London International Youth Science Forum 2021 with Connor Frey

Though this year’s London International Youth Science Forum was in an online format, many of the best features of the forum were still experienced from home. Firstly, the opening day of the forum included very interesting keynote speakers, one of which by Professor Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University, the woman in charge of the development of the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 AstraZeneca vaccine. While her reputation in the current state of the world proceeds her, she gave a tremendous presentation on the platform technologies which her lab at Oxford is developing to produce vaccines against a myriad of other diseases.

The following days were equally as interesting with many opportunities to explore the classical aspects of the forum when in-person. A personal favourite of these virtual trips was the virtual visit to the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum which included a tour of the Nobel Prize winner’s own lab where he made the discovery of penicillin in 1928.

A key aspect of the forum in-person is the research showcase where students around the world can discuss their discoveries in various fields. This year, I was fortunate enough to share my project, “Fabrication of Capillary-Based In-Situ Pepsin Immobilized Enzyme Microreactor for Bottom-Up Peptide Mapping”. In tandem to interaction with students, I was also able to discuss my work with an industry specialist in my field to discuss my future works and plans for my project, a resource that’s immensely valuable to researchers.

While the forum had to be held online due to the current state of the pandemic, it was still a great opportunity to interact with other students from around the world, here from industry leading scientists, and see some of the history of the sciences in London. Overall, my time at the year’s London International Youth Science Forum was extremely enjoyable and I’m grateful to have been selected by the UFV Faculty of Science to represent the school abroad at such a prestigious event.

~ Connor Frey