Meet our researchers!

​Proteins, algae and cell factories. The topics varies when researchers from the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering meet the public at the Science Festival. Professor Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede is one of many speakers, and she will also participate in the Science Slam competition.
​Hundreds of activities, over 1000 hours of science and more than 70,000 visits. This is the International Science Festival, with the aim to communicate science in an easy way, towards the public, schools and business sector. This year the festival will take place on May 8-19.

Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, Professor and Head of the Chemical Biology division, will make two appearances. One is a lunch lecture, the second is at the Science Slam competition, where researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers challenge each other to explain their research in three minutes. Last year, the winner was Biology and Biological Engineering researcher Cecilia Mayer with her research on beans.

Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, what’s your talk about?
– I will talk about proteins. How they work and how important they are to all living organisms, but also about the fact that they can make us sick. If the proteins misfold, they can cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. I will focus on diseases caused by misfolding, and the fact that we see a dramatic increase worldwide right not – mainly because the population is growing older – and we have no cure for these diseases today.

What’s it like to talk about this in such a short time – is it even possible to describe your research so briefly?
– Yes, it’s possible and I’m a fast talker! But I will try to slow down to make people understand.

And what about the fact that this is a competition – how does that feel?
– Exciting and scary, and new to me. But I see the competition as a fun part of this, nothing too serious.

What are your chances?
– I don’t know anything about the researchers from the University of Gothenburg, but I do know that the participants from Chalmers are good people with very interesting research. So it will be a tight race!

Why is Science Slam a good idea?
– It’s a good way to convey what Chalmers researchers are doing. It’s important to show the breadth of Chalmers – and the fact that we are doing many kinds of research of importance for the future!

Meet the researchers at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering during the Science Festival:

Wednesday, May 10:
Theme: Refining in Sweden – Factories for a green future
Bältespännarparken, Lilla festivaltältet, 16.00-17.30

Several researchers from Chalmers will give short talks under this theme. Note that all the talks are in English!
Lisbeth Olsson: The Bio-refinery concept, 16.00-16-15
Jenny Arnling Bååth: Enzymes & biorefineries, 16.15-16.30
Cecilia Geijer: Microorganisms: small efficient cell factories, 16.30-16.45
Emma Karlsson: Nylon from the forest – how can that be? 16.45-17.00
Ingrid Undeland: Algae – green slime to future food? 17.00-17.15
Matty Janssen: Does cutting trees for plastics help the planet? 17.15-17.30
Conferencier: Carl-Johan Franzén

Friday, May 12:
Science Slam competition with Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede (and other Chalmers researchers)
Bältesspännarparken, 18.00-19.00

Saturday, May 13:
Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede: Proteinveckning – en fråga om liv och död (in Swedish)
Chalmersska huset, Södra Hamngatan 11, 12.00-13.00

Sunday, May 14:
Cecilia Mayer: Bönorna regerar! (in Swedish)
Chalmersska huset, Södra Hamngatan 11, 12.00-13.00

Text: Mia Malmstedt
Photo of Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede: Johan Bodell

Published: Tue 09 May 2017.