London Met undergraduates present research at prestigious international conference

Two students from the School of Human Sciences presented their Chemistry research at the World Congress on Undergraduate Research

Date: 02 May 2023

Margarita Damai, a first-year Biomedical Science student, and Francesco Spiedo, a second-year Chemistry student, presented their undergraduate research at the joint World Congress on Undergraduate Research (WorldCUR) and British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR) at Warwick University earlier this year. 

WorldCUR is an international conference of undergraduate research which provides an opportunity for undergraduate students from around the world to share their research, discuss global issues, create international partnerships and work to address significant global challenges. Students’ research across topics, including health, power, sustainability, data, create, community and the future was presented over the three day event.  

Throughout the WorldCUR, held between 3 and 6 April 2023, students and staff participated in panel presentations, keynote speeches, and discussion sessions.  

Both London Met students, Margarita and Francesco, voluntarily undertook their chemistry research with Bhaven Patel, Reader in Organic Chemistry in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical sciences group, over the summer term. They presented work related to the development of molecules related to treating diseases. Margarita presented a poster titled ‘Design of Selective pyrrolo[1,2-a]quinoxalines as therapeutic agents for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease’. 

Margarita said of her project, “I have always been fascinated about neuroscience and how we can seek ways to improve our current healthcare system. Thus, my project was related to Alzheimer’s, and how we can create new potential non-toxic drugs to slow its progression.” 

Francesco presented a poster on the 'Room Temperature DBN Initiated Phospha-Brook Rearrangement of α-Hydroxyphosphonates to Phosphates' looking to develop to anti-malarial drugs. Francesco said: “Participating at WorldCUR/BCUR was a meaningful experience which deepened my understanding and expanded my knowledge about undergraduate research all over the world, it was a great opportunity given to me thanks to the efforts of Dr Bhaven Patel and thanks to London Metropolitan University for funding the event" 

Dr Patel said “Margarita and Francesco have worked very hard over the summer to produce work of quality that has been presented at WorldCUR/BCUR and should be commended for their commitment to research at an undergraduate level. They have developed skills in research, represented London Met at the conference and inspired other students to take part in research this summer”  

Bhaven is also now officially a member of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) Executive Committee, a group that encourages creativity and innovation, celebrates diversity of voice, and champions diversity of ideas across undergraduate research.  

Students Margarita Damai and Francesco Spiedo at the WorldCUR