Our team

The Cambridge Organising Committee is composed mainly of Cambridge Graduate Students and Mexicans living in Cambridge who share a diverse disciplinary background and are committed to making a positive and significant contribution to Mexico. If you have any questions or just want to chat with any of us, please feel free to get in touch!

Organising Committee

Jessica A. Fernández de Lara Harada
Chair of the Organising Committee and Authorities’ Liaison
Department of Politics and International Studies, Center of Latin American Studies
[email protected]

Hi! My name is Jessica and I am in the third year of my PhD at the Center of Latin American Studies. Originally from Mexico City, I have been in the UK long enough to enjoy taking long country walks and drinking tea. I also love pottery, writing short stories and watching films. Before coming to Cambridge, I graduated in law, specialised in antitrust, regulation and politics, and lived in various countries. I am the MEXSOC Cultural Officer responsible for the organisation and running of the Symposium. My role on the Committee is to serve as its Chair, coordinate and support the work of its Sub-Committees, and liaise with authorities to ensure a successful event. I hope our Symposium contributes to foster debates, novel perspectives and collaborations among students, academics and practitioners that will benefit Mexico. I am here to listen and help, get in touch if you have any questions or just want to chat.

Aracely Castillo Venzor
Academic and Keynote Speakers
Stem Cell Institute / Gurdon Institute
[email protected]

¡Hola a todos! I am Aracely and I am currently a second year PhD student at the Gurdon Institute. I am passionate about learning how stem cells make cell-fate decisions during early development and how these decisions can have an impact on diseases later in life.
I was born and raised in the north of Mexico in the state of Chihuahua. Since then I have lived in different cities around Germany and the US, and now I am enjoying my time in Cambridge. I was the president of the CU Mexican Society, a role that gave me the opportunity to organise – together with Filo, Iván, Gustavo, Fernando and Guillermo – several events to help connect with Mexicans in Cambridge and to promote our culture among people in the UK and the vibrant international community in Cambridge.

I believe the symposium is a great project and I am looking forward to welcoming Mexican students around the UK and Europe as well as people interested in our country, and to learn from their research and discuss our ideas together. Also, I look forward to embracing and hearing from the leaders in different disciplines who are invited as keynote speakers. I think our symposium will be an excellent platform for discussing ideas and hearing from multidisciplinary points of view. I feel honoured to be able to contribute to this project.

I firmly believe Mexico is a fantastic country, with a rich culture, kind people, an incredible variety of climates and biodiversity, and one of the best gastronomies in the world – sounds amazing, right? I also think the many problems of our nation can be fixed and improved, and that solving them is the responsibility of all Mexicans, both at home and abroad. My role in the symposium is as coordinator of the Academic and Keynote Speakers committee, and together with Iván, Annie and Fernando we are responsible for choosing, inviting and welcoming our keynote speakers. If you have any suggestions for invited speakers or any other comments, please get in touch!

Paola Velasco
Academic and Students Affairs Committee
Department of Development Studies, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

¡Hola! My name is Paola Velasco Herrejón. I’m currently into my third year of my PhD in Development Studies, looking at energy and social justice.  One of the things that I love most about organising this Symposium is that you get to meet fascinating people from Mexico working on world changing projects in all subjects. That is why I’m very pleased to be part of the Academic and Students Affairs Committee. I hope that by organising this event we will bring together disciplines and contribute to providing solutions to Mexico’s pressing problems. If you are interested in sharing your academic work at the Symposium, please do not hesitate to email me [email protected]

Ana Laura Trigo Clapes
Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
[email protected]


My name is Ana Laura, I was born in Mexico City and lived there until I decided to move to Cambridge (already two years ago!). I studied Psychology at the UNAM and I was mainly interested in learning about Neuropsychology and the social learning of children. I was part of different research groups in the UNAM where I worked with young people with autism and investigated productive social interactions between teachers and students. This gave me the opportunity to collaborate with academics from the University of Cambridge, which later on inspired me to study an MPhil in Psychology and Education at this exceptional university. Now I am doing a PhD in Education at the University of Cambridge, investigating a different way of teaching children with autism in primary schools. I want to find out more about how dialogue in the classroom can be adjusted to the needs of these children, and to provide opportunities for their voices to be heard. Besides doing research, I love singing and I am a big fan of musical theatre. I seize every opportunity I have to sing with friends and family!

I am involved in the logistics of the symposium, looking for great places in the University that can host our activities and making sure that the event runs smoothly. If you have any suggestions or questions, you can contact me at [email protected]. I am excited to be part of the organising committee of the symposium and helping build stronger relationships between Mexican researchers in the UK.

Masami Ando Kuri
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

Hello! My name is Masami and I was born and raised my entire life in Mexico City. I briefly moved to Cuernavaca to study for a bachelor's degree in Genomic Sciences at the UNAM-Morelos. Having the opportunity to do research at a very young stage in my degree made me realise I wanted to work in academia, this is why now I am pursuing a PhD at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute in the University of Cambridge. I am very fond of watching interesting films and learning new languages!

My role in this team is to coordinate the all-important social events at the symposium. I am looking forward to participating in this event because of the extremely valuable connections we seek to create between Mexicans in the UK and in Mexico.

