Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow, Interdisciplinary Centre for Human and Avian Influenza Research (ICHAIR), University of Edinburgh
Beltane Fellow: 1 Nov 2009 –30 April 2010
Marieke works as an immunologist in the field of Infectious Diseases. In particular she is studying host-virus interactions in human influenza infection, and is especially interested in the early responses of the immune system that should protect the host, but may in fact contribute to pathology.
As a senior post-doctoral fellow of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Human and Avian Influenza Research (ICHAIR) Marieke carries out experimental research and disseminates findings through posters, presentations and manuscripts in peer-review journals. She is also involved in teaching and supervising undergraduate and PhD students.
As Chair & Secretary of the Edinburgh Immunology Group, part of the British Society for Immunology, she hosts visits of world-renowned scientist from the UK and abroad to present their research and meet with Edinburgh scientists and as a committee member of the Scottish Immunology Group and the Edinburgh University’s IBVI (Inflammation in Bacterial & Viral Infection group) she is involved in organising seminars and symposia.
During her Public Engagement Fellowship Marieke developed and trial a prototype card game with a biomedical theme (infectious diseases) to engage children and their families in science. The card game, designed to play Happy Families, will be trialled in informal educational settings like after-school clubs to introduce children (age 8-12) to science in a playful way. The game will generate debate about infectious diseases during interactive sessions with children and supervisors. Children can take the game home so it will reach new audiences and encourage informal learning within a family setting. To reach homes that have little or no contact with science communication she will endeavour to reach more economically deprived areas.
The project represents a collaboration between community workers and scientists. The card development process (brainstorm-sessions) will introduce researchers at various levels to public engagement, increasing scientist’s involvement in engaging children in science.