Photocopying beyond the obvious – Science Slam of Ben Otange

Molecular imprinting has attracted a lot of attention over the last five decades with interesting achievements in the design of artificial receptors. However, the technique is still experiencing challenges when it comes to sensitivity and specificity of the binding sites. Ben’s research focuses on proteins, which are crucial for all bodily functions but have heterogeneous binding sites which limit their imprinting. Here, Ben proposes the use of a protein epitope as opposed to a whole protein template to enhance the sensitivity of the imprinted binding sites.

Photocopying beyond the obvious – Ben Otange at the First PIER Science Slam

Ben Otange

portrait photo of a young man, Ben Otange, in front of what appears to be a car with plants in the background
Ben Otange.

Ben is a PhD student at the Institute of Nanostructure and Solid State Physics and the Center for Hybrid Nanostructures (CHyN) at the University of Hamburg. His research aims to improve the sensitivity and selectivity of molecularly imprinted polymers from templates of higher biomolecular weight and to further apply the concept to cancer drug delivery.

About the First PIER Science Slam

After blogposts and podcasts, PIER wanted to tackle what is probably the most entertaining form of science communication: Science Slams. Theresa Schredelseker then teamed up with Philipp Gadow, postdoctoral researcher at DESY and experienced science slammer. In the workshop they offered, five PhD students from various research institutions at the Hamburg Bahrenfeld campus were assisted to develop their own Science Slam. They received one-on-one coachings with experienced science slammers (Philipp Gadow, Michael Büker or Matthias Mader) and a full-day workshop in which Philipp prepared them for their stage appearance.

Logo of the First PIER Science Slam showing the PIER logo, a microphone and many raised arms

On May 4, 2022 it was finally time to perform their slam in front of an amazing audience in the DESY auditorium. The show was hosted by Matthias Mader, who also performed a Science Slam as the opening act to break the ice and warm up the audience for our five contesters. The winner was determined by the audience and their applause, judged by three jurors, Michael Büker, Matthew Robinson and Theresa Schredelseker. It was such a close race, but Judita was found to have won this friendly battle of wits! Congrats to her but also to all other slammers who did a great job entertaining the audience! It was such a fun night!

Many thanks also go to Matthias Kreuzeder and the DESY Meeting Service. They were tremendously helpful when it came to organizing this event and preparing the videos.

Theresa Schredelseker

As a molecular biologist by training, Theresa is currently trying to share her enthusiasm for science communication with early career researchers at DESY and Uni Hamburg.

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