Cheltenham Science Festival

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Cheltenham Science Festival
Cheltenham Festivals
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GL53 7LS

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Understanding Evolution: From Cellular To Social


Date/Time: Sun 13 Jun 2021 2:00pm - 2:55pm

Scientist, Guest Curator and award-winning author Camilla Pang is fascinated by evolution on different scales: molecular, cellular and social. With a panel of experts, including President of the International society for computational biology Christine Orengo , cancer genomics researcher Nicholas McGranahan and chair Adam Rutherford, she’ll discuss how research into cancer and vaccines is an evolutionary process with parallels to human evolution, and show how research into human neurodiversity is paving the way for exciting advances in AI evolution.

This event will be live-streamed for free and available on-demand via the CheltSciFest Player. To register, click here.

Dr Camilla Pang is currently a scientist specializing in translational bioinformatics at a pharmaceutical company developing treatments for immunological and neurological based diseases. With a penchant for biochemistry, she carries out voluntary research in her spare time for labs bridging UCL and the Francis Crick Institute, investigating cancer evolution. She is also the author of the award-winning book ‘Explaining Humans’, a memoir that uses scientific principles to understand human behaviour through the lens of someone who has autism and ADHD. The book won the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2020, along with receiving an honorary fellowship for the Market research society. She is also an avid neurodiversity advocate adopting such roles for the ADHD foundation charity, Humanists UK, and is a trustee for the Lightyear foundation. Her strong voice advocates for neurodiversity and the female experience of autism, where she has appeared on BBC Woman’s Hour, and BBC Radio 4’s science channels. She has also been interviewed live with Brian Cox, Bill Bryson, and Jim Al Khalili, alongside Naoise Dolan in the Cheltenham Literature Festival 2020. Central to her philosophy is the enablement of neurodivergent minds, since challenging social norms forms the basis of human evolution.

Science journalist Dr Adam Rutherford is a self-confessed ‘Professional Geek’. He is the Editor of Nature magazine and is also a regular contributor to The Guardian, as well as BBC Television and radio programmes.

Professor Christine Orengo is a computational biologist, whose core research has been the development of robust algorithms to capture relationships between protein structures, sequences and functions. She has built one of the most comprehensive protein classifications, CATH, used worldwide by tens of thousands of biologists, and central to many pioneering structural and evolutionary studies. Christine is President of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and Elected member of EMBO since 2014, and a Fellow of ISCB since 2016.

Dr Nicholas McGranahan is a Sir Henry Dale Fellow within the UCL Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence. Dr McGranahan’s research group focusses on how computational tools can be used and developed to understand how tumours develop and evolve in space and time within individual patients. In particular, Dr McGranahan’s research has focused on lung cancer and exploring the complex the interplay between the cancer cell and the immune environment.

Click below to buy the book from our Waterstones Cheltenham Science Festival bookshop. Every purchase supports Cheltenham Festivals.


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