PHD Programme in

Experimental Biology and Biomedicine

Health, Environment and Climate Change debated at BEB Day 2022


The “BEB Day” is the annual symposium of the Doctoral Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB) of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Coimbra (UC), which takes place on the next 18th and 19th of January. This event brings with it pertinent and current themes considered global scourges that threaten the health and survival of humanity: pollution and climate change.

The PDBEB is coordinated by the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology at UC (CNC-UC) and, as an annual tradition, it is the students who organize the “BEB Day” event. In this 16th edition of the event, entitled "BEB Day 2022 - The Overview Effect", the organizing committee is formed by students Carlos Barreto, Inês Caramelo, Inês Roxo, Luís Grilo, Maria Alfaiate, Mariana Magalhães, Raquel Santos, Rita Santos and has as coordinator the CNC-UC researcher, Nuno Empadinhas.

The motto of the event “The Overview Effect” reflects “the unique sensation that astronauts experience when observing the Earth from space, "suspended in the void". A vision that translates into an overwhelming perception of the fragility of our blue globe as a unity of life”, explains Nuno Empadinhas. “In recent decades we have seen unparalleled scientific and technological progress. There are countless examples of these achievements in science, medicine, technology and space exploration. However, humanity is getting closer and closer to self-destruction and recovery already seems like an impossible mission. Hope resides in this new generation of young scientists!” adds the researcher.

The event brings together a multidisciplinary panel of national and international speakers, who will discuss the role of science in the development of possible strategies to adopt, with a view to a healthier and more sustainable future. Isabel Ferreira, Secretary of State for the Valorization of the Interior, is one of the guest speakers, as well as José Xavier and João Carlos Marques from FCTUC, both MARE researchers, and Ana Telma Pereira, researcher at the FMUC Institute of Medical Psychology.

Internationally, Adam Watkins of the University of Nottingham will address the influence of the environment on reproductive health; Thomas Efferth of the University of Johannes Gutenberg, will speak on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19; Michael Aschner of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine will reveal the role of methylmercury contamination in neurodegeneration. There will also be space for the Round Table, “Health, environment and climate change”, with specialists from the UC Universe from different fields of knowledge, namely André Dias Pereira (FDUC), Carlos Fiolhais (FCTUC), Fátima Alves (CFE), Helena Freitas (FCTUC), João Nuno Moreira (FFUC) and Pedro Lopes Ferreira (FEUC), “because the current paradigms for the destruction of Humanity can only be reversed in the spectrum of interdisciplinary collaboration and with “Overview Effect””, explains Nuno Empadinhas.

The second day of the event, dedicated to students and alumni of PDBEB and other UC doctoral programs, represents an opportunity where they will be able to promote their ongoing projects and also their professional paths. On this day, the prizes for “Best Poster” and “Best Pitch 3 minutes” will be awarded, sponsored by Bluepharma and Laborders, respectively.

The day culminates with the social event “Beer for Thought”, which aims to foster a more informal and spontaneous sharing of ideas, respecting all safety measures.

More information about BEB Day 2022 here and here

Carolina Caetano

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