Visit to the Annual Institute of Physics Lecture

October 13, 2015

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Mr. Brady, Mr. Dorset and 15 A2 Physics students attended the annual Institute of Physics lecture at Devonport High School for Boys on the afternoon of Friday 2nd October.

This year’s lecture was delivered by Natalie Garrett, a Biophysics research scientist from the University of Exeter and was titled, “Beautiful Brains and Amazing Lasers”.

Natalie specialises in advanced laser imaging techniques with application to novel nano-particle drug delivery systems in biological specimens. The findings of her research will help the advancement of new medicines to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The laser imaging techniques make use of pulsed lasers to initiate special optical effects inside biological specimens. These non-linear effects allow the tracing of the path taken by certain drugs inside the samples. This will help to increase the understanding of how new nano-medicines work at the cellular scale, allowing the development of more effective treatments for diseases of the brain such as brain cancer and Alzheimer’s.

The lecture was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Demonstrations included the popping of a balloon with a laser beam and the ability of some substances to fluoresce in specific lighting conditions. It has opened the students’ eyes to the wide range of possible career paths that can be followed after studying Physics at University.

Natalie also highlighted the numerous conferences that she has attended around the globe as part of her work. It is hoped that it may be possible for some students to visit Natalie’s lab in Exeter, where she is making use of the latest technology in order to further her research.

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