Narayan Ramamurthy from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute spent four months as part of his research at the UK’s Pirbright Institute, where he studied the techniques in developing a genetically reverse-engineered virus - specifically negative sense RNA virus.
Narayan explains: ‘The bivalent vaccines produced in this technique can be used in domestic animals, and can address at least two different diseases in a single go.’
The benefits are not just to the vaccinated livestock but also positively impact on farmers’ livelihoods. Narayan says: ‘In a developing country, farming is the main backbone for sustenance, animal husbandry is a vital part in it.
‘By protecting livestock, we can improve the lives of farmers and the national economy.’
Narayan says: ‘The placement programme is a lifetime opportunity for a young researcher like me. It helps me to push the level of science and confidence in approaching a problem in new level. The knowledge I gained will follow me in my whole path of career.’
Ivayla Sopotenska, a food engineer, science journalist and FameLab Bulgaria finalist 2014 and 2016, is grateful to have found the path that she’s on – in part thanks to her involvement in the global science communication competition.
For Ivayla, one of her highlights of the experience was the science communication masterclass led by UK science communication trainer, Frank Burnett.
‘It was an amazing experience – something I'd never seen or done before,’ she enthuses. ‘I hadn't thought before about taking a different approach depending on the audience type’.
Ivayla engaged with the interactive style of the workshop, which included acting, speaking exercises, and even destressing exercises to practice before going on stage. The content of the workshop is still proving valuable to this day: ‘Frank gave us lots of tips, which I now use in my presentations.’
Ivayla’s research is focused on gluten intolerance and deals with an everyday problem for affected people, and she is exploring the ways we can make edible gluten-free bread, biscuits and other flour-based food.