The AAT Project

Elle Loughran


Naughton Scholarship, Member of the Committee of the Physics Society

Elle Loughran is an 18-year-old Irish scientist, speaker, blogger, freelance writer and Natural Sciences student at Trinity College Dublin. She has received both a Naughton scholarship and an entrance scholarship to university for her work and exam results and been elected to the committee of the Physics Society. She is passionate about interdisciplinary science, opportunity and making discovery a part of culture, which is part of her role as a member of the Youth Panel of the British Science Association.

Elle was Northern Ireland Young Scientist of the Year in 2014 (Sentinus Young Innovators), and recipient of the Queen's University Award for Mathematics and the Best Invention at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in 2015. She was named a Global Youth Leader in Nanotechnology in September 2015 by the Emerging Technologies Hub.

Her research has included Fibonacci spirals in pine cones, developing a graphene-based electrical sensor to detect a biomarker of a protein that indicates the presence of high-grade glioblastoma (brain cancer), and investigating features of bacteria that alter their susceptibility to inactivation by UVC light to combat the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance – topics covering areas in maths, chemistry, botany, physics, nanotechnology, and microbiology.

She is currently running an educational campaign to empower school students to proactively tackle antibiotic resistance.

Elle has spoken and presented her research at conferences and other events both in Ireland and abroad, including TEDxDrogheda, Zeminar, TY Expo, Evolve Biomed, Inspirefest and Meet the STEMettes in Ireland, the World Youth Organisation and the British Science Association Youth Platform in the UK and the European Talent Support Network in Budapest. She also attended Thinking Digital Manchester as an Emerging Talent. She loves advocating for science, young people, open access to research, and the power of asking questions.

She was an Outbox Incubator executive in August 2015 and studied Journalism, Biotechnology and Philosophy at the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland in Dublin City University from 2013-2015. She represents CTYI internationally in the European Council for High Ability and is on the leadership committee of its Youth Platform. Elle is also a freelance writer and regularly blogs at She created in January 2016 to connect Irish people of all ages and interests with competitions, work experience, and other opportunities.

She is currently working on a project called Syndicalab to empower citizen science via community labs in which people of all ages are facilitated in working on research projects of their choice– because everyone deserves the chance to be part of discovery.

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