Getting to know the lab

March 1, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgBefore a Harvard crowd of 50 — faculty members, graduate students, and scientists — Sam Ingersoll demonstrated the soft robotics manta ray wing he developed using 3-D design.“Soft robotics have become extremely prevalent in the last few years because 3-D printing is so available,” he said. “Manta rays are ideal for study because they’re incredibly efficient. So one of the goals for this project was to make an underwater hydraulic implementation of a manta ray’s wing.”Not bad for a high school senior.“It was definitely the steepest learning curve I’ve ever had,” said CRLS senior Eleanor McCartney, who will attend Smith College in the fall. McCartney presented findings on two separate projects, both for the lab of Colleen Cavanaugh, the Edward C. Jeffrey Professor of Biology.Ingersoll and four of his peers, all students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS), were at the Harvard BioLabs Lecture Hall in late May to present the work they had completed as participants in the CRLS Marine Science Internship program at Harvard.Ingersoll partnered with Donal Holland, a visiting lecturer at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), while his peers worked on different projects at other labs across the University. By pairing them with Harvard labs, the internship program gives students firsthand experience of how science works, and even a role in research.CRLS senior Eleanor McCartney presented findings on two separate projects, both for the lab of Colleen Cavanaugh, the Edward C. Jeffrey Professor of Biology. In the first project, she studied endosymbiont infection in the bivalve Solemya velum (or, how outside agents infect a clam), while the other focused on bacterial symbiosis in protist Arcella (how bacteria and amoebae live in harmony). Like her peers, McCartney came to work in the Harvard lab Monday through Thursday in the spring semester.“It was definitely the steepest learning curve I’ve ever had,” said McCartney, who will attend Smith College in the fall. “But I would absolutely do it again. I know I want to study science in college, and it can be difficult for undergraduate students to get access to research labs. So to be in the lab, not washing dishes but really contributing to the research and the science, was amazing.”McCartney will continue her research in the Cavanaugh lab this summer.Professor John Wakeley, chair of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB), was impressed with how much the students learned.“I know a lot of these kids, and their presentations were wonderful,” he said. “The relationship between high schools and Harvard is crucial. The least we can do, as an institution, is support the community and help train students, show them how science actually works at the ground level. I think a lot of the research we saw presented today will end up on published papers with the students’ names on them.”In fact, the interns’ work will be featured in the Journal of Emerging Investigators, which was founded by Harvard graduate students to publish original research in the biological and physical sciences by middle and high school students.Paul McGuinness, who teaches marine biology at CRLS, has worked closely with Peter Girguis, a professor of organismic and evolutionary biology and an adjunct research engineer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, to establish the internship program at Harvard. For McGuinness, the presentation reflected both the hard work the students did in the lab, and how the labs benefited from the real science the students created.“It’s a great model in terms of the intensity and expectations for students ― it’s completely different from any other experience they can have as high school students,” he said. “The impetus and onus is on them. They get support from me, and from the mentor in their lab, but it’s an amazing opportunity for students to get experiencing doing real research in a real lab.”His hope, he added, is to give as many students as many opportunities as possible. But the marine science internship program “is the capstone project. It lets them show what they’re capable of, and there’s nothing else like it.”last_img read more

ERAFP awards unlisted infrastructure, private equity mandates

September 29, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgIt is a mandate to invest in unlisted, vital, public infrastructure assets that are or will be built mainly in EU countries.The risk approach should be moderate, with Ardian tasked with building a mixed greenfield and brownfield portfolio mainly through primary investments in new infrastructure funds or secondary investments in existing funds and, to a lesser degree, through direct investments and/or co-investments in contractors.The private equity mandate also aims to diversify ERAFP’s investments, in this case by contributing to the financing of the French and European economies.The mandate is for the creation of a dedicated fund that will invest primary in unlisted European mid-market companies through growth capital or buyout transactions.It may also invest via mezzanine and unitranche financing but to a lesser degree.The investments are to be made mainly through primary or secondary funds.The fund will target investments in companies with a registered office in France, Germany, the Benelux countries, the UK, Finland, Sweden and/or Denmark.Italy, Spain, Portugal or other OECD countries also come into question but to a lesser degree.Both mandates are for an initial 10 years. French civil service pension fund ERAFP has awarded a €150m infrastructure mandate and a €200m private equity mandate as part of a move to take up new investment freedoms granted by the government in late 2014.The mandates were put out to tender early last year.The infrastructure mandate was awarded to Ardian France and the private equity mandate to Access Capital Partners.The €26bn pension fund placed the infrastructure mandate in the context of its aim to diversify by using “some of its long-term savings to develop sustainable assets that drive economic development and the energy transition and are useful to future generations”.last_img read more