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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


The second University of Cambridge BBSRC DTP Annual Symposium was, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, held on Zoom, on Monday 26th October and Tuesday 27th October 2020. It was co-organised and co-chaired by a committee of 2018-cohort DTP Students: Tessa Hughes, Orla Woodward, Layla Hosseini-Gerami, Lorna Simpson, Anna Townley and Chris Micklem.

The first day of the Symposium featured a poster session and throughout both days were talks from DTP students, arranged into sessions according to the BBSRC's strategic research themes. In addition to these student presentations, a series of inspiring talks and panel discussions were delivered by a selection of high-profile guest speakers.


Keynote Speakers:



The Symposium was honoured to host Keynote presentations from Professor Jason Chin, Head of the MRC LMB Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry Division and Centre for Chemical & Synthetic Biology (closing Keynote, day 1) and Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of the BBSRC (opening Keynote, day 2).


Session Keynote Speakers:



Session Keynotes were also delivered by Dr Emma Laing, Director of Computational Biology at GSK & Visiting Professor in Bioinformatics, University of Surrey; Dr Nicholas Matheson, Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Lead PI for the University of Cambridge Asymptomatic COVID Screening Programme; and Dr Diana Fusco, Group Leader & Lecturer at The Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge.


'Industry & Start-ups' Careers Panel:



Two Careers Panels were also organised. The first panel was on the theme of Industry & Start-ups, comprising distinguished Cambridge Cluster entrepreneurs and industry leaders, Dr Jason Mellad, Founder/CEO of Start Codon Ltd and former CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix Ltd; Dr Lee Booty, Investigator at GSK; Dr Karolina Zapadka, Head of the Babraham Research Campus Accelerator; and Dr Chris Torrance, Founder/CEO of PhoreMost Ltd and Founder of Horizon Discovery Ltd.


'Careers Outside the Lab' Careers Panel:



The second panel focused on Careers Outside the Lab, featuring respected representatives from non-lab-related professions, Dr Clare Fitzgerald, Associate Consultant at IQVIA; Dr Mark Patterson, former Executive Director at eLife, having also held senior positions at Nature and PLOS journals; Dr Kat Arney, award-winning science communicator, author and Founder/Creative Director of First Create the Media; and Dr Beth Thompson MBE, Head of UK & EU Policy at The Wellcome Trust.


Student Prizes:

The BBSRC DTP kindly sponsored prizes for the two best posters, as judged by BBSRC DTP Committee members and the two most popular talks, determined by attendee votes.

Congratulations to Emily Servanté and Adrian Murgoci (both 2018 cohort) for winning the Grand Prize and Runner-up Prize respectively for their posters.

Congratulations also to Kirsty Mackinlay and Jonathan Lam (both 2017 cohort) for winning the Grand Prize and Runner-up Prize respectively for their talks.

Organising Committee and Co-chairs: