From Research to Reality: An Evening of Science.

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Sheridan Gould and Martin Paisner, CBE with Dr Ulyana Shimanovich, Prof Ron Milo, Dr Michal Leskes and Dr Emily Grossman.

Three remarkable young scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science joined us in London for our Annual Ambassadors’ lecture, From Research to Reality, on Tuesday 28 November at the IET London. Around 150 guests attended the evening to hear to some diverse and challenging scientific questions being addressed.

Dr Michal Leskes from the Department of Materials and Interfaces looked at how we can extend the life-time of rechargeable batteries and advances in battery power technology.

Prof Ron Milo from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, explored the question of whether there are hidden secrets to making food production more efficient. He said: 

“Coming to the UK to tell you about our work has given me a fresh perspective of how fortunate we are to be working at the Weizmann Institute. I want to give you a sense of the drama of my work.”

Lastly, Dr Ulyana Shimanovich from the Department of Materials and Interfaces, gave an insight into her promising research into how ultra-fine fibres such as spiders-webs and silk from silkworms are offering hope towards the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Weizmann UK chairman, Martin Paisner CBE introduced the event and the evening was moderated by Science Communicator, Dr Emily Grossman who described the three presentations as: 

“A masterclass in how to put across complicated scientific information accessibly in such a short amount of time.”

Drs Leskes and Shimanovich, both completed their post-doctoral studies at Cambridge. During their visit to the UK, they joined us, and a small number of special friends and supporters of Weizmann UK who have a connection to Cambridge, for an informal lunch at St John’s College, Cambridge.

All three scientists also took part in the How To Academy’s How to Change the World conference at the Royal Institution on Thursday 30 November. Weizmann UK was delighted to once again sponsor this fascinating day-long conference which provides an unparalleled insight into the innovations that are predicted to change our lives in the near and distant future. Our Weizmann Scientists were joined by leading experts from across academia and industry to explore subjects ranging from emotion-reading computers to the exercise pill of the future.

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More about our speakers

Dr Michal Leskes, Department of Materials and Interfaces

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power everyday devices such as laptops, hybrid and all-electric cars, and are used for storing solar or wind power. However, to reach their true potential, new generations of batteries are needed, with faster charging and discharging capabilities and improved power storage. Dr Leskes is using new methods to gain in-depth understanding of processes such as capacity fading and inefficient recharging. She aims to translate her research into the basis for new battery technologies.

Prof Ron Milo, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

As a Systems Biologist, Prof Milo uses a combination of computational and experimental synthetic biology to address the question of sustainability. He studies fundamental design principles with the aim of making food and fuel production more efficient. While a graduate student under the supervision of Prof Uri Alon at the Weizmann Institute, the two made a ground-breaking discovery showing how recurring patterns found in biological systems were essentially building blocks to simplify and explain complex biological networks.

Dr Ulyana Shimanovich, Department of Materials and Interfaces

Dr Shimanovich is fascinated by the ultrafine fibres formed by proteins, ranging from the tough, elastic fibrils spun by spiders and silkworms to the sticky plaques made up by amyloid protein fibres affecting the brains of those with advanced Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases. Her research has shown that learning to control the formation of these nano-scale fibrils can be useful for applications such as administering time-release medications, or developing nanofibrils with antibacterial properties to resist infection.

Dr Emily Grossman, Science Communicator

Dr Emily Grossman is an expert in molecular biology and genetics, with a Double First in Natural Sciences from Queens' College Cambridge and a PhD in cancer research. She also trained and worked as an actress, and now combines her skills as a science broadcaster and educator. Emily explains science for a wide range of TV and radio programmes, teaches maths and science, and gives talks in schools, universities and at live events such as the Science Museum, Cheltenham Science Festival and the Hay Festival. She is also an experienced communication and media skills trainer.


Published: November 30, 2017

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