The 18th century hide of Blossom the Cow, a trip to the mortuary and a tour of our Pathology Museum were some of the highlights of our St George’s, University of London inaugural Professor Gowing workshop on Human Diseases, which introduced A-Level science students to the subject of pathology.

Museum of Pathology

calendar-icon 29 June 2017

The two workshops, which were attended by around 30 students from local schools, took place in the Pathology Museum at the University on 14 and 21 June. They were led by Dr Carol Shiels, a Senior Lecturer and the Pathology Museum Curator.

The programme, which was carried out in collaboration with the Widening Participation team at St George’s, consisted of four different activities, aiming to support the students’ A Level biology learning.

The students had the opportunity to explore the museum with curriculum-focused worksheets on human diseases.

They also took part in group discussions on the laws governing our use of human tissue for research and education; had an introduction to the history and importance of vaccination and visited Blossom the Cow, who was used by Edward Jenner in his smallpox experiment, which resulted in the first successful vaccine

The visit ended with a Disease Detective activity in which the students studied different patient case histories and post mortem reports to identify the cause of death.

The Mortuary Team at St George's finished the day with a visit to the post mortem viewing gallery to learn about the types of post mortems carried out at St George's.

Student Ambassadors were there to guide the students in their activities and provided the visiting students with some valuable insights into preparing their applications for university.

The workshops were made possible by a generous donation from an alumni in the memory of Professor Noel Gowing, Founding Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and for many years one of the most respected diagnostic histopathologists in the UK.

Dr Carol said: "The workshops were a great success. One student spoke about how they enjoyed every aspect of the day and highlighted how helpful and lovely the Student Ambassadors were."

The workshops will continue to be delivered annually and any researchers who are interested in getting involved to produce a wider range of workshop activities should contact Dr Carol Shiels.