NUI Galway PhD Researcher, Yvonne Lang, was recently awarded the ‘Best Oral Presentation in the Life Sciences prize at the 37th Annual Symposium of the Microscopy Society of Ireland (MSI).
A native of County Leitrim, Yvonne is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr David Finn at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway.
Yvonne's PhD research focuses on the use of diatoms as biotemplates to generate structures with elaborate hierarchical architecture. Diatoms are ubiquitous in freshwater and seawater environments and to date over 100,000 different species have been identified, each with its own unique architecture. The potential applications of these ornate algae range from roles in photonics to separation science to catalysis to drug delivery.
Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB at NUI Galway, said: “Yvonne’s achievement is a testament to the high quality of research being carried out in the NFB at NUI Galway. Her presentation described how various microscopy techniques enabled her to monitor chemical and architectural modifications to microscopic unicellular algae called the diatom.”
Professor Pandit’s goal at the Science Foundation Ireland funded NFB is to harness this natural resource to prepare biocompatible structures for drug delivery.