Academics

Meet Our Expert Academics

In the We Speak Science programmes, participants have the unique opportunity to study STEM at university-level programmes that are designed and taught by expert academics from world-leading universities. We inspire and encourage students to go beyond the boundaries of the school curriculum and to immerse themselves in new, challenging curricula and find STEM solutions to key problems the world faces nowadays.

All We Speak Science academics have extensive teaching experience at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and undergo enhanced background checks before teaching any programme. Every year, we are honoured to welcome top academics and scientists to our programmes. Please meet some of our tutors below:

Argita D, Ph.D

Academic Experience: Imperial College London, University College London

Dr. Argita earned her PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her research investigated the effects of two agonists on immune function with the goal of better understanding how stress affects the ability of the cytotoxic cells of the immune system to fight infection. Following her PhD, Dr. Argita carried out her postdoctoral research training at University College London, where she published several high-impact scientific journals in the field of psychology whilst collaborating with world-leading scientists, including a Nobel Prize winner.

While conducting scientific research, Argita also worked as a lecturer as she designed, taught, and directed several biomedical sciences courses for medical students. Argita was awarded the UCL medical students’ top teaching award for the neuro-immunology course she designed, delivered, and directed. After completing her first post-doc training, Dr.

Argita moved to Imperial College London, where she conducted medical research in the field of haematology. Her passion for higher education teaching led Dr. A Zalli to complete her MSc studies in University Learning and Teaching at Imperial College London, whilst working full time and being a mum. Over the past couple of years, Dr. Argita has focused on teaching and pedagogical training of university teaching staff, and she is currently a teaching and learning specialist lead in the Faculty of Medicine, clinical years. Dr. Argita is also the co-founder of We Speak Science, a non-profit institution, the aim of which is to increase awareness of science and medicine in the USA and Europe. Through We Speak Science, Dr. Argita co-founded a charity called “Aferdita Ime,” in collaboration with other world-class oncologists and scientists, whose aim is to help cancer patients through psycho-social support and counselling.

Dr Argita co-founded a charity called “Aferdita Ime”, in collaboration with other world-class oncologists and scientists, whose aim is to help cancer patients through psycho-social support and counselling.

Afshin B, Ph.D

Academic Experience: NASA, MIT

Dr. Afshin completed his PhD at Florida State University in physics and made a transition to cancer, systems biology, space biology, and radiation biology for his postdoctoral training. In 2014, he became an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine/Tufts Medical Center where he continued his research as a systems biologist studying various aspects of cancer, including microRNAs, ageing and cancer, cancer drug targets, and the development of novel immunotherapy. In April 2017, Dr. Beheshti joined KBR and NASA Ames Research Center to be part of the GeneLab project, assisting with developing the platform.

In addition, Dr. Beheshti also has obtained his own grants where he is conducting research on how microRNAs and mitochondria will affect space biology, lymphoma, COVID-19 and potential use for countermeasures/therapeutics to mitigate these diseases and responses. Lastly, Dr. Beheshti currently also holds a Visiting Researcher appointment at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and is the Lead of a non-profit formed on March 2020 working on COVID-19 called COVID-19 International Research Team (COV-IRT, www.cov-irt.org)

Ritvana R., Ph.D.

Academic Experience: Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

I am a lecturer at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway. I joined NHH Norwegian School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in 2017, and soon I will receive a Ph.D. in Business and Management Science in 2022. Previously, I was a teaching assistant at the University of Shkoder. I received an MSc in Business Administration in 2013 from the University of Shkoder. I have held teaching and research appointments at the University of Shkoder and the NHH Norwegian School of Economics.

Donika K., Ph.D.

Academic Experience: University of Bristol

Donika K was born in Diber, North Macedonia, where she received her primary and secondary education. In 2018, she moved to the UK for her undergraduate studies in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol with a full scholarship. Donika graduated from Bristol with a First-Class Honours degree in summer 2021, having received top student awards in her 1st and 2nd years and the Lucy Brown Cancer Prize as a top final year student who is pursuing postgraduate studies in cancer.

During her undergraduate studies, she had her first scientific publication, and she was also the co-founder and later the president of the student group “Alzheimer’s Research UK Student Ambassadors,” which closely worked with Alzheimer’s Research UK to aid fundraising and awareness for the charity (the leading UK charity for dementia research).

In 2021, Donika received an offer to study Masters by Research (MRes) in Paediatrics at the University of Oxford, while having won a research grant from the Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK (DSRFUK) to support her research fees. At the same time, she was offered the opportunity to pursue a fully-funded PhD position in Precision Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford.

Donika’s PhD project focuses on investigating the full potential of the transcription factor BACH1 as an anti-metastatic target in cancer, while she is simultaneously being trained for interdisciplinary cancer research.

