Conway Festival of Research and Innovation prepares for its 12th year


The 12th annual Festival of Research and Innovation will be taking place on September 20th in the Conway Institute in UCD. After a successful participation in the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) a global gathering of Nobel Laureates, prominent researchers and international media held in Dublin recently; the Conway Institute is ready to host a range of seminars by prominent guest speakers.

The event aims to display the research achievements of Conway scientists, showcase oral and moderated poster presentations and provide an intellectual platform for researchers to engage in scientific forums. Communications and Education Officer at the Conway Institute Elaine Quinn shared the event highlights with the University Observer.

“Each year, the plenary speakers in the Festival are highly regarded scientists in areas of research related to the Conway research strategy. The main focus of their research covers genomics and breast cancer development”. The internationally reputable Professor Zena Werb from University of California, San Francisco and Professor Finian Martin, a Principal Investigator in the Conway Institute will be delivering lectures on their respective fields of research.

Additionally, UCD graduate Dr Eileen Furlong who leads the genome biology department at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Germany will be presenting a lecture on gene expression control.

“Six of the invited speakers in the programme are Conway Fellows who have been selected because of recent achievements; publishing research in high impact scientific journals, being awarded substantial research funding in a highly competitive process or successfully translating basic research findings” said Quinn. The two day event will also feature a moderated poster session where the best poster and presentation will receive the Conway Festival Medal, courtesy of Roche.

Quinn is confident that the audience will be able to participate actively in the newly introduced open forum Q&A sessions: “The first session is aimed specifically at early career researchers and takes place on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 19th in the build-up to the Festival”. The debate will be on whether there are barriers to women in climbing the career ladder as scientists. The second session, which takes place at 1pm on September 20th, will discuss ways of successful collaboration between researchers and industry.

“We are constantly trying to develop and improve the program so that our audience gets the most out of the experience,” says Quinn.