Patient-public engagement activities

We place a high value upon training the next generation of doctors and surgeons; however we also place equal value on the patients and general public whose experience, talents and stories enrich the life of the Institute. Whether you would like to attend the annual science festival, find more about the Trials Connect project which aims to develop “public learning” so the whole community can understand more about clinical trials, attend a Lets talk hearts seminar, join a public and patient advisory group or just learn more about the many patient-public activities you can help with your starting point is here.  

Let's Talk Hearts - Seminar Series

These free talks provide a BRU-led forum to learn about heart conditions, how (and why) you should keep your heart healthy, and the latest research on cardiovascular health. The first cycle of talks (2 years) were supported by a grant by Barts and The London Charity and they have continued with the support of the NIHR CVBRU.  

Next seminar:
24th May 2017 , 3.00pm - 4.30pm, Idea Store Whitechapel London E1 1BU - Location

For more information please email or visit

Barts and Queen Mary Science Festival - 2018 festival

The 2018 festival will be on 20th June 2018 – save the date! For further details watch this space.

This will be the eighth year of the festival which is open to all but particularly aimed at secondary schools and young people interested in a career in science and medicine. For more information or if you are interested in taking part in the festival (details tba) please email

Recent festivals


This year's festival was held on 21st June 2017.

Students from schools across London attended the seventh edition of the festival which was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Biomedical Research Centre (Barts BRC), the NHS Trust and Trials Connect. Exhibitors at the festival included Let’s talk hearts (free heart talks for the general public supported by the BRC), the Centre of the Cell, Bart’s Health Trust, Sports and Exercise Medicine (QMUL) and the UCL Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology. Students joined in on visual and hands-on demonstrations of how some brain power cells (mitochondria) work and how ultrasound is used to diagnose arthritis and see the ‘inside’ of our joints using medical equipment.


The 2016 festival was supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Cardiovascular Disease at Barts Health Trust and Queen Mary University of London (NIHR Barts Cardiovascular BRU) and Trials Connect. The 2016 festival also received a generous grant from the QMUL Alumni Annual Fund, which aims to provide additional funds for students and staff who wish to improve the student experience, encourage community engagement and promote academic achievement. Exhibitors at the festival included Let’s talk hearts (free heart talks for the general public supported by NIHR Barts Cardiovascular BRU and the Farr Institute) with a demonstration on how to extract DNA from a banana, and Venture Thinking (the organization that supports Tim Peake the astronaut) using paper and straws to show what healthy bones look like.

Talks included a panel of volunteer patients from Trials Connect speaking about their experiences of taking part in a clinical trial. TrialsConnect is an educational project in lifelong and shared learning. Inspired by the work of the William Harvey Clinical Research Centre it draws on the experience and professional expertise of current and previous clinical trials patients.

Pint of Science

The pub is the setting for this festival of talks, Q&A’s, quizzes and chats with some of the world’s best scientific researchers.

  • School/Institute/Department: School of Medicine and Dentistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Subjects: Science
  • Audience: General public

The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting, fun and relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public in the relaxed setting of public houses across the world. QMUL organise annual events to coincide with the three-day festival each May, with a team of volunteers bringing together researchers from across the institution to deliver activities such as talks, quizzes and workshops.

For more information contact the QMUL team or visit Pint of Science

Patient-public engagement activities 2011-2016

The interaction with patients as witnesses and teachers has grown into teaching for research, naive GP’s and practice nurses, and exploring the power of stories to communicate the most difficult aspects of clinical trials. 

Public and patient Advisory Group (PPAG)

Public and Patient Advisory Group (PPAG)

Are you a heart patient/member of the public interested in heart research? Would you like to have a say in the heart research we are doing and in related activities?

Many of our group members have personal experience of cardiovascular involvement with, or treatment at, The London Chest Hospital, or the William Harvey Research Institute. The group’s membership includes two business executives, an educationalist, a research professor and three retired persons. Activities group members have taken part in have included commenting on research grants and posters from a lay perspective and taking an active part in the planning of events such as Barts Health Clinical Trials Day, Let's talk hearts (free heart talks we run  for the general public) and Barts and Queen Mary science festival. Membership of the group is also open to interested lay members of the public as well as patients. If you are interested please email us.

Inflammation the Fire of Life

A further example of our success in bringing our science to the general public is our contribution to The Royal Society Summer Festival 2012, where in addition to members of the public, scientists presented to students and teacher, other scientists, policymakers and the media. Dr Fluvio D'Acquisto won a highly prestigious place to exhibit our research at the Festival. The exhibit, created and manned by Dr D'Acquisto and a team of approximately thirty WHRI students and scientists was entitled 'Inflammation: The Fire of Life' and run over an entire week in early July 2012. Over 12,000 high school students, teachers and members of the public attended the exhibit. You can see the official trailer here and accompanying shorts.

Official trailer


NICE Guidance

In August 2011 our CV BRU funded Heart Centre Clinical Research Centre and our Public and Patient Involvement Group were involved in disseminating the NICE Guidance for Hypertension in filming by BBC, ITV and ITN. Members of the BRU also took part in radio interviews for Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Berkshire and television interviews on BBC News 24. Here are some examples of our media dissemination involving members of our Public and Patients group to the public - BBC News

UK Symposium on Renal Denervation and Joint UK Societies Consensus Statement

The UK Symposium on Renal Denervation is now in it's 3rd year. This educational symposium is aimed at interventional cardiologists, radiologists, nephrologists and primary/secondary care physicians with a special interest in hypertension. One of our Public and Patients Group members spoke at our first Symposium in 2011 to the 166 delegates about what it feels like to have renal denervation. 

Two of our patients advised and helped structure the patient facing sections of the Joint UK Societies’ Consensus Statement on Renal Denervation designed to be read alongside NICE IP418 and aid safe and effective transition of our BRU work into the NHS.

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