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GEC Academy Successfully Hosted the April Global Top Scientists Forum at Imperial College London

Apr 19, 2023

Develop. Grow. Succeed.

The Third Global Top Scientists Forum, co-hosted by GEC Academy and the Chinese Students & Scholars Association of Imperial College, came to a successful close on April 19th with the theme of "New Strategies and Technologies in Biosensing & Analytical Chemistry". The keynote speaker for this academic seminar was Professor Joshua Edel, Professor of Biosensing & Analytical Sciences in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London, who has also been working with GEC for many years. Notably, this academic seminar marked the first time since the inception of the Global Top Scientists Forum that an offline lecture format was adopted, while utilizing online live streaming to encourage greater interaction among students from both UK and China. This event was also the first academic seminar hosted onsite since the Pandemic outbreak.

A glimpse into the forum at Imperial College London

At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Edel shared his personal experience in biosensing research. He explained that his passion for this field was sparked during his senior year at the University of British Columbia while working on a synthetic chemistry project involving nanotechnology. To deepen his understanding of this concept, he delved into the works of Richard Feynman, the Nobel Laureate in Physics in 1965. Feynman's proposal of manipulating atoms to create matter was the origin of nanotechnology and captured Professor Edel's attention.

Professor Edel introducing biosensing technology

During the lecture, Professor Edel also emphasized the importance of biosensing research and designing smaller and more precise biosensors. He used the metaphor of an iceberg, “as we know when we fly over icebergs or if you’re lucky enough to visit an iceberg, we know that only the tip of the iceberg is exposed to the local environment. So we’re flying over an iceberg, we could see the tip of the iceberg. But the majority of the iceberg is below sea level. So by simple visualization, we won’t be seeing the majority of the iceberg. ” He then noted that conventional instruments may only detect high peak concentrations of protein A in a serum sample, similar to how only a small portion of an iceberg is visible above water. However, more advanced biosensors can detect protein B, which is difficult to identify and present at much lower concentrations than protein A. This highlights the need to design and research better detection products for biomolecules.

Professor Edel using the metaphor of an iceberg to highlight the importance of biosensing research and designing smaller and more precise biosensors

In response to inquiries from students about preparing nanopores, Professor Edel offered two methods: using biological molecules and DNA sequencing. He explained that using biological molecules involves utilizing existing channels found in biological systems, such as protein channels, to prepare nanopores. This method has the advantage of using natural molecular structures to prepare pores, which can be further modified and optimized with genetic engineering techniques. Using DNA molecules to prepare nanopores provides highly uniform pores, and pore size and shape can be adjusted by controlling the DNA sequence.

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