Ambassador role for scientists

TWO scientists based at a Suffolk pharmaceuticals operation have become ambassadors under a programme designed to encourage young people to consider a career in areas such as science, technology, engineering and maths.

TWO scientists based at a Suffolk pharmaceuticals operation have become ambassadors under a programme designed to encourage young people to consider a career in areas such as science, technology, engineering and maths.

Senior scientist Dr Ahmed Alawi and technical project leader Dr Paul Wolstenholme-Hogg, who both work at Genzyme in Haverhill, have been named as science and engineering ambassadors for both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Their roles form part of the Science and Engineering Ambassador (SEA) scheme established by the Government in 2002.

Ambassadors represent a broad range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines from apprentices and technicians through to PhDs working in corporate, academic and government organisations.


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They work with students in a variety of ways, including supporting school science and engineering clubs, assisting with school science competitions and offering advice and mentoring to students.

Activities can range from talking to sixth form students at a convention to demonstrating science experiments to an after school science club.

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In their role as ambassadors, Dr Wolstenholme-Hogg and Dr Alawi were recently invited to attend a STEM conference in Newmarket which included a workshop session giving people from industry a chance to network with educational professionals from across Suffolk and Essex.

Dr Alawi said: “The workshop generated interesting discussions around the links between school education and industry. A number of schools showed interest in Genzyme and how science, engineering and technology are used in answering some of today's challenges in making drugs for rare diseases.”

US-based Genzyme is one of the world's leading biotechnology companies, with its products being focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant and immune disease, and diagnostic testing. Its development programme also extends to areas including cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Haverhill operation, which has been part of Genzyme since 1982, has in recent years undergone an �80 million investment to manufacturer the active ingredient for Renagel, which offers advance in the treatment of kidney dialysis patients. The site also includes distribution and development facilities.

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