Winners of the Student Awards at BioEM2017

Authored by: Azadeh Peyman

Published on: Jul 07, 2017

Winners of the Student AwardsThe BioEM2017 students’ awards for best platform and poster presentations were given to the following students:

Platform Presentation Awards

1st place and the winner of Joseph James Morrissey Memorial Award*:  Adam Verrender
2nd place:  Nicolas Bouisset
3rd place:  Laura Birks

*The Joseph Morissey Memorial Award, is sponsored and awarded by the MMF, represented by C-K. Chou.

Poster awards

1st place (shared):  Sergei Shikhantsov and Marko Mikkonen
2nd place: Rongqing Chen
3rd place: Aziguli Yimaer

Marnus van Wyk announcing awards


The BEMS and EBEA award committees, would like to extend their appreciation to all the judges and reviewers and many congratulations to all student winners and, the Arthur Pillar awardee.

As it is customary this year’s winners have also provided a brief note about their research work and experience at the BioEM2017 meeting.



Award winners report about their research and experience at BioEM2017

Adam Verrender

1st Place Platform Award & Winner of Joseph James Morrissey Memorial Award

IEI-EMF provocation case studies: Does RF exposure influence self-reported symptoms?
Adam Verrender1, Sarah Loughran, Vitas Anderson, Lena Hillert, G. James Rubin, Gunnhild Oftedal & Rodney Croft
1Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research, Wollongong, Australia

Adam VerrenderI’m a PhD student at the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research based at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong. My research is focused on investigating the possible determinants of Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance ‘attributed to’ Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF), more commonly known as Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS).

At BioEM2017 I presented a platform presentation outlining the results of a series of individual case studies investigating whether RF exposure influences self-reported symptoms in IEI-EMF sufferers. While the majority of provocation studies conducted to date have not found a relationship between exposure to RF and self-reported symptoms, some researchers and many of those who suffer from the condition have raised a number of concerns about possible methodological issues. While these issues may have influenced previous the results of previous studies, this has not been determined empirically. My presentation focused on describing a novel, case study approach to testing IEI-EMF participants, using a method which incorporated several improvements to overcome previous potential limitations.

The program at the annual BioEM meeting was again filled with very interesting and stimulating presentations from both esteemed researchers and students. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with some of the world’s leading experts in bioelectromagnetics and with fellow students about their research during the social events, poster sessions and breaks. The beautiful Westlake provided the perfect backdrop for a productive week of learning and discussion. The cultural experiences, the excellent (and at times interesting) food and the amazing scenery rounded out a great trip to China. I would like to thank the BioEM2017 committees for organising such a great conference and for the student travel support which sponsored my attendance. I’d also like to thank my amazing supervisors, Rodney Croft and Sarah Loughran, for their continual support throughout my PhD and for giving me the opportunity to present my work. I feel very honoured to have received the first place award in the student platform presentations, and this has provided me with great motivation to complete my thesis this year.


Nicolas Bouisset

2nd Place Platform Award

Human vestibular system exposed to extremely low frequency magnetic fields up to 100 mT: a body sway investigation
Nicolas Bouisset1, Sebastien Villard, Michael Corbacio, Daniel Goulet, Michel Plante, Martine Souques, François Deschamps, Genevieve Ostiguy, Jacques Lambrozo, Michel Guerraz & Alexandre Legros
1Human Threshold Research Group, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON , Canada

Nicolas Bouisset

I have been a physiotherapist for over 13 years, specialized in vestibular rehab. I then received a Master’s degree in Human Movement Science at the university of Montpellier, France before moving to Canada to start my PhD under the supervision of Doctor Alexandre Legros.

I am currently a first-year PhD student within the Human Threshold Research Group at Lawson research institute, University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.

My research interest lies in looking at the effect of extremely low frequency magnetic fields on the vestibular system.  The goal is to seek sensitivity and potential specific acute responses when this sensory system is exposed to ELF-MF. Understanding such an impact is both important for fundamental reasons as well as setting exposition limits inducing acute biological responses in human beings.

The BioEM 2017 conference in Hangzhou, China was the first conference where I had the opportunity to expose my work. I was really pleased to have the chance to present a platform presentation and very honored to receive the 2nd place prize.

The BioEM2017 in the beautiful city of Hanghzou, was a very exciting moment. It gave me the opportunity to follow a very broad spectrum of research in the bioelectromagnetic field and get to meet students and researchers with whom I could exchange ideas. It was a very pleasant learning experience.

I had been dreaming travelling to China for a long time and this conference has fulfilled this expectation. I really was not disappointed. Beautiful landscape and historical monuments, not to mention the food!

I would like to thank the BioEM2017 committee for providing me with the student travel support which sponsored my attendance. I’d also like to thank my supervisor, Alexandre Legros for giving me the opportunity to attend the conference and Doctor Sebastien Villard for all the support and the help he gave me with my presentation.


Laura Birks

Winner of 3rd Place Platform Award

Personal exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields in children in Europe
Laura Birks1,
Marloes Eeftens, Benjamin Struchen, et al.
1ISGlobal, Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, Spain

Laura Birks

With the opportunity to present my pre-doctoral work as a platform presentation at BioEm 2017, I was able to attend BioEm for the first time, as well as visit Asia for the first time. This was an enriching and unforgettable experience, both with the local Hangzhou culture and with the BioEm community. 

