YES is a global competition, which aims to raise awareness of the commercialisation of bioscience among early career researchers. University teams attempt to deploy novel science and engineering to address societal challenges from subjects such as the ageing population, sustainable food production, global warming and driverless cars. They develop a business plan for a start-up company based on a hypothetical but plausible idea.
The members of team Genesense, included two members of the MRC DTP cohort, Neesha Kara (Phd in Oncology and Cancer Biology), Daniel Kottmann (PhD in Medicine), as well as William McCarthy (PhD in Chemistry), Sabila Chilaeva (PhD in Genetics), and Anna Suchankova (PhD in Pharmacology).
Recounting their experience as a group, Daniel commented, ‘It was a great experience participating in YES20. Coming together from five different departments of our university and not knowing each other before, we had a fantastic team experience. Not only did we learn a lot about biotech entrepreneurship and business, we also built important connections and even friendships on the way’
Neesha found working on another project alongside her PhD, and was particularly helpful during the COVID lockdowns, commenting ‘the mentoring scheme was particularly valuable as it allowed us to engage with many successful leaders in the science commercialisation field, which will be of great benefit in our future careers.’
The YES competition is annual event, with team entry supported by MRC Flexible Funding Scheme.
Photo – left to right: William McCarthy (PhD in Chemistry), Neesha Kara (Phd in Oncology and Cancer Biology) Sabila Chilaeva (PhD in Genetics), Anna Suchankova (PhD in Pharmacology) and Daniel Kottmann (PhD in Medicine).