17 May 2023
The Fourth GEC Global Top Scientists Forum Sparks Excitement with Insights on
On May 17th, GEC Academy hosted the Fourth Global Top Scientists Forum, featuring an online keynote lecture by one of GEC’s teaching faculties, Professor George Malliaras, the Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge. The lecture focused on the fascinating field of Bioelectronic Sensors, which has become a hot-button topic provoking conversations over the past few years.
The audience for this online lecture primarily comprised students from various Chinese universities, studying medicine and biology, who greatly benefited from Professor Malliaras' profound expertise in this field. Apart from sharing valuable insights into bioelectronic sensors, Professor Malliaras also offered a glimpse into how UK educational system works from the admission perspective and shared tips on how to apply to graduate programs by taking the University of Cambridge as an example. Overall, it was a highly informative and enriching experience for all attendees.
The discussion began with a focus on the benefits of bioelectronic sensors, particularly as highlighted by Professor Malliaras who emphasized their critical role in disease treatment. By allowing for the tracking of disease origins and early detection, sensors have become indispensable tools in promoting effective treatment. He also noted that the use of sensors has played a pivotal role in advancing precision agriculture and ensuring the preservation of our planet's ecological environment.
Professor Malliaras then delved into the common methods used to detect diseases, with Immunoassays and PCR gaining momentum as a result of their effectiveness in combating the pandemic. He also drew attention to two novel diagnostic approaches that are gaining popularity: wearable sensors for continuous health monitoring and in vitro biosensors for detecting metabolites and disease markers. These approaches show great promise in revolutionizing diagnostics.
Apart from discussing the advantages and methods of bioelectronic sensors, Professor Malliaras also raised the ethical issues brought by these sensors. He explained that with the proliferation of wearable devices, sensitive data about the wearer and their surroundings are collected and uploaded to the cloud. As a result, ethical issues and concerns about privacy and data protection have emerged due to the lack of regulation and legislation. Regulatory frameworks like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation aim to address these issues.
After the discussion about the topic of bioelectronic sensors, Professor Malliaras drew upon his extensive experience in managing admission exams to provide valuable insights on students’ applying to universities and colleges in the UK. He introduced the subtle differences in the educational systems across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which compose the UK’s academic system, and emphasized the important role of university’s admission websites in providing information on programs, departments, and expectations, and advised students to make good use of these websites to learn about the requirements of the programs and universities or colleges they are interested in. To illustrate, he discussed at length the University of Cambridge's admission process, stressing the crucial role of interviews in evaluating candidates' performance and achievements, particularly for graduate programs. He also underscored the importance of finding a suitable supervisor and recommended that prospective graduate students take the initiative to reach out to students in the supervisor's group to gain a deeper understanding of the laboratory's research direction and ensure alignment with their personal interests.
During the Q&A session at the forum, students from various universities contributed significantly to the discussion on British university applications and bioelectronic sensors. Some students asked whether exceptional research skills could increase their competitiveness in university applications if their GPA was not a strong suit. Professor Malliaras explained that while impressive research achievements can have an impact, good grades are still essential prerequisites for admission at each institution. In addition to good grades, Professor Malliaras stressed the importance of reference letters and extracurricular activities in a CV.
Students also asked about the replaceability of needles in glucose monitoring devices. Professor Malliaras confirmed that the needles are consumable and should be replaced regularly to ensure accuracy and hygiene. He emphasized the importance of maintaining device performance and safety, reminding students to promptly replace needles when using glucose monitoring devices.
Since the announcement of the Global Top Scientists Forum series in late 2022, GEC has made efforts to create an interactive platform for global scientists and students, facilitating the dissemination of knowledge and ideas. The initiative seeks to broaden horizons and deepen understanding among students by providing insights into cutting-edge developments across diverse fields. The forum has covered a wide range of topics, including biology, chemistry, medicine, economics, and finance, providing valuable resources for students' development. Lectures offer important insights into school applications and expert guidance for students navigating their academic journeys. The most recent forums have focused on bioelectronic sensors and new strategies and technologies in biosensing and analytical chemistry.