UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Ferdinando Sereno wins 2024 UCL 3 Minute Thesis competition

12 June 2024

UCL Biochemical Engineering postgraduate research student Ferdinando Sereno presented his work investigating a novel way of making vaccines easier to store and transport based on his PhD titled "Development and production of a stable encapsulin-based mRNA vaccine."

Ferdinando Sereno winning 3MT competition

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The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition was originally developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 and now takes place in over 600 universities across 65 countries worldwide. Postgraduate research students have a single slide and three minutes to present their research and we’re incredibly proud to announce that this year the UCL winner was Ferdinando Sereno from UCL Biochemical Engineering.
MRNA vaccines are one of the most critical health developments of the modern era - they saved us during the pandemic - but they have a major weakness: they need to be stored frozen or cold. This limitation presents a massive problem for the developing world, with millions of doses estimated to have been wasted during transport and storage.
In his 3MT, Ferdinando presented his research on developing encapsulin – a container for the mRNA that can protect it until it enters the body. If Ferdinando’s work succeeds, he will be helping to solve one of the world's biggest challenges – how to give the developing world access to effective vaccines and save millions of lives.

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