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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Yash Mishra with Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner

Back in March, shortly before the UK's lockdown began, PhD student Yash Mishra presented his research at the UK Parliament for an event called STEM for Britain.

STEM for Britain is defined as a platform "for presenting and discussing ground-breaking and frontier UK research and R&D to Members of both Houses of Parliament at Westminster." Yash Mishra, a PhD student in our Bioelectronic Systems Technology group, was one of those selected out of over 500 entrants to present a poster on his research to MPs from across the country. 

"I was absolutely delighted to be one of the few chosen in the Engineering category, where I was the only representative of the University of Cambridge," says Mishra. "I am honoured to have taken part in STEM for Britain as it is a unique opportunity to share my research on a highly prestigious stage, engage with the policy-makers that lead the country, and discuss my work with experts from a broad range of fields and scientific societies. I also learnt more about all the amazing STEM research from around the nation, and got to connect with the exciting young researchers there."

Along with many other MPs, Yash met Cambridge's own Daniel Zeichner - pictured above! Mishra presented his work developing artificial organs - a so-called brain on a chip - to enable easier and more accurate testing of treatments for neurological diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
 
"Dementia is the biggest cause of death in the UK," says Mishra, "causing one in every eight deaths, and it costs £37 billion annually (of which the NHS covers £5 billion) according to the Alzheimer’s Society. Over 99% of the drugs developed to treat dementia fail clinical trials despite passing animal testing. STEM for Britain is an exceptional platform where policy-makers and researchers can come together to tackle such critical problems.

"My research aims to help solve this issue by creating an alternative to animal testing that can help shape the future of medical research. Hence, I hoped to show how multi-disciplinary engineering can address some of our biggest healthcare challenges, and discuss how policy and governance can help pave the way for such new technology and progress. Coming from a small Indian village, this meant a lot to me. I am truly grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Róisín M. Owens, and the rest of CEB for making this possible, and highly recommend it to all Early Career Researchers in Britain!"

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