Next ThinkFest: Towards a Cure for Cancer

First chat: (l-r) ThinkFest co-host Kameron Young, cancer researcher Carika Weldon and ThinkMedia’s Ayo Johnson chat at Bermuda’s airport shortly after Dr Weldon’s arrival in Bermuda to present at the new annual seminar series. September 4, 2017

Think Media is delighted to announce that the fourth ThinkFest 2017 event takes place on Sunday September 17 with Towards a Cure for Cancer: Targeting bad cells through splicing – an interactive lecture by biochemist Carika Weldon, PhD.

The event is to be co-hosted by 15 year old BHS first year IB student Kameron Young.

Warwick Academy alumni Carika Weldon is conducting cutting edge cancer research and is in demand at conferences around the world.

ThinkFest 2017 will be the fifth conference that Dr. Weldon has participated in this year alone. She comes to Bermuda for ThinkFest after moderating and presenting at a molecular biology conference in Philadelphia last week.

Dr. Weldon said: “To find better treatments you need to look for specific targets that are only found in cancers and not normal cells. By looking at how RNA is processed into proteins, we can find new specific cancer targets that can give us better cancer treatments.

My work focuses on this and I will discuss the methods, results and potential for future research.”

Her lecture will be an interactive presentation and audience members are asked to bring their smartphones to maximize their understanding and participation.

In Bermuda for ThinkFest 2017. Carika Weldon, PhD. Photo by Emmanu’-El Shots Apostolic.

A lecturer in Biomedical Science at De Montfort University in Leicester, Dr. Weldon joined the faculty as the youngest lecturer the university has ever had.

She obtained her BSc (Hons) Medical Biochemistry in 2011 and her PhD in Biochemistry in 2015 from the University of Leicester and started her own lab at DeMontfort immediately after (carikaweldon.co.uk).

Dr. Weldon decided to give back to her community by founding The Bermuda Principles Foundation (bermudaprinciples.org).

In November 2016, she led the first cohort of DMU undergraduate students to Bermuda for the #ScienceWithScientists Tour and is planning another tour this November.

The foundation was the chief Organizer of the 1st Bermuda Splicing conference held in February.

The next ThinkFest event takes place at the Bermuda High School assembly hall.

Co-host Kameron Young was the first journalist in Bermuda to recognize the significance of Dr. Weldon’s work. In 2016, she secured an interview with Dr Weldon for her school’s newsletter, The Written Flame, after the pair met at the Bermuda College and then wrote about the experience in The Royal Gazette.

An aspiring scientist – in no small part due to Dr Weldon’s inspiration – Kameron Young is also a keen journalist. Following a year as contributing writer for The Written Flame, she was appointed Editor and has led the journal’s transition from print to digital by launching a YouTube channel.

BHS Head of School, Linda Parker said: “We are happy to support ThinkFest and delighted that one of our own students is a co-host. This event, in particular, fits in well with our STEAM and Leadership initiatives.”

Ayo Johnson, founder of ThinkMedia which is producing ThinkFest, said involving young people at all levels is one of the critical success measures of the series.

“We always have young people involved – as interns and assistants behind the scenes – so we’re pleased that Kameron has agreed to co-host the fourth ThinkFest event. Now we’re focused on making sure that the audience is cross generational.”

ThinkMedia has reserved 25 half-price tickets for Bermuda residents under the age of 24, available to those who purchase standard tickets online (https://think.bm).

“We had hoped that corporate sponsors would come on board but that hasn’t happened as yet, so we’re doing what we can to make it easier for adults to attend ThinkFest with the young people in their lives. One half price youth ticket is available for online bookings which include at least one standard ticket.”

Organisers have taken the opportunity to use ThinkFest as a platform for introducing startups or new business concepts.

Dr. Weldon’s presentation will be preceded at 4:30 pm by a drinks sampler from African Kitchen, a new pop up restaurant concept.

The main presentation begins immediately after at 5:00 pm.

The newest event on the Bermuda calendar, ThinkFest is an opportunity for the island to celebrate and acknowledge Bermudian academics and independent thinkers, a platform for networking with potential employers, funders, other academics and researchers and a forum for discussing the latest research in a wide variety of fields.

Each of the ThinkFest presenters will dive deeply into a single topic for an extended period, followed by a chat with a host and audience Q and A.

For ThinkFest 2017, more than a dozen academics have been invited to present on topics such as the latest developments in cancer research, linguistics, media and race, ethnobotany and crime talk.

Several of them have agreed to take time off from their work and research to come to Bermuda specifically to participate in ThinkFest 2017.

There are a number of sponsorship and patronage opportunities to assist with some of the extraordinary costs involved in ensuring the success of ThinkFest.

Interested persons and organizations can contact us directly for more information.

Tickets for ThinkFest 2017 events can be purchased online at https://think.bm or at the door (cash only).

Early bird and group discount tickets are available.

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