From panel discussions to science fairs – College President, Dr Suzy Lishman, invites you to join our annual celebration of the amazing work pathologists do

This week is National Pathology Week (NPW), the highlight of the College’s public engagement programme. NPW was introduced in 2008 and since then thousands of events have been held in hospitals, schools and communities to highlight the vital role of pathology in healthcare.

Something for everyone

This week is a very busy one for the College, with a host of events catering to everyone from GSCE students to politicians and policy makers. 

Tomorrow, President-elect Professor Jo Martin and I will be hosting a roundtable event in Tower Hamlets – the home of the College’s new purpose-built premises on Alie Street. We will be joined by local healthcare professionals, community leaders and parliamentarians to discuss the importance of cancer screening and how the College can work with the local community to improve uptake of these important services.

Then in the evening I’m looking forward to dressing up as a plague doctor and performing a virtual autopsy on a live model at Centre of the Cell in Whitechapel, London. The event will focus on the Great Plague, which killed an estimated 100,000 people in the 1660s, almost a quarter of London's population. Attendees will discover what an autopsy involves, how post-mortem examinations have transformed our understanding of disease, and why future investigations may not require a scalpel.

Whether you want to be a pathologist or just want to understand more about how pathologists and scientists prevent, diagnose and treat disease, there’s something for everyone.

On 8 November, our longstanding collaborator Lizzie Burns will be running an Art of Pathology session with patients and visitors at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Lizzie, who holds a doctorate in molecular cell biology, is passionate about conveying the excitement of science through art and educational projects, and will be taking blood as the inspiration for the activities. I look forward to seeing the finished products, which are always colourful and eye-catching.

Finally, Adventures in Health: Secrets of the Lab is our flagship event for National Pathology Week, running this Friday and Saturday. Held in the lush green setting of the Mile End Ecology Pavilion in Tower Hamlets, the fair will feature hands-on experiments, DNA-themed Twister, and even an opportunity to look at your own cells under a microscope. We’ll have around 270 GCSE and A-Level school students joining us on Friday, and the event will be open to the public on Saturday.

Join in – wherever you are!

These are just a few of the hundreds of events that are taking place around the country this week. Have a look at our public events calendar to find out what’s happening near you. Whether you want to be a pathologist or just want to understand more about how pathologists and scientists prevent, diagnose and treat disease, there’s something for everyone.

P.S: Don’t forget – next Wednesday 15 November is International Pathology Day, with celebrations around the globe. I’ll be chairing a roundtable on the role of pathology services in cancer diagnosis, that will be available to watch online, and there will be a host of international activities happening. Find out more.