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Open Day 2017

The LMB will be opening its doors to all on Saturday 17 June, 10am-4pm. There is no need to book – just turn up on the day! (last entry at 3.30pm)

Refreshments will be available to purchase, and the LMB car park will be open with free parking on a first-come first-served basis.

Hands-on activities

See Your Cells

Use a microscope to see your own cells with the help of LMB scientists!

children looking at brain modelFrom mini-brains in a dish to big brains in our heads

Mammalian brains come in many shapes and forms – can you match pictures of animals and their brains? Look down a microscope and see the brain organoids – little brains growing in a dish – that LMB scientists use to study brain development.

Science Detective

See the amazing hidden details of plants and insects as you test your detective skills with our stereomicroscope challenge

people looking through microscopeWorms are cleverer than you think

Find out how our scientists use a tiny worm to understand how our neurons work, and what goes wrong in disease and aging.  Look at live worms under a microscope, learn to navigate like a worm, and how they use their senses, in our sweet finding game.

Mighty Molecular Motors

Discover the tiny machines that organise the insides of our cells. Make your own models of these motors using pipe cleaners and pompoms.

virus wars exhibitVirus Wars

Scientists at the LMB are working to understand more about how viruses work and how the human immune system deals with them – with the goal of helping to find new treatments. Join us to find out more about viruses and antibodies and take part in our containment chamber challenge!

DNA and Ubiquitin

Play our games and discover why shape is so important in biology. There will be puzzles, Lego, colouring in…

pipetting game

Nobel Treasure Hunt

Follow our special trail to track down pictures and information on some of the LMB’s Nobel prize winners. Anyone filling in all the Treasure Hunt questions correctly will win a prize!

Size a protein

Select a protein sample and discover what it is using our light scattering machine – you’ll get a print out of the results to keep. Learn why this technique is so critical to research at the LMB.

young boy with pipetteBuilding Blocks of Life: hands-on science lab

DNA is a component of all living things, and the information encoded in DNA is used to make proteins. Dress up as a scientist and extract DNA from bananas and strawberries. Try purifying proteins using chromatography.

Visualising Science: From Pencil to Computer

Explore the changing way science has been portrayed, from the early days of the MRC Unit in the 1950s to the current day, and see how developments in technology have enabled LMB scientists to illustrate and explain their discoveries to a wider audience. Discover items from the LMB Archive and Visual Aids Department as you walk through the LMB atrium.


Come on ‘behind the scenes’ tours of our labs and facilities to find out more about key areas of the LMB’s work. We’re offering tours of each of our four Divisions – Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry (PNAC) and Structural Studies. There will also be tours of the Molecular Immunity Unit (part of the University of Cambridge) which is housed at the LMB and tours of Building Services.

How to catch a cheatCell Biology

Divisional Tour

The LMB’s Cell Biology Division aims to understand how cells and tissues are organised, and how this goes awry in disease. These questions are being addressed using yeast, fruit flies, nematode worms and mice, as well as tissue culture. Join one of the interactive Cell Biology tours to see a cross-section of work in the Division and chat to our scientists.

Mass Spectrometry

Discover the world of mass spectrometry and how this amazing technique is valuable to scientists. See if you can use mass spectrometry to work out whether a patient is diabetic by analysing samples (pretend!) of urine.

Neurobiology Lab ToursNeurobiology

Open Labs

Come into our open labs, talk to scientists and learn about their fascinating science. Find out about circadian clocks – are you a night owl or a morning lark? Discover how LMB scientists are aiming to tackle neurodegenerative diseases.

Interested in genetics? Come and hear about how flies can tell us about our brains. Or how about getting a microscopic view on the molecules that allow our brain cells to communicate with to each other?


Divisional Tour: Signalling pathways in cancer and the chemical origin of life

Come on a tour of the PNAC division. Visit the labs and learn about the research of five different labs through bite-size presentations.

Little but mean: cellular immunity to bacteria

Find out how your cellular defenses protect against invading bacteria. Watch videos of cells and bacteria fighting!

Worms and sneezes

Enter an immunology lab which is working to understand immunity and asthma. See models of giant parasitic worms – yes, they really can grow this big! See what happens during an immune response against worms, and during an asthma attack.

Stem cells and robots

Go on a guided tour of the Stem Cell and Genotyping labs. See stem cells under the microscope, discover how genotyping machines work and how they are important in LMB science.

Come sort with me

Explore the fascinating world of flow cytometry, with a tour of the Flow Cytometry laboratory, and explanations on how a cell sorter works. Have a go at making sort decisions yourself with our colour-sorter game.

PNAC Lab ToursStructural Studies

Divisional Tour

Learn about one of three techniques that scientists in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division use to identify the structure of proteins: cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography and NMR. Follow a protein through the process of having its structure solved.

Mechanical Workshop

Drop into the LMB’s Mechanical Workshop where unique scientific instruments are designed and made. Try operating one of the machines to create your own LMB freebie.

Molecular Immunity Unit

Good viruses, bad viruses, and the evolution of sex

Learn from scientists about their research into viruses – how viruses can be ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and how components of viruses have enabled the evolution of sexual reproduction in biology.

Building Services

Behind-the-scenes building tour

See the mechanical and electrical systems that support the LMB’s science, including the Energy Centre, Interstitial Service Voids, Air Handling Units and Underground Service Tunnels.


A variety of talks are lined up for the Open Day. A programme of short talks aimed at non-scientists will take place in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre throughout the day. These talks will last 30mins and there will be time after to quiz the speaker.

Fun with diffraction and molecules

In this interactive talk, given by Brad Amos, see diffraction patterns from real life – can you guess what pattern an object will create? Discover how diffraction patterns have been so important for uncovering the structure of tiny things biology.

More to be announced…

Structural Studies: Young Researchers

Young researchers from the LMB’s Structural Studies Division will be talking about their work. Meet the scientists and have the opportunity to talk with them

How to become a scientist

Interested in becoming a scientist? Join us for this short talk and informal panel Q&A to learn more about the life of a scientist and how you could become one. Aimed at secondary school and sixth form students.

LMB Open Day mailing list

We will be releasing our complete Open Day Programme in advance – sign up to our mailing list to be the first to receive it!

We will only email you regarding LMB events and will not use your details for any other purpose.

Take a look at our monthly LMB Open Day newsletters

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