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Alice Gillen represents EPFL at GYSS 2019

© 2019 EPFL

© 2019 EPFL

Alice Gillen has been selected to participate in the Global Young Scientists Summit 2019 taking place in Singapore from the 20th to the 25th of January. Alice will also participate in a poster session on the 22nd of January.

Below is a Q&A with Alice about the role of science and what she is looking forward to at GYSS 2019:


What role do you think research, science and technology plays in the world today?

If we take a moment to think about how integrated our lives have become with science and technology – it’s really incredible. We now live in a world where a whole generation has never known a life without the internet. The advances that have been made across all fields are really astounding, but that being said there is still a huge amount of work to be done.

Thanks to all these advancements, especially those in medicine and healthcare as well as availability of food/improvements in hygiene, the population’s life expectancy has greatly increased. But unfortunately there are still a number of diseases that plague our society. Examples include a number of cancers (such as ovarian and pancreatic), heart disease, liver disease, and forms of dementia (such as Alzheimer’s Disease). What I would like to focus my research on in the (hopefully) coming decades, is improving the patient outcomes with these diseases by creating sensors that can lead to early detection, and hopefully enable treatment intervention before the level of progression have developed too far.

If technology and science continues to accelerate, and researchers focus on developing both new treatments and diagnostic tools, I believe that we will be able to find cures to these seemingly incurable and fatal diseases, improving both the length and quality of life for patients suffering from these diseases.


What are you looking forward to at GYSS this year? Or do you have any words for fellow participants like yourself?

I’m really looking forward to a number of things at GYSS this year. Firstly, the chance to hear the invited speakers talk about their areas of research, and hopefully getting a chance to speak to them about their experiences in science is an amazing opportunity.

But maybe even more, I’m really looking forward to getting to meet a group of like-minded individuals that will hopefully be my peers over the next several years as we grow and develop our scientific careers. I think this is a great opportunity to interact and develop my own network of colleagues, some of which (who knows) might be invited speakers to GYSS later in life!

Finally, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the scientific landscape in Singapore is like, and am really grateful that I have the opportunity to visit this country as part of GYSS.