Reviewing the Young Lipid Scientist Award 2015

24 Mar 2016

The presentation of the Young Lipid Scientist Award recognises the excellence and emerging talent in research related to lipids, in any field across the physical and life sciences and engineering. Following the success of the inaugural SCI Young Lipid Scientist Award in 2014, the second running of the event took place after the SCI Lipids Group AGM on Thursday 25 June 2015. Thirteen entries were received and the high standard made it a difficult task to shortlist the applications to six. The shortlisted applicants were invited to present their research at a session following the AGM.

These were (in alphabetical order):

  • Pallavi Bedi, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Queen’s Medical Research Institute Edinburgh, who talked about the role of lipid mediators in bronchiectasis.
  • Natalie Chiu, Division of Food Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Loughborough, presented her research on complex emulsions and utilising lipids to encapsulate tastants for controlled release.
  • Onyinye Ezeh, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, described the mechanical press and aqueous extraction of Tiger nut oil.
  • Hayley Gallagher, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, presented on the use of dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid as a new neutraceutical with health benefits for cardiovascular disease.
  • Nicola McCarthy, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, presented her research on the dynamics of microdomain formation in model membrane systems using high hydrostatic pressure.
  • Eylan Yutuc, Institute of Mass Spectrometry, Swansea University, talked about induced cholesterol synthesis and metabolites in response to CD4 cell activation.

The presentations covered a broad spectrum of lipid research subject areas but all six (pictured above) delivered excellent presentations and demonstrated their knowledge by answering the questions from the interested audience.

Deciding the winner was a very difficult decision and involved a lot of debate but the committee voted for Nicola McCarthy as the winner of the 2nd Young Lipid Scientist Award. Congratulations to Nicola!

As the winner of the award, Nicola was also invited to speak at the EuroFedLipid congress in Florence in September 2015 and she did an excellent job presenting her research and representing SCI. Nicola produced a short report of her experience at the congress which can be found here. SCI also contributed £400 towards the expenses of the winner for attending the EuroFedLipid Congress.

Additionally, the winner receives a cash prize of £100 plus complimentary membership of SCI. All the shortlisted candidates receive one year complimentary student membership of SCI (worth £25).

Nicola was invited to become a member of the SCI Lipids group committee, which she accepted and is now an active member of the committee.

The Committee feels that this is an excellent opportunity for Lipids researchers to present their work, whilst also providing a great opportunity for networking with colleagues from academia and industry that have a common interest in oils, fats and lipids. We are very pleased to be providing this recognition to young researchers and to hear about the research they are undertaking. We look forward to continue running this award in future years.

Dr Robert Griffiths
Secretary, Lipids Group

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