Click the link below to see a visual infographic of the feedback collected about the Future Neuro team activity!


2021 Future Neuro infographic

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Training school visit by Future Neuro Cell EXPLORERS Team in 2019

Team Training 2019
Team Training 2019

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Team Training 2019
Team Training 2019

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Team Training 2019
Team Training 2019

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Team Training 2019
Team Training 2019

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