Awakening the SCI Biotechnology Technical Interest Group!

17 Mar 2014

The first AGM and open committee meeting of the Biotechnology Technical Interest Group following its revitalisation, which took place on 10 December 2013 at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, London, was a great success. We were delighted to welcome among our guests Dr Alan Hayes, who is a past SCI president, and Mr Roger Rosedale, CEO at Microsens Diagnostics, both valued supporters of the Biotechnology Group.

We were also very pleased to welcome students from the University of Westminster, the New York University in London and the University of East Anglia (UEA). During the networking session over lunch, several of the students were active in obtaining contacts, getting advice on securing PhD studentships or supervisors and guidance on potential career paths following their current studies and graduation in chemistry or chemistry-related sciences.

The Biotechnology Group Chairman, Prof Tajalli Keshavarz of the University of Westminster, opened the meeting and noted that the meeting was attended by early, mid, late career and retired scientists, thus reflecting an excellent representation of SCI's commitment to provide its services to both scientists, regardless of which stage they were at in their career, and the general public.

Dr Namdar Baghaei-Yazdi of Biotechnology Consultants Ltd., and Dr Jonathan Huddleston of The Brunel Institute of Bioengineering, were elected as new ordinary members of the Biotechnology Group committee. Mr Steven Pacman, who had just completed his MSc in Organic Chemistry, working on the total synthesis of salinosporamide B, at UAE and plans to join the Biotechnology Group student committee after securing a PhD studentship, was also present.

Dr Mary Nnankya of Namba-Biotech, Hon Treasurer and Joint Hon Secretary, was pleased to report that; following a very bumpy 2013, the committee has actively succeeded in revitalising the Biotechnology Group. There are eight planned conferences over the next two to three years, and at least one 'event for members' for the next two to three years which will be targeted towards re-introducing the Group to existing and new members.

Inter-societal collaboration activities are being planned, including a more proactive involvement with the European Federation of Biotechnology. The University of Westminster Friday Seminars continue to run throughout the academic year.

Dr Fred Parrett of Parrett Technical Development followed the meeting with a one hour presentations on 'Dead or Alive Airborne Particles'. We had the pleasure of being introduced to Dr Parretts's own MicroBio MB1 and MB2, impact air samplers for airborne Micro-organisms. The event closed with more networking over wine and canapés!

With thanks to the Biotechnology committee members who helped to organise this meeting. We welcome new ideas from the SCI membership, especially the Biotechnology Group's members. For more information on the SCI Biotechnology Technical Interest Group please contact SCI directly on: or our joint, Honorary Secretary Dr Mary Nnankya on

Dr Mary Nnankya
Joint Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer
SCI Biotechnology Group

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