Alfonso Hernandez Ríos
Organising Committee
Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

A keen interest in building social bridges to protect our natural heritage lead me to enroll in the MPhil in Conservation Leadership, in the Department of Geography. I am always eager to discuss innovative and inclusive approaches to tackle the causes of our global human-accelerated biodiversity loss. I am providing support to different areas and serving as a link between the Cambridge University Mexican Society, where I collaborate as a vice president, and the Organising Committee of the Symposium. Please, feel free to get in touch!

Fernando Daniel León Cázares
Academic and Keynote Speakers
Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

Hello everyone, my name is Fernando. I was born in Mexico City and have lived most of my life in Estado de México. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey CEM. There I spent many hours in the Electraton team where we designed and built electric karts for competition. I also became really interested in Materials Science while working on a research project focused on plasma-assisted treatments of surfaces for enhanced mechanical and tribological properties. I then moved to the United Kingdom to study an MSc in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield, continuing my research in plasma nitriding. I then moved again, this time to the beautiful city of Cambridge, for a PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy. Working in the Rolls-Royce UTC research group, I now devote my time to understanding and modelling the multiple deformation mechanisms that take place in nickel-based superalloys, materials used for applications at high temperatures such as in the hot stages of jet engines. Other than that, I like spending my time doing other activities, including dancing (salsa and bachata mostly), listening to music, playing chess and board games, reading and going to the pub with friends. My role in the Symposium will be as a part of the Keynote Speaker subcommittee. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ana Luisa Rubio Jiménez
Academic and Keynote Speakers
Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

Hello everyone,

My name is Ana I was born in Veracruz but have lived my whole life in the hectic but beautiful Mexico City. I studied Psychology in the Faculty of Psychology, UNAM, where I developed my interests in inclusive education and dialogic pedagogies. As a student in the UNAM, I had the opportunity to meet and work with colleagues from the Faculty of Education of the University of Cambridge. This collaboration encouraged me to come to Cambridge to pursue an MPhil. Currently, I hold an MPhil degree in Education from the University of Cambridge and

I am now pursuing a PhD degree in Education. I work with people with intellectual disabilities and my professional aspirations are to improve the quality of the education they receive, as well as their opportunities for personal and social development. I sing and dance as a hobby and I am a new lover of Isabel Allende's literature.

My interest in working together with other Mexicans in Cambridge motivated me to be part of the organising committee of the Symposium. In collaboration with Aracely, Fernando León and Iván we form the subcommittee of the Keynote speakers. We look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge!

Estelle Praet
Art exhibition
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

Hi everyone! My name is Estelle. I was born and raised in Belgium but chilanga by heart after an exchange at the UNAM (Mexico city). I am currently enrolled in a Mphil in Archaeological Science in Cambridge. My dissertation is focusing on the identification and comparison of faunal remains from two Maya sites in Belize in order to understand trade and relationships during the Maya Classic Period. Passionate about archaeology, history of art and heritage, I have a particular interest for Mesoamerican cultures. A master in gender studies also allowed me to work with Indigenous women in Oaxaca and bring together my interest for feminist questions and the mexican socio-political context. I am thrilled to be part of the organization of the symposium through the art exhibition committee together with Roberto and Karla. Promoting mexican culture and their talented artists is for me a very exciting task. Get in touch to chat about feminism, archaeology, fair fashion around a beer (yes, I am still Belgian)!

Alejandro Guizar Coutiño
University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI)
[email protected]

I am broadly interested in areas related to biodiversity conservation, climate change and sustainability. My PhD focuses on advancing strategies for conserving forests, and developing remote sensing approaches for improved carbon and biodiversity monitoring.

Filo de la Llata
Careers and Networking
ICE, Madingley Hall, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

Hi there! My name is Filo de la Llata and I was born and raised in Coapa, a neighbourhood in Mexico City. Before moving to Cambridge, I lived in Tokyo and for many years in Berlin. I then moved to Lincoln, UK to work in the video game industry at Rockstar Games. I’m currently studying the Creative Writing program at Madingley Hall in Cambridge University; before that, I completed my bachelor’s degree in video game design.

I’m currently working as a director of Coapa & Co. the first publishing house in the UK that specialises in Mexican Spanish content, mainly for children and young adults. I also do illustrations, write fiction and I enjoy promoting the Mexican culture around Europe.

I enjoy travelling a lot, having fun, listening to music, drawing, writing, reading, playing video games, learning new languages, participating as a cultural officer at the CUMEXSOC, attending metal concerts and hanging out with friends. My role on the organising committee for the Symposium is Careers and Networking and I’m always motivated to promote Mexican culture, meeting and connecting with Mexicans around the UK and Europe, and helping with the organisation of events that promote participation among Mexicans and people from the UK.

I’m looking forward to meeting you at the Symposium, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

Laura Caballero
[email protected]

I'm Laura, a computer systems engineer from Guadalajara, now working as a software developer in Cambridge. My hobbies are dancing and gardening and I absolutely love cycling around Cambridge. I have the pleasure of being part of the budget committee for