ICB EPSRC CDT 20th anniversary student led conference


ICB CDT Tech-Showcase

As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for the ICB CDT, the ICB CDT hosted a hugely successful student-led conference on Wednesday 14 June 2023.

The Institute of Chemical Biology and its EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (ICB CDT) hosted a hugely successful student-led conference on Wednesday 14 June 2023: "Oh the places you'll go...": a retrospective of 20 years of the ICB CDT and advances in CDT aligned research.

ICB CDT second year PhD Students formed a committee to plan, organise and implement this event: a celebration of the ICB CDT, both its alumni and current students.

poster session
ICB CDT students and postdocs took part in a poster competition

The day began with several talks from ICB CDT alumni, followed in the afternoon by an alumni panel discussion and keynote talk from Dr Blerina Ahmetej-Shala, BHF Research Fellow (ICL) and Director, Cancer Support Community of Kosovo. The day ended with an ICB CDT student and postdoc poster competition and technology showcase, where the varying CDT technologies and experimental methodologies were demonstrated in a bustling environment to the conference delegates.


The ICB CDT and its student committee were pleased to host ICB CDT alumni:

  • Professor Xavier Mulet: Director of the Advanced Materials, Manufacturing and Fabrication Enabling Impact Platform at RMIT University
  • Dr Melis Eda Ekinci: Founder and CEO Woost Ltd; Head of Research Fresh Check
  • Dr Nathan Barlow: Lead Machine Learning Engineer, PipeBio
  • Dr Andrew Bell: EVP Medicinal Chemistry, Exscientia
  • Dr Christina Turner: Senior Portfolio Manager, EPSRC
  • Dr Sarah Rosen: Director, Incite
  • Dr James Hindley: Department Fellow, Imperial College London
  • Dr James Squires: Policy and Public Affairs, Health Equals
  • Dr Rafal Marszalek: Chief Editor Scientific Reports, Nature Portfolio

We caught up with Student Organising Committee member and second year ICB CDT PhD student Hannan Seyal to ask him about his experience being part of organising this celebratory event.

How did you find organising this conference?

The experience was, overall, incredibly rewarding. Being able to fully design a conference day - from concept to delivery was hugely insightful! There are so many moving parts to an event like this, so being able to fully appreciate this through practise was invaluable. It was great chance to bond with the cohort and work together towards a central goal! I am proud of all our hard work and incredibly thankful to the management committee - Laura Barter, Emma Pallett and Hannah Cameron, who supported us through our many ideas and helped ensure the two days flowed as a cohesive celebration of the ICB’s 20 years.

What were your highlights from the day?

It was honestly a bit of blur, the day started and before I knew it, it was over! It was really great to have the opportunity to welcome back alumni from across the CDT’s history, see how their careers have progressed and hear how the CDT has developed over the last two decades. It was also really great to hear how the strong camaraderie within and between cohorts has always been a highlight of the student experience within the CDT.

What did you take away from the conference?

From the perspective of someone organising the event, the main take away was that it really takes a village to make a successful event run - and I am again, so thankful that we all were able to work so well together to make our ideas a reality. As an attendee, it was inspiring to see where the CDT has taken people and what options are open to current students working their way through. From academia and industry to funding and policy, the world really is our oyster, and the only limits are your drive and determination towards reaching your goals.

Tech Showcase
ICB CDT students and postdocs took part in the afternoon tech showcase

The ICB CDT are incredibly grateful and thankful to our hard-working student committee, who did such a fantastic job organising the 14 June conference: Oliver Burman, Hannah Cooke, Charlotte Hudlerova, Jake Samuel, Hannan Seyal, and Karen Zhu.



Emma Pallett

Emma Pallett
Department of Chemistry