At first, as an early career researcher, I found the conference hall to be large, elegant, and intimidating, but the local organizing team was very helpful in making me feel welcome and ready to present on stage. I was very excited to have the opportunity to represent my team of co-authors and show our work to researchers from around the world in such a unique and professional setting. I presented descriptive results regarding radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF) exposure in children and adolescents in five european countries.  Our results illustrated that these children in Europe are typically exposed to very low levels of RF, and most of this exposure is coming from mobile phone base stations (downlink). Afterwards, I received useful feedback from the audience both during the question period, and later during lunch and coffee breaks. Through presentations, posters, and social events, I was also able to connect with fellow RF researchers from other parts of the world, learning about their projects and other applications of RF research. I was also able to get a sense for the larger scope of bioelectromagnetics research and its fascinating and far-reaching applications.

Overall, the opportunity to present at BioEm 2017 provided me with a fantastic experience: professionally and culturally. I look forward to many more conferences in the future with this great group of people!


Marko Mikkonen

Winner (shared) 1st place poster award

Modeled electric fields can explain the interindividual variability of tDCS
Marko Mikkonen1, Ilkka Laakso, Soichiro Koyama, Akimasa Hirata & Satoshi Tanaka
1Aalto University, Espoo, Finland

Marko Mikkonen

I am currently pursuing my doctorate at Aalto University, Finland, doing research on transcranial brain stimulation. In particular, my interest lies in individualized computer modelling of transcranial direct current and magnetic stimulation (tDCS and TMS, respectively), in order to assess how individual anatomical features affect the stimulation and its outcome.

BioEM2017 held in Hangzhou was my first BioEM conference and I was given an opportunity to present my poster bridging computational and experimental tDCS. The conference was a great experience, both scientifically and as a personal first touch to China. The technical content of the conference was intriguing, I got to meet new people and have interesting conversations, as well as see the cities of Hangzhou and Shanghai. I sincerely would like to thank the organizers for a great conference.

Finally, it is a great honour to receive this (shared) 1st place poster award, but as none the work I have done in this project would be possible without help from my supervisor prof. Ilkka Laakso and our collaborators in Japan, professors Soichiro Koyama, Satoshi Tanaka and Akimasa Hirata, I would like to express my gratitude to all of them.


Sergei Shikhantsov

Winner (shared) 1st Place Poster Award

Comparison of human EM-exposure in fifth generation wireless technologies: ATTO vs. massive MIMO
Sergei Shikhantsov1, Arno Thielens, Gunter Vermeeren, Piet Demeester, Luc Martens & Wout Joseph
1Department of Information Technology, Ghent University/IMEC, Ghent, Belgium

I am a PhD student at Ghent University in Belgium. That was the first BioEM conference in which I participated.

The focus of my research is human EM-exposure assessment in future wireless networks. At the conference I presented a poster highlighting the main results we obtained on development of exposure assessment methods for massive MIMO and ATTO-cell technologies. Though the project is still in work-in-progress stage, we have already made a significant progress and it was a great honor for me to present our findings at such an important event.

Sessions were well organized and conveniently scheduled always giving the opportunity to attend the talk that suits my interests the most or gives an important interdisciplinary insight. Various extra-curriculum activities were also organized and carried out at a very high level. Together with truly remarkable landscapes and a rich cultural heritage of Hangzhou, it all made this conference an unforgettable experience to me.

I would like to thank everyone for meaningful discussions during the poster sessions and look forward to see you at BioEM 2018.

Sergei Shikhantsov 

Photo taken by Sam Aerts


Rongqing Chen

Winner of 2nd Place Poster Award

 Impact of each current applied to surface electrodes on EIT images based realistic head model

Rongqing Chen1, Haoting Li, Xuechao Liu, Ge Zhang, Canhua Xu, Xiuzhen Dong & Feng Fu
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Xi'an, China

Rongqing Chen

I’m Rongqing Chen from Fourth Military Medical University in China. BioEM2017 provided a fascinating stage for me to present the research progress of our research team concerning the enhancement of the image quality in Electrical Impedance Tomography. As a novel non-invasive clinical imaging method which seeks to recover the changes of the internal conductivity distributions using currents applied on and voltages measured at surface electrodes, Electrical Impedance Tomography still need improvement in its resolution and accuracy. I enjoyed wonderful six days during BioEM2017, where I explored the area of bioelectromagnetics, exchanged the ideas of advanced research, and enriched my experience in scientific field. By delivering my tiny progress in terms of my research, I received giant inspiration of the improvement in my research from explaining the details of the whole experiment and answering the questions raised by the experts.


Aziguli Yimaer

Winner of 3rd Place Poster Award

The effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields exposure on SPR signals of cell culture medium

Aziguli Yimaer1, Yue Fei1, Xinyuan Zhao, Zhengping Xu & Guangdi Chen
1Department of Public Health, Zhejiang University, HANGZHOU, China

Aziguli YimaerI am Aziguli Yimaer, a graduate student major in Environmental Health from Zhejiang University School of Public Health, China. My research interest is the environmental electromagnetic fields and health, specifically the mechanism of differential cellular response to 50 Hz magnetic fields and 1800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.

This year, it is the first time for me to attend BioEM meeting, BioEM 2017 in Hangzhou, since I formally started my research on Bioelectromagnetics. This really is a magnificent meeting that gathers leading scientists who have specialized in Bioelectromagnetics all around the world. This is a huge chance for young junior scientists like us to wide our knowledge in our area, get to know the first hand sources and learn from the best. I am also very lucky and honored to get to present my recent research “The effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields exposure on SPR signals of cell culture medium” at the BioEM 2017, which has been awarded as the 3rd Place Poster Presentation. This is a great honor that every junior young scientist works for.

First of all I genuinely thank BEMS and EBEA societies provide such a great opportunity for us and BioEM 2017 Local Organizing Committee for their hospitality and great arrangements for the successful meeting. Secondly, I want to give my deepest gratitude to my supervisor Professor Guangdi Chen, who is more than a teacher but also a mentor to me. Thank you all.

Hope we could meet again and give our best to BioEM.