A royal visit to Centre of the Cell

Their Royal Highnesses (TRH) The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Queen Mary, University of London’s Centre of the Cell on Thursday 25 November, as part of a tour around several charities in east London.

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Prince Edward inside the 'pod' with pupils from Mulberry School for Girls
Prince Edward inside the 'pod' with pupils from Mulberry School for Girls

The royal party were greeted by academics from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and local school children at the School’s Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science in Whitechapel. They were shown inside a giant cell-like ‘pod’ above the research laboratory to see how the Centre introduces young people to science through a series of interactive games and experiments.

Centre of the Cell Director Frances Balkwill said: “We were delighted to welcome the royal couple to Centre of the Cell and are extremely grateful for their support through the Wessex Youth Trust. The Centre has been open for over a year now and we have welcomed thousands of young people, inspiring them to become scientists themselves one day.”

The location of Centre of the Cell is pivotal to its mission. Tower Hamlets and its neighbouring boroughs are among the most deprived areas in the UK. The Centre aims to improve attainment, raise children’s aspirations, increase the number of young people studying science and healthcare, and contribute to the regeneration of east London.

The visit was part of a tour in conjunction with their charitable foundation The Wessex Youth Trust and its main corporate partner, Deutsche Bank. Commenting on the tour, Kate Cavelle, Director of Corporate Citizenship UK at Deutsche Bank, said: “Our partnership with the Wessex Youth Trust has enabled us to support a number of grassroots community organisations that otherwise might fall below the radar. This tour is an excellent opportunity for colleagues to see the impact Deutsche Bank funding is having in our local communities.”

Centre of the Cell is open for school bookings during the week and to the general public on Thursday evenings and during school holidays. Booking can be made online.

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For media information, contact:

Joel Winston
Faculty Communications Manager (Medicine and Dentistry)