Strong presence of NextGEM in the BioEM 2024

NextGEM leaders FORTH-ICS, and the coordinator of NextGEM Nikolaos Petroulakis, hosted the 3rd annual conference of BioEM in Chania, on the island of Crete (Greece). Worldwide EMF experts attended BioEM 2024, participated from June 16th to 21st. The conference is organised by the BioEM society, “an independent organisation of biological and physical scientists, physicians and engineers interested in the interactions of electromagnetic fields with biological systems.”

NextGEM partners pose during one of the BioEM 2024 sessions

BioEM is the world’s largest and most prestigious bioelectromagnetics conference. The Society’s annual conference attracts academic and industrial participants at all career stages from all over the world. Attendees have a great opportunity to engage with other professionals in this field and share the latest updates in this topic’s research. This was a great opportunity for many NextGEM partners, as this project is intrinsically related to BioEM.

“The main goal for hosting the BioEM was to give the chance to the community of EMF and health to come together to the Crete Island, present the current status of their research work and interact with NextGEM partners and the other partners from CLUE-H projects”, says Dr Nikolaos Petroulakis, NextGEM Project coordinator at FORTH-ICS and local organizing chair of the conference.

A NextGEM-related poster, awarded with the First Prize of Student Poster Award

Seppe Segers is a PhD researcher at Sciensiano. He won the first prize for the Student Poster Award thanks to his work under the title Cytogenetic effects of in vitro exposure to 5G-Modulated 3.5 GHz signal on HaCaT cell line: preliminary results from the NextGEM Project. “I presented our preliminary results about genotoxicity and the exposure to 5G-NR modulated radiofrequency EMF”, says Segers.

His work was not the only showcased during the poster sessions of the conference. Five more NextGEM-related posters were showcased during BioEM 2024. As follows, the whole list of all posters and authors of the posters under the umbrella of this project:

  • Cytogenetic effects of in vitro exposure to 5G-Modulated 3.5 GHz signal on HaCaT cell line: preliminary results from the NextGEM Project, by Mr Seppe Segers (Sciensano and UGent), Mrs Maryse Ledent (Sciensano), Mr Roel Anthonissen (Sciensano), Prof Lutgart Braeckman (Ugent), Dr Birgit Mertens (Sciensano)
  • MM-Wave Band Permittivity Characterization of C. Elegans, by Dr Pol Alonso (ICMAB-CSIC), Dr Gaetano Chirico (UCAS), Dr Anna Laromaine (ICMAB-CSIC), Prof Rita Massa (IREA-CNR and University of Naples), Prof Marco Donald Migliore (UCAS), Prof Fulvio Schettino (UCAS)
  • A narrative review on 5G NR EMF exposure sensing technologies, by Dr Erdal Korkmaz (THUAS), Dr Sam Aerts (THUAS), Mr Richard Richard Coesoij (Delft University of Technology), Dr Chhavi Raj Bhatt (ARPANSA), Mr Maarten Velghe (RIVM), Mr Derek Land (THUAS), Dr Nikolaos Petroulakis (ICS-FORTH), Dr Marco Spirito (Delft University of Technology), Dr John Bolte (THUAS and RIVM)
  • Study of the effects of human exposure to 5G millimetre-wave electromagnetic fields: development of an exposure system, by Mr Benjamin Vatovez (ISSeP), Mrs Maryse Ledent (Sciensano), Prof Marco Spirito (Delft University of Technology), Prof Fulvio Schettino (UCAS), Prof Anna Bogdanova (University of Zurich)
  • Characterization of a reverberation chamber-based 5G in vitro exposure system: a biological perspective, by Dr Anna Sannino (CNR-IREA), Dr Mariateresa Allocca (CNR-IREA), Dr Stefania Romeo (CNR-IREA), Dr Maria Rosaria Scarfì (CNR-IREA), Dr Gaetano Chirico (UCAS), Prof Fulvio Schettino (UCAS), Dr Olga Zeni (CNR-IREA)
Prof Mats-Olof Mattsson (Sciproof International), Seppe Segers (Sciensano), Anna Sannino (IREA-CNR) and Mariateresa Allocca (IREA-CNR) during one of the poster sessions.

