President: Karen Stroobants

Karen 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).

Secretary: Haskan Kaya

Haskan 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.

Webmaster: 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 policymaking.

Finance and Fundraising Team

Head of Finance and Fundraising: Philip Lindstedt

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.’

Marketing Team

Head of Marketing and Communications: Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar

Mrittunjoy has been associated with science popularisation and understanding science policy since serving as 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). Mrittunjoy believes evidence-based politics and policy-making is an avenue to explore, and being associated with CUSPE is a good learning step in that direction.

Lectures Team

Head of Lectures: Ture Hinrichsen

Ture is a third year PhD student in Physics, researching energy transfer in organic solar cells. A strong drive to understanding how the world works lead him to both study Physics and get involved in politics. He has been Political Director for his state devision of the German Young Greens for two years. His aim at CUSPE is to encourage debates on the interface of science and politics, to discuss the effects of scientific research on the broader society. Recently he is especially interested in Machine Learning and how it might fundamentally transform the way we live.

Lectures Team Member: Rodrigo Cataldi

Rodrigo is a PhD student within the Department of Chemistry at the Center for Misfolding Diseases researching drug design against Alzheimer’s disease and the molecular mechanism of protein aggregation. Before coming to Cambridge, Rodrigo studied Pharmacy and Clinical Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medical Sciences and Health in Brazil and was a research student at the University of Toronto in Canada in the field of nanotechnology for cancer treatment.

Lectures Team Member: Marco Egle

Marco is a first year PhD student in Clinical Neuroscience, working on improving diagnostics and predictability of cognitive decline and dementia in patients having experienced a stroke. He previously studied in the Netherlands for 5 years. His aim in CUSPE is to translate scientific ideas to society and inform the wider public about it. The mutual trust between science and public is absolutely essential in solving today’s global problems.

Katarina Pisani: Lectures Team Member

Katarina is a first year PhD student at the Centre for Misfolding Diseases within the Chemistry department, studying the mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer’s disease. Katarina first became interested in the intersection between science and policy while taking part in a synthetic biology competition aimed to award teams with projects that strive to create a positive contribution to local and global communities. The most interesting part of the project for Katarina was not just the research, but also the time spent working on the policies and practices aspect by engaging politicians to learn how important it is to understand the way research is applied and integrated within policies.

Workshops Team

Co-head of Workshops: Olivia Lam

Olivia is currently a second year undergraduate at Fitzwilliam College studying Politics and Social Anthropology. Olivia first became interested in the intersection between science and policy when coming 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 were especially appealing. This motivated Olivia to join CUSPE, and to contribute to its mission by encouraging social scientists to take part in this conversation.

Co-head of Workshops: Simon Davies

Simon is currently in his second year of studying for a PhD in Engineering, working on the topic of resource use. He previously completed an MEng at the University of Cambridge and spent time in industry before returning to study for a PhD. Simon has strong interest in policy-making and government, and the role of both academia and industry in supporting this process. As part of CUSPE he hopes to provide informative events that explore the important role of science and technology in policy-making and provide opportunities for those in Cambridge to learn from and engage with policy experts.

Workshops Team Member: Matias Acosta

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

Workshops Team Member: Fred Richards

Fred is studying for a PhD in geophysics at Jesus College and the Bullard Laboratories (Department of Earth Sciences). Fred’s 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, Fred became particularly interested in energy policy and the dual challenge of addressing surging energy demand whilst drastically reducing carbon emissions. More broadly, Fred is interested in the role of scientific research in improving policymaking decisions and promoting more effective communication between scientists and policy professionals. Fred is also a passionate advocate of public engagement with science and was part of the Planet Earth Team for Pint of Science 2017.

Podcasts and Publications Team

Head of Podcasts and Publications: Erin Cullen

Erin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Plant Sciences, studying plant evolution and development. Erin completed her undergraduate degree at the University of York, with a year in research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Whilst at York Erin was an advisor to the York iGEM team, and was particularly involved in communicating the project to the public. Erin is interested in policy attaining to food security and the use of evidence-based policy in government.