Andrea Troso

Andrea Troso started his flight training aged 13 years old out of Cranfield Airport in the UK, England. He continued his passion for flying and willingness to pursue a career in Aerospace when he joined the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) in 2014 where he served for 5 years. He continued his studies in Aeronautical Engineering at the Milton Keynes College of Innovation and Technology where he graduated with a Diploma in June 2021. Andrea has experience in the sector of aircraft engineering as well, having volunteered his services to a small operation out of Turweston Aerodrome, England, UK where they look after the maintenance of vintage and warbird aircraft, and he has also previously been a bicycle mechanic as well much following in the steps of the Wright Brothers

In addition, he completed a Gliding Scholarship with the Honourable Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators in Conjunction with the Derbyshire gliding club in Peak District where he spent a summer gliding and learning the pure form of stick and rudder flying completing 15 winch launches in his week stay. The experience he has built over the years around aircraft and learning to fly earned him a place on the Sir Geoffrey De Havilland Flying Scholarship which was awarded to Andrea by the Coachmakers Company and the Cambridge Flying Group in October 2021 where he is now learning to fly the all-important vintage tiger moth DH82 out of Cambridge Airport towards his Private Pilot Licence (PPL). He has worked at Cranfield University in the Aerospace Integration and Research centre, specifically the Intelligence Automation lab, where he looked after student on the Robotics MSc course at the university and operated a variety of Robots and Experiments.

Finally his studies will be continued onwards as he has been offered a place at Kingston University in London to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Aviation Engineering and he shall commence his studies here in September 2022.

Keti Z, Ph.D

Academic Experience: University of Cambridge

Dr. Keti received her PhD in “Chemical Processes and Biotechnology Innovation” from L’Aquila University in Italy. During the course of her PhD research, she actively sought and set up international collaborations, with placements in Japan and at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, which resulted in original and review publications.

At the end of her PhD, Keti followed her developing interest in regenerative medicine and cancer and had the initiative to join the world-renowned Gurdon laboratory on an Erasmus+ fellowship for 6 months.
Keti’s research at the University of Cambridge (UK) focused on the cross-talk between epigenetics and metabolism in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). Her studies have been supported by prestigious personal fellowships such as the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC, 2016–2017), the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (2018–2020) and the Cambridge Philosophical Society Postdoctoral Fellowship (2020).

Since December 2020, Keti’s scientific curiosity has driven her postdoctoral journey to the Giustacchini Lab, at the UCL Zayed Centre for Research, to work on paediatric leukemic stem cells.
The importance of Keti’s project has been recognised through the prestigious award “Olivia Hodson Cancer Fund 2021”, a special purpose fund within Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the UCL Institute of Child Health. Furthermore, Keti is an active member of the Institute as she is part of the GOSH BRC Junior Faculty and Child Health Open Research Advisory Board.

Daniel W, Ph.D

Academic Experience: University of Cambridge

Dr. Daniel Wise earned his BSC and MRes from the University of Exeter, where he specialised in plant-pathogen interactions and developed an interest in immunological research.Daniel spent a number of years as a researcher at the Institute of Metabolic Sciences (IMS), the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR) and the Department of Pathology (University of Cambridge), where he investigated novel innate immune signalling, endoplasmic stress responses, and antigen processing, presentation, and recognition.

Daniel completed his PhD and postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge Department of Pathology, specialising in MHC-mediated immunity. During this time, he established and conducted collaborative research projects with the Gurdon Institute, Cambridge Veterinary School, Roslin Institute, Technical University of Munich, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and the Institute of Molecular Genetics (Czech Academy of Sciences).

Following his PhD, Daniel was awarded a fellowship at the Technical University of Munich before moving into scientific industry, where he worked in drug discovery and PROTAC drug development before switching to R & D in the field of diagnostics. Currently, Daniel is Laboratory Director at EDX Medical and the Chief Scientific Officer at Origin Sciences, where he leads the development of new oncology diagnostic methods.

Dr. Lisa M. Miller

Academic Experience: American Public University

Dr. Lisa M. Miller serves as Professor of Health Sciences with American Military University in addition to providing consulting services to The Harvard Leadership Conference.

She graduated with a Masters in Labor and Human Resources from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University following the completion of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. She then earned a Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Management with a specialization in Counseling and Sport Psychology in addition to a concentration in Research on Human Development.

She also completed a concentration from Harvard in the Divinity School for Education and Religious Studies. Dr. Miller has been a college professor for over 10 years in addition to keeping an active research agenda and serving on several executive boards.

WSS students share their experience

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The We Speak Science Research programme was surreal. I not only learned about cutting-edge scientific research but also about research methods used in laboratories. I started formulating scientific research hypotheses, planning experiments, and writing protocols. I learned about primer design, DNA sequencing methods, and PCR techniques. I acquired a lot of scientific skills, and this programme has inspired me to become a research scientist. I also made a lot of like-minded friends with whom I am still in contact and have learned a lot.

Tina M
Attended We Speak Science in 2021
WSS Research Programme

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the academic background of lecturers?

All lecturers are academics from world-leading universities such as Harvard University, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, MIT, etc.

Do you conduct background checks on tutors?
All We Speak Science tutors must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) prior to any interaction with We Speak Science students.
How can I apply to become a tutor?
If you are interested in becoming a tutor, please contact info@wespeakscience.com

Learn directly from world-leading academics

You will learn about cutting-edge STEM research and explore novel concepts and ideas in small groups of like-minded and ambitious students from around the world. Our average class size consists of seven students.

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