ICCESS update

Stand Up To Cancer

The SiMMS group within the Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS) had an important role in Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer telethon on Friday 14 October. The annual live TV event is a partnership between C4 and Cancer Research UK and features stars from film, music and television. The production company behind the 2016 event approached ICCESS after seeing recent media publicity about the Centre’s pioneering haptic device for rectal examinations.

Members of the team, led by Centre Director Dr Fernando Bello, duly took part in rehearsals and filming, setting up the device for TV presenter Davina McCall to get a lesson in direct rectal examination (DRE) from Dr Mike live on television!

The inclusion of the robotic rectum in the show helped make an important point. Embarrassment about rectal examination can be one reason why some men don’t visit the doctor even if they have symptoms that are indicative of prostate cancer. The SiMMS group are keen to explore ways in which their device can be used to help educate patients on the importance of rectal examination – and why it’s not worth dying of embarrassment.

Here’s a clip of Davina performing her first rectal examination…albeit on the robotic rectum: http://bit.ly/2gEzyf7

Wellcome Saturday Studio

A team of researchers, clinicians and educators from ICCESS delivered a highly successful workshop at the Wellcome Collection on Saturday 29 October. ‘Saturday Studio’ is a series of drop-in workshops for people aged 14-19 inspired by the Wellcome Collection and led by experts from a range of disciplines. The ICCESS team, led by Prof Roger Kneebone, delivered a hands-on session that explored the skills of surgery from an unusual perspective.

The three themes of the workshop covered some of the skills fundamental to surgery

  • Joining and sewing, led by lacemaker Fleur Oakes, demonstrated how delicate stitching and handiwork is key to many surgical procedures
  • Working in teams, featuring puppeteer and theatre director Rachel Warr, showed how puppets are moved and manipulated by several people working in tandem, highlighting the importance of collaboration in the operating theatre
  • Teaching your fingers to see, led by ICCESS researcher Dr Alejandro Granados, taught guests how the sense of touch is vitally important to clinicians when performing internal examinations

The event was extremely popular and received a great deal of positive feedback from the young people who attended, and the ICCESS team are hoping to go back to deliver another such session in future.

For more information about the Wellcome Collection Saturday Studio visit


Duncan Boak
Centre Manager
Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS)

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