About us

Notice: (November 2016) This website is no longer maintained. The Public Programmes Team still run the Question of Taste workshops, however there are portions of this site which are not active. For the most up to date information please visit our website.

Nowgen is a centre of excellence in public engagement, education and professional training in biomedicine.

Nowgen carries out dedicated education work as part of its wider Public Programmes remit. Our education work focuses on engaging directly with the formal education system – in particular, biology taught in schools.

We work with:

  • school students, through hands-on workshops and other opportunities to explore genetics through practical activities;
  • teachers, providing CPD and resources to help engage students with contemporary biomedicine, especially genetics and genomics; and,
  • the wider education community to ensure that the biology taught in schools encompasses the latest research findings, especially in the area of genomics.

Meet the education team

Find out more about the education team and the rest of Public Programmes team.


Kate demonstrating an activity about chromosomes

Kate Dack

Public Programmes Manager

Kate manages the overall delivery of Nowgen’s Public Programmes work, including our education work. Kate develops and works with PhD students to deliver the Question of Taste workshops for school students.

Before Nowgen, Kate had a brief spell teaching science and also trained as a genetic counsellor, helping individuals and families who have recently discovered they have a genetic condition.

Kate enjoys the great outdoors and is often found up a mountain covered in mud.


Bella Starling

Director of Public Programmes

Bella leading a presentation

Bella oversees and directs the breadth of Nowgen’s Public Programmes, including our educational schools activities, looking ahead to what we might do in the future and liaising with other stakeholders to explore new opportunities.

Alongside this, Bella is directly involved with particular elements of the education programme, especially our work around curriculum development.ion work. Bella is responsible for the more strategic side of Nowgen’s

The Wellcome Trust was lucky enough to benefit from Bella’s expertise for many years before she made the transition northwards. Prior to that, Bella also worked in scientific publishing and neuroscience research – her PhD looked at how a particular type of virus can kill brain cells.

Bella’s free time is largely occupied by her two boisterous boys, but she also goes camping in the rain and for slightly drier holidays in France.