Launch of short film: Diabetes and stem cells

  • Mairead Lesley Bermingham (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar


Diabetes and Stem Cells Film Launch

I was a Discussion Panel Members at the launch of short film: Diabetes and stem cells led by Cathy Southworth. A compelling short film that includes beautiful hand drawn animation by award winning animator Cameron Duguid (Stem Cell Revolutions and A Stem Cell Story, Eurostemcell). The documentary tells the story of how scientists are exploring the possibility of using lab grown cells as a therapy for those affected by Diabetes. The 15 minute film will be followed by a Q&A session with scientists working in the field of diabetes, a young person with diabetes and the film's director and animator: Cameron Duguid Film Director and Animator Ainsley Duncan Young person with Type I Diabetes Dr Mairead Bermingham Genetic epidemiologist looking at Type 1 Diabetes Professor Wendy Bickmore Director of MRC-Human Genetics Unit, Principal Investigator HumEn project Dr Shareen Forbes Clinical Diabetologist, Lead Physician and Diabetologist Islet Transplant Project Scotland The launcah was a great success. The film went down really well. We had great feedback from the audience. In particular from two parents of teenagers with diabetes who said that the film and Q&A were really well pitched to a lay audience? There was also a secondary teacher from Castlebrae HS, who said the stem cell research is now part of the curriculum, and the film is just what she needs for her teaching. The initial questions asked were pure epidemiology: · the causes of diabetes · the environmental and genetic risk factors for diabetes · what is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes · why are insulin pups not more readily available in Scotland. The questions then moved on to stem cell research: · the methodology behind the reprogramming of skin cells to stem cells and the differentiation into beta cells. · the use of cord cell to develop patient tailored methods · how near are we to generating a whole pancreas from stems cells and whether this would be beneficial? The take home message provided was that current methodologies will not focus on patient tailored treatments, and they are likely to have the same problems as the generalised treatment, because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, and the rejection of beta cell are likely in both scenarios. Again, I was impressed by the level of knowledge held by diabetics and their family members regarding the causes and risks associated with diabetes.
Period13 Nov 2017
Event typeOther
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map


  • Diabetes
  • stem cells