UofG researchers bring science to the IKEA showroom

Scientists from the University of Glasgow will be giving the public a chance to get more than flat-packed furniture and meatballs at Glasgow’s IKEA this month, as they join Saturday shoppers to showcase the university’s world-changing research.

On November 24, around 100 world-renowned researchers and students from the University’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) will be across 10 activity stands in and around IKEA Braehead’s showroom and café for the “at home with Life Sciences” event.


All ages are encouraged to come visit, engage, learn more about the university’s research and share feedback and thoughts.

Stands include ‘Back to Your Future’ and ‘Super tasters‘, where people can learn how the genes we inherit from our parents can affect our personality, health and even our tastes; and the Glasgow House Sparrow Project is looking to enlist citizen scientists to help preserve the species.

There will also be scientists who develop synthetic bone grafts; a chance try the ‘Ikea tool challenge’ while wearing gloves that mimic arthritis ; an opportunity for children to make their own immune cells that play a big role in heart disease; and an IKEA living room transformed into a ‘Cell Room,’ where visitors are invited to learn about the various components of a cell and the human body by using Virtual Reality Headsets.

Researchers will also help visitors play detective and work out whodunit using forensic science , while children ‘stack up’ the building blocks to a healthy life and the whole family explore the micro monsters in their mouths in an activity on oral health.

Dr Allison Jackson, Research Development Manager, said: “Our research is improving the health and quality of life for humans and animals here in Glasgow, as well as across the globe. Visitors to our “at home" event in IKEA Braehead will be able to talk directly to researchers involved in everything from precision medicine – finding the right drug for the right patient – to forensic testing, dentistry and synthetic bone grafts like the one that saved the leg of Eva the dog.

“But just as important, we have a chance to hear directly what visitors think of our work and learn of the research issues that matter to them. We are very grateful to IKEA for working with us and giving us this opportunity."

Life Sciences at the University encompasses medicine, veterinary studies, and dentistry, together with biological and environmental sciences. Our experts and state-of-the-art facilities are dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for humans and animals, here in Glasgow and across the globe.

Enquiries: ali.howard@glasgow.ac.uk or elizabeth.mcmeekin@glasgow.ac.uk / 0141 330 6557 or 0141 330 4831

First published: 9 November 2018