Publications Team Member: Hinal Tanna

Hinal is an alumna of the University who has been working as a medical writer in Cambridge since August 2016, after completing her PhD in Medical Science and MRes in Stem Cell Biology. Before working as a medical writer, Hinal completed a Policy Development internship with Cancer Research UK, experiencing many of the fundamental practices and procedures used to influence Government policies, including organising stakeholder engagement events, and producing consultation responses and briefings for MPs. Whilst at Cambridge, Hinal communicated science from various disciplines to the public through writing magazine articles and hosting radio shows for BlueSci. Her previous involvements have resulted in a breadth of understanding of the biological sciences, data analysis, science policy and research communication. As a member of the CUSPE publications team, Hinal uses these experiences to produce ‘On the CUSP’ podcasts.

Publications Team Member: Philipe Bujold

Philipe is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. His work focuses on the brain mechanisms that drive economic choices, whereby he compares the decision-making behaviour of humans and monkeys in different economic environments.  Most recently he has been interested in the neurobiology of ‘nudging’ – from where his interest in science policy stems from.

Publications Team Member: Roxine Staats

Roxine is a South African currently studying a PhD in Chemistry working on the development of therapeutics against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. As part of the Publications team at CUSPE, Roxine will be working on editorial and writing pieces, as well as podcasting and other media to create valuable channels of communication for young researchers to learn about, discuss and debate policy. Please get in touch if you have any writing you’d like to publish with CUSPE, we’re always on the lookout for new ideas!

Cambridge Science Policy Forum Team

Co-chair of Cambridge Science and Policy Forum: Glenda Michel

Glenda is an MPhil in Technology Policy student, interested in the interaction between science, technology, innovation (STI) and public policy, as an opportunity to shape new markets and new forms of governance, that can improve social well-being and solve some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. Glenda started acareer as a marketer working for P&G, designing and executing numerous sales and brand strategies and campaigns. Later, Glenda became a Communication Manager in PRONAFIM, the microfinance programme of the Mexican Ministry of Economy, and was responsible for promoting financial inclusion through social campaigns, media and community engagement. Before coming to Cambridge Glenda co-founded the Laboratory for Entrepreneurship and Transformation with a mission to support impact-driven entrepreneurs and promote their collaboration with the public and private sectors.

Co-chair of Cambridge Science and Policy Forum: Margarida Rodrigues

Margarida has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences awarded by the University of Lisbon and is currently working in the Department of Chemistry as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Margarida researches neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Margarida’s research aims are to determine the composition of the toxic species responsible for neuronal loss along with the development of early diagnosis methods. Outside of research, Margarida is interested in understanding the best methods for scientific knowledge to reach policymaking agencies to promote a more sustainable, developed world. Finally, Margarida is involved in many outreach events, such as the European Researchers’ Night (Lisbon – 2012-2013, supported by the European Commission) and Science Lates (Science Museum London – 2016, supported by the Royal Society).

General Team Members

Photographer: Samer Kurdi

Samer is a third year Ph.D. student studying Materials Science focusing on new materials to incorporate “invisible” memories for encryption and safe data storage to meet demands in current information technologies. Samer’s interest in science policy is that continuous development of science policy is important for the future of encryption technology. Samer is a Canadian who has lived in France, Germany, Jordan and the United Kingdom and photography skills while traveling to events in over 20 countries. Samer is currently utilizing these skills to capture the moments of the events organized by CUSPE.

County Council Policy Challenges Team

Coordinator County Council Policy Challenges Team: Simon Davies

Simon is currently in his second year of studying for a PhD in Engineering, working on the topic of resource use. He previously completed an MEng at the University of Cambridge and spent time in industry before returning to study for a PhD. Simon has strong interest in policy-making and government, and the role of both academia and industry in supporting this process. As part of CUSPE he hopes to provide informative events that explore the important role of science and technology in policy-making and provide opportunities for those in Cambridge to learn from and engage with policy experts.