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Author Archive | Mikhaela Neequaye

Students descend on Dublin for the ISF Knowledge exchange 2016!

Here at the IFR, the student forum realizes that internationalism is an important part of each students’ personal and professional development. For this reason the ISF funds a yearly student knowledge exchange during which students are given the opportunity to present their work at an international location; this year, that location was Dublin, Ireland.

IFR students visited University College Dublin as part of the Student Knowledge Exchange

IFR students visited University College Dublin as part of the Student Knowledge Exchange. 

The exchange ran over the course of two full days and was split between three of Ireland’s most renowned academic establishments; Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and the pub.

On the first day, students were welcomed by Professor of Translational Immunology, Padraic Fallon of Trinity College.  Professor Fallon introduced the students to all the members of his team, including the parasitic helminth larvae which are the focus of much of his work – it’s safe to say no-one got too close!

On the second day, the students visited University College Dublin where they met with Professor of nutrigenomics Helen Roche, Professor of food safety Seamus Fanning, Professor of food science Niamh Harbourne and Professor or metabolomics, Lorraine Brennan. All groups were extremely welcoming, with presentations delivered from their respective PhD students and post-docs over coffee and a catered lunch. “It went really well; it was like a small conference” reports ISF Events Officer and knowledge exchange attendee Britt Blokker, who was principle organiser of the trip.

As well as learning about the research interests of the host groups, each IFR student gave an oral presentation at one of the two locations depending on their field of research. “Everyone gave really good talks and I think some nice collaboration will come out of the trip” says ISF Chair and trip attendee Sophie Prosolek “some students have already been invited back to Ireland with their research group to set the wheels in motion!”

Temple bar, located in Dublin's cultural quarter is a hotspot for tourist attractions

Temple bar, located in Dublin’s cultural quarter is a hotspot for tourist attractions

After a long and tiring day of presentations, the students experienced part of the Irish culture first-hand by participating in a ‘Musical Pub Tour’. Over a pint (or two) of Guinness, the students learned about Irish culture from folk artists who taught their audience about the country’s history through traditional Irish music and dance.

The knowledge exchange drew to its conclusion and the students returned to Norwich feeling exhausted, but with a non-the –less invigorated enthusiasm for their research and a strengthened sense of student community. The ISF hope that a similar knowledge exchange will be run in 2017.

 

The academic profiles of all groups the knowledge exchange visited can be found by following the links below:

https://www.tcd.ie/research/profiles/?profile=pfallon

http://www.ucd.ie/infectbio/infectionbiologyresearchers/profseamusfanning/

http://www.ucd.ie/conway/research/researchers/conwayfellowsa-z/professorhelenroche/home/

http://www.ucd.ie/research/people/agriculturefoodscience/drniamhharbourne/

http://www.ucd.ie/conway/research/researchers/conwayfellowsa-z/drlorrainebrennan/

 

 

Written by Sophie Prosolek, 2nd year PhD student studying in the Mithen group

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ISF Summer BBQ Cooks Up a Storm!

Sunshine and sausages were enjoyed by all as the Great British weather finally pulled through for the ISF summer BBQ!

The event got off to a soggy start a heavy rain forced the ISF to postpone in the hope of fairer weather. Hedging their bets against a forecast thunderstorm, the organizers’ risky wager paid off as over 20 IFR staff and students congregated under the shade of a marquee (kindly lent by Dan Lock) by the BBQ overlooking the UEA lake.

Bruce Pearson taught the grateful organisers a thing or two about hosting good BBQ!

Bruce Pearson taught the grateful organisers a thing or two about hosting good BBQ!

Preparing the food was a joint effort with everyone helping out where they could; this meant that everyone had a chance to show off their BBQ skills and everyone had a chance to socialize.

“There was a good mix of staff and students” reports principle organizer and ISF events officer, Britt Blokker “at events like this you get to meet new people that you wouldn’t otherwise get to talk to”.

PhD students mingled with post-docs, and some brought their family to join in the fun too. It was Dr Beraza’s son who first embarked upon a daring experiment, investigating that age old research question that many of us here at the IFR have been dying to answer: how much do the ducks of the UEA lake like turkey sausages? (Beraza et al, manuscript in progress). I asked the Beraza group about their recent dietary intervention study, however due to ongoing matters of intellectual property and the potential commercialization of novel food products, their findings can’t be discussed no further.

As the sun set over the Ziggurats, the event drew to a close

As the sun set over the Ziggurats, the event drew to a close

 

As the sun set over the Ziggurats, the event drew to a close. “It was a great success” Says ISF Chair Sophie Prosolek “We have to thank the UEA PGSU for providing us with funding for the food, but it’s the hard work of the organisers and everyone who joined in who really made the event”.

The ISF hopes that next year’s committee will build upon their success and host the event again in 2017; safe in the knowledge that good research is fueled by good friends and good food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Sophie Prosolek, 1st year PhD student studying in the Mithen group

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