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Public Engagement

2 researchers laughing at a stall at the 2019 Open Doors event


MRC PHRU facilitators told the story of statins, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease at Oxford’s IF Festival of Science and Ideas with a combination of four activities - ‘Help me Stay Well’.

The activities – two participatory games, an interactive poster and animation – increased people’s understanding about how statins can prevent cardiovascular disease. They also helped people understand more about the scientific methods used to find out if statins are safe and work.

Stall at IF Festival of Science and Ideas, Cowley Centre, Oxford

In 2023 Help me Stay Well will engage more people in the work of the Vascular Overviews Group (VOG), part of the MRC Population Health Research Unit. VOG has carried out a series of studies, meta-analyses, to assess the effects of statins.


ASCEND PLUS is a new trial that will test whether taking a daily tablet of a drug called semaglutide could protect people living with type 2 diabetes from cardiovascular disease. Members of the public are part of an advisory group that has helped to shape how the study will be done. This includes advising around vital communications between the trial team and potential participants. The group will carry on throughout the trial.

Members of the ASCEND-PLUS advisory groupMembers of the ASCEND-PLUS advisory group

A researcher talking to a young boy at the 2019 Open doors event

'The joy comes from seeing them at the beginning looking a bit lost, then they just get that light bulb moment and the enthusiasm runs away with them. Suddenly they are full of ideas about data.

Heather Halls, Research Associate