The CUSPE Committee 2017-2018

Karen Stroobants


Karen Stroobants is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie post-doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Protein Misfolding Diseases at the Chemistry Department. With a strong background in biophysical characterisation of proteins, she recently engaged in the study of membrane protein aggregates and their potential role in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Before moving to the UK, Karen received a prestigious PhD fellowship at KU Leuven, Belgium, where she worked on the development of a novel biotechnological methodologies. Apart from being a researcher, Karen has always been engaged in promoting the communication between different academic players, industry, policy makers and society in general. In this context, she joined CUSPE in 2014, and subsequently was a member and co-head of the workshops team before taking up the role of president in 2017. Karen also is part of the Policy Workgroup of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Alumni Association, she was selected by the MEP-scientist pairing scheme of the European Parliament, and is an enthusiastic participant in the EuroScience Open Forum events (Dublin2012, Manchester2016, intention to attend ESOF2018 in Toulouse).


Haskan Kaya


Haskan Kaya is a third year undergraduate studying Natural Sciences at Gonville & Caius College, specialising in Genetics. He is interested in the history and philosophy of science, particularly in the political and ethical issues surrounding biosciences and genetic engineering. In the past he has undertaken research placements at Illumina in Cambridge and the University of York and has spent time volunteering at public engagement in science events. In his spare time Haskan enjoys photography.


Philip Lindstedt

Head of Finance and Fundraising

Philip is a PhD student within the Department of Chemistry here at Cambridge and a member of St. John’s College. Specifically, he works within the Center for Misfolding Diseases researching novel protein based therapeutics for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Before coming to Cambridge, Philip received his B.Sc. with honors in biochemistry from the University of Washington and then went on to become a research scientist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Outside of the lab Philip is interested in public policy surrounding translational medicine and outreach to local schools through the Royal Chemical Society’s program Spectroscopy in a Suitcase.


Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar

Head of Marketing and Communications

I have been associated with science popularisation and understanding science policy since my days as a Youth-Scientist associated with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (having represented India at the First ASEAN Youth Science Summit). I believe evidence-based politics and policy-making is an avenue that I would like to explore and being associated with CUSPE is a good learning step in that direction.

Glenda Michel


I am an MPhil student at Fitzwilliam College, studying Technology Policy. I am interested in the interaction between science, technology, innovation (STI) and public policy, because I believe that the better understanding of their reciprocal influence can improve social well-being and solve some of the biggest challenges that we are facing today.


Matt Linley


Matt is a member of St John’s College and a PhD student within the Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials, in the Materials Science Department. Matt’s research involves developing collagen scaffolds as an implantable medical material to aid in tissue regeneration. This research is in collaboration with the Swiss company Giestlich Pharma AG. Matt is passionate about translating scientific findings into real-world applications, particularly in policy making.

Olivia Lam

Co-head of Workshops

I am currently a second year undergraduate at Fitzwilliam College,  studying Politics and Social Anthropology. I first became interested in the intersection between science and policy when I came across the podcast Freakonomics. The topics of scientific methods and mind-set in policy-making, and the possibilities science can bring to society and governance especially appealed to me. This motivated me to join CUSPE, and to contribute to its mission by encouraging social scientists to take part in this conversation.


Matias Acosta

Workshops Team Member

I received my materials engineering degree from the Prof. Jorge A. Sabato Institute, Argentina in 2011. I had a full-time scholarship during my studies. I received my doctoral degree in science with honors (Summa Cum Laude) from the Technical University of Darmstadt in 2015. I received several recognitions for my scientific and entrepreneur ideas. I have lived and worked in Argentina, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the UK. Currently, I hold a Feodor Lynen Fellowship from Alexander von Humboldt at the University of Cambridge to do research in inorganic materials for clean energy. I also work in science diplomacy projects between Argentina, Germany and the UK. I have a strong interest in social projects and politics. My goal is helping to achieve a globalized well-being through sustainable ideas and data-driven politics.


Fred Richards

Workshops Team Member

I am studying for a PhD in geophysics at Jesus College and the Bullard Laboratories (Department of Earth Sciences). My research aims to constrain how convection in the Earth’s mantle deforms the surface of our planet and the implications this has for heat flow, landscape evolution and ocean circulation. Through collaboration with BP and other energy companies I have become particularly interested in energy policy and the dual challenge of addressing surging energy demand whilst drastically reducing carbon emissions. More broadly, I am interested in the role of scientific research in improving policymaking decisions and promoting more effective communication between scientists and policy professionals. I’m also a passionate advocate of public engagement with science and was part of the Planet Earth Team for Pint of Science 2017.

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