Undergraduate Research Conference 2014

The 2014 U21 URC Conference was held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University from 7 to 11 July and was a great success. 64 representatives from 18 U21 members attend the conference.


The first day was spent with some interesting ice breaking activities, enabling the participants to get to know each other and create a friendly atmosphere for the more formal and demanding days ahead.  A series of team building games helped the participants got to know each other quickly.


The conference proper, which took place on both Xuhui and Minhang Campus of Shanghai Jiao Tong University began the following day.  It took as its theme Food safety: from farm to table and to help focus on this, three keynote speakers were invited to share their insights in this field. Dr. Masami Takeuchi from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) gave a keynote address on Taking food safety to the corners of the world.  Professor Karl R. Matthews from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey spoke on Food Safety: How Regulations in the United States Affect China and Associate Professor Chunlei Shi from Shanghai Jiao Tong University delivered a talk on“Facing challenges to food safety.


Alongside the keynote addresses, 29 students orally presented their research findings and 27 students shared their research through poster sessions.  Students discussed their research, posed questions, sought solutions and took the opportunity to embrace this peer review and use it to enhance their work.


At the end of the conference, as has become custom, the three best oral presentations and three best poster presentations were selected by all the attendees. The best oral presentation awards were given to to:

  1. Caj Christie, University of Queensland, Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
  2. Erin McCaffrey, University of Maryland, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: neural and behavioral effects of Tartrazine in spontaneously hypertensive rats
  3. Andrew Blackie, University of New South Wales, The global, trade and political implications of food security

The best poster awards went to:

  1. Phyo Khaing, University of Birmingham, Is there a relationship between whole fat milk consumption and ischaemic heart disease?
  2. Jiayun Liu, Fudan University, Study on the association between diet, nutrient and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  3. Zyra Mae Oliman, Lund University, Less food waste by adding value to vegetable supply chain in developing countries

On the last day of the conference, one the formal proceedings had come to an end, the student delegates visited Hangzhou, one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China.