Additionally, more NextGEM partners made oral presentations during the event: Dr Mariateresa Allocca (CNR-IREA) presented Cellular effects of radiofrequency exposure to 1950 MHz, LTE signal, in human neuroblastoma cells in combination with menadione; while her colleague at CNR-IREA, Dr Anna Sannino, presented Characterization of a reverberation chamber-based 5G in vitro exposure system: a biological perspective. The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) took part in three more investigations presented by non-NextGEM partners, too.

NextGEM Posters in the BioEM 2024
Annual meeting of the CLUE-H

The 3rd CLUE-H annual meeting took place during the Conference, too; and it counted with the participation of various members of NextGEM. This project, along with three other EU-funded projects (SeaWave, GOLIAT, and ETAIN), is part of the European Research Cluster on EMF and Health (CLUE-H). This network of over 70 organisations expects to fill the knowledge gaps that exist regarding the impact of wireless technologies on health and the environment.

Great participation of CLUE-H members in the 3rd Annual Meeting in BioEM 2024
Strong presence of NextGEM members in 3 workshops

The Workshop sessions counted with three presentations by NextGEM partners, too:

  • Dr Nikolaos Petroulakis presented the NextGEM: Next Generation Integrated Sensing and Analytical System for Monitoring and Assessing Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure and Health, in the Workshop The European Research Cluster on EMF and Health (CLUE-H), a session which introduced NextGEM to all attendees.
  • Prof Mats-Olof Mattsson and Prof Mytrill Simko (both from Sciproof International) presented the session Are there appropriate exposure/dose metrics for RF-EMF health risk assessment? in the Workshop From exposure to dose measure: what are suitable concepts for public communication and research. “The paper discussed the rationale for biologically relevant dose metrics and discussed if we have such an entity for RF-EMF”, says Prof Mattsson, who adds that “this is a central tenet in the risk assessments performed within NextGEM, and most relevant for the experimental work.”
  • Dr Sam Aerts and Prof John Bolte (both from THUAS) presented On advancing radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure assessment in mobile-phone networks in the Workshop Breakthroughs in numerical and experimental EMF exposure assessment: The contribution of BIOEM young scientists.
Great satisfaction with BioEM 2024

“It was a significant moment for NextGEM and its partners. The results from NextGEM can undoubtedly be compared with the existing shared findings of other researchers within the community. The variety of NextGEM research directions can cover a wide range of research topics”, says Dr Nikolaos Petroulakis, who feels satisfied with the outcome of the event: “It was a great experience marked by a lot of personal and team effort. Everything went smoothly, and the participants enjoyed the conference and their stay in Chania.”

The same goes for other attendees, like the awarded Seppe Segers: “I really enjoyed getting to know other researchers within the field, and getting a broader scope on the challenges within the field, from exposure measurements to more practical applications in an experimental context”.

We had some great discussions about the posters and it was great to be there with the NextGEM partners. The session I liked most is the one led by Mats-Olof and Myrtill Simkó”, says Maryse Ledent, scientist at Sciensano; whereas Anna Sannino, research scientist at CNR-IREA and presenter of one of the NextGEM posters, says: “I liked very much the Workshop 1, where I had an overview of all the Horizon Europe funded projects, and the Workshop 3, organized by BioEM young scientists. I found the event was very well organized.”

NextGEM partners during the reception party at the venue
BioEM 2025 will be in Reims

The Conference for BioEM 2025 was announced at the end of the event, and it will be in Reims, France. There, it will take place the 4th CLUE-H Annual Meeting, too. “I am pretty sure that the next period the role of NextGEM and its results will be of core importance in the EMF and Health community”, adds Nikolaos Petroulakis, who expects for the upcoming events “stronger participation by presenting more results and oral presentations by individual researchers from NextGEM.”

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