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Gut reaction

Monday 18 March: 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Babbage Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site Downing Street, CB2 3RS

It’s something that we all do, but no one talks about it: emptying your bowels. However, for many people with conditions that impair this most normal of bodily functions, it can impact your day-to-day life in unexpected and profoundly challenging ways. Scientists Dr Ewan St. John Smith and Dr James Hockley teamed up with DragonLight Films to produce a short film that explores how gut function goes wrong, the impact it has on peoples’ lives and how scientists and clinicians are working to better treat those affected. We seek to understand how gut function is disrupted and how pain occurs in conditions including Crohn’s disease (a form of inflammatory bowel disease, IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as being a natural consequence of ageing.

After watching the film Dr Dervila Glynn of Cambridge Neuroscience will moderate an open debate with a panel of experts to discuss themes arising from the film. The event is supported by Bowel and Cancer Research whose mission is to bring forward to a day when no one will die of bowel cancer or have to live with chronic bowel disease.

Come along and discover more about your amazing gut, a system as complex as your brain, how it controls things we take for granted and which no one usually likes to talk about!

Dr Ewan St. John Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow in Pharmacology at Corpus Christi College. Ewan’s research group is focused on determining how pain is caused in a wide variety of conditions.

Dr James Hockley is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge. James’ research examines the biological pathways responsible for how sensations, in particular pain, arise from our internal organs.

Colin Ramsay is an award-winning Cambridge based filmmaker, founder and managing director of DragonLight Films. In 2017, Colin won the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) “Best Research Film of the Year” for his documentary film Pain in the Machine.

Booking Information

Telephone number:
01223 766766

Booking required


Full access

Additional Information

Age: 11+, Film, Talk, Arrive on time, Free