Explore Biology, Medicine and Health lecture series

Join our world-class community of scientists, researchers and healthcare professionals as they explore a range of biology, medicine and health-related topics.

They showcase the study and research experiences you could have at The University of Manchester. Every lecture is followed by a question and answer session (Q&A) with the speaker.

On demand

What does hearing have to do with COVID-19?

Date: Wednesday 4 November

Speaker: Dr Gabrielle (Gaby) Saunders

Duration: 45:53


About this lecture

What does hearing have to do with COVID-19? A lot - although you probably haven’t heard that. For example, can you imagine how it would be if you had hearing loss and needed to ask the mask-wearing shop assistant for information? Or how would you cope if your doctor suggested a phone appointment instead of being seen at the surgery?

In this talk, Dr Gaby Saunders will use the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss how important hearing and communication are in our daily lives and how this affects the work of healthcare professionals such as audiologists.

Viruses: What are they and where are they from?

Date: Wednesday 11 November

Speaker: Professor Nicky High

Duration: 47:42


About this lecture

In this lecture, Professor Nicky High will introduce the biology behind viruses and explore their evolutionary origins, including their relationship to humans.

She will then outline several examples of how scientists and society as a whole have responded to viruses (including the COVID-19 pandemic), before discussing some of the latest virology research.

Bugs ‘n’ Drugs: An overview of antimicrobial resistance

Date: Wednesday 18 November

Speaker: Dr David Allison

Duration: 43:07


About this lecture

Society faces the real prospect of a future without antibiotics, as 70% of the world’s bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics. Indeed, it is estimated that by the year 2050 over 50 million people will die due to untreatable, common infections - far more than are killed by cancer.

In this lecture, Dr David Allison will introduce this global issue and discuss the possible solutions.

Where do we come from?

Date:  Wednesday 25 November

Speaker: Professor Matthew Cobb

Duration: 50:08


About this lecture

Professor Matthew Cobb looks at our origins in Africa and how our relatives spread out across the globe, beginning around 70,000 years ago.

The lecture focuses on genetic evidence showing how all humans are related, how at one point our population declined to about 15,000 people – the size of a small town, and how when we arrived in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, we mated with other kinds of human, such as the Neanderthals.

Our view of human evolution has changed completely in the last decade, thanks to our ability to isolate and sequence ancient DNA. This lecture summarises that knowledge and explores what it is to be human.

Why can’t computers think like us?

Date: Wednesday 2 December

Speaker: Dr Bo Yao

Duration: 44:06


About this lecture

In this lecture, Dr Bo Yao will outline the similarities and differences between a human brain and a computer in order to highlight the unique characteristics of human cognition.

He will then introduce some of the advanced methods scientists use to study human cognition, and how you can study these topics at university.