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Top presentation prize goes to Surrey PhD student

A presentation on detecting drug use from fingerprints by Catia Costa has won first prize at a prestigious conference organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Catia (left) with fellow PhD student Mahado Ismail and Dr Melanie Bailey.

Studying for a PhD in the Department of Chemistry, Catia presented a poster and three-minute flash presentation at the Analytical Research Forum 2016, which took place at London’s Burlington House on 8th July. The Forum is designed to enable researchers in analytical chemistry to present their work to other chemists in the field.

One of ten researchers giving flash presentations at the Forum, Catia spoke about Surrey’s development of a new, non-invasive test which can detect cocaine use through a single fingerprint. The research, led by Dr Melanie Bailey, is based on an analytical chemistry technique known as mass spectrometry.

Catia says, “I am delighted I was recognised for my presentation and pleased that people have taken an interest in my area of research. The use of fingerprints for drug testing is innovative and can be applied to forensic casework, to road-side testing and even medical diagnostics.”

Due to complete her PhD at the end of September 2016, Catia will be continuing as a postdoctoral researcher at Surrey in the field of forensics, working with Dr Bailey.

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