We are pleased to welcome our new Research Officer, Rafael Carrascosa Marzo, to the team. Rafa joins the AE Cardiff Hub from the University of Oxford’s Department of Physics.
Rafa has been studying and working in academia across a variety of countries in Europe for the last 6 years, having a background in biotechnology and progressing into the interface between physics and biology. He is also currently a postdoctoral researcher assistant at the University of Oxford, carrying on with his dissertation project of producing DNA-based patterning devices with the aim of achieving atomically precise manufacturing.
Rafa has a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics, with a focus on biophysics, from the University of Oxford, but has also worked in other fields such as nanomedicine.
The SAPEA consortium, which includes Academia Europaea, has been funded to continue its science advice work until the end of 2024.
The SAPEA project has been renewed for a further period, covering May 2022 to December 2024. An integral part of the European Scientific Advice Mechanism since 2016, SAPEA delivers evidence reviews that inform the work of the European Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.
Initially funded under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the project has switched to Horizon Europe. Academia Europaea and its Cardiff Hub, which undertakes most of the work on AE’s behalf, have received a funding guarantee from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). Academia Europaea will continue to lead evidence reviews on behalf of the consortium, as well as the work package on strategic development.
SAPEA has published a new Evidence Review Report on ‘Improving Cancer Screening in the European Union’. Cardiff University played a major role in building the evidence base.
Cardiff University undertook three rapid reviews, a lighter form of a full systematic review. The Review Team was led by Dr Alison Weightman (Director of the Specialist Unit for Review Evidence), together with Dr Nick Courtier, Dr Hui-Ling Ou (University of Cambridge) and Louise Edwards (Hub Manager).
In the wake of an evidence review coordinated by AE Cardiff, scientists are conducting a unique public experiment to discover how long biodegradable plastics actually take to break down in the cool waters of Northern Europe – and anyone in the world can watch in real-time.
In this international experiment, hosted by Akvariet i Bergen (Bergen Aquarium), samples of several plastics labelled as being ‘biodegradable’ have been immersed in a tank, in conditions that replicate those found in the fjords of western Norway – from the water temperature, to the types of fish. The aim is to discover how long the biodegradation process takes and whether the location of the samples within the tank makes any difference. A 24/7 webcam at built2biodegrade.eu allows viewers to observe the process happening in real-time.
AE Cardiff’s Hub Manager, Louise Edwards, has received the President’s Merit Award in recognition of significant personal service to the Academia Europaea.
Louise Edwards was awarded the prize by Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea, in December 2021. The President’s Merit Award, a new award for the Academia Europaea, is a personal gift from the President. It recognises the service and contribution that an individual has made to support AE. Professor Cloetingh said,
“This is awarded as a mark of recognition for Louise’s wonderful and selfless service to the Academia over many years, and for making the difference to our role in the Scientific Advice Mechanism for the European Commission.”