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The Center of Excellence in Biobanking and Biomedical Research at the University of Cyprus (Biobank.CY), a BBMRI Node member won the prestigious Best Booth Award at the European Researchers’ Night at the Cyprus International Fairgrounds, Nicosia, on September 29th. at the Cyprus International Fairgrounds, Nicosia, on September 29th.
Highlighting the theme “Cancer”, CY.Biobank featured an interactive exhibition “Detecting Blood Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) and Circulating Tumour DNA (ctDNA) from Cancer Tumors”. Designed to engage visitors, this helped to emphasise the significance of cancer research and its profound impact on developing better diagnostic tools and effective therapies.
Children and adults learned by “fishing” for circulating markers in the innovative, augmented installation, by “separating” and “isolating” ctDNA molecules and CTCs from a transparent tank filled with red liquid representing blood. Young researchers could explore these molecules by collecting them into a wooden “Research Box” and performing liquid biopsies to gain new knowledge whilst having fun.
At the booth, scientists described the Center’s research activities and explained how small, transparent zebrafish play a vital role as experimental models in understanding the genetic basis of human heart and kidney diseases. Team members were barraged with thoughtful questions from children with one young visitor asking: “Can you also change the color of my eyes?” The event sparked visitors’ inquisitive spirit and helped Biobank.CY staff form stronger connections with diverse members of the community, ranging from children to civil servants, scientists, and politicians.
The Best Booth Award confirmed that biobank learning inspires curiosity, humour and new knowledge. Professor Constantinos Deltas (Biobank.CY Center of Excellence Director) accepted the award at a special ceremony attended by the Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Mr. Philippos Hadjizacharias. Prof. Deltas’s speech applauded his “dream team” for their enthusiasm and dedication and extended an invitation to everyone to volunteer as a biobank participant.
This European Researchers’ Night event event had the theme “Mission: CONNECT” and was organised by the Research & Innovation Foundation in collaboration with leading research, innovation, and business entities and with support from the President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides (watch the video here).
In the run-up to the European Researchers’ Night event, the Center actively promoted its booth through various media channels. Dr. Gregory Papagregoriou (Senior Scientist) gave an insightful interview for Phileleftheros, Cyprus’ most widely circulated newspaper. Dr Maria Spiliotaki (Postdoctoral Researcher), gave an interview in City, an online portal affiliated with one of Cyprus’ leading media groups. Dr Andrea Kakouri (Postdoctoral Researcher) also made a televised appearance on national television channel CyBC and was featured on national radio, extending Biobank.CY’s public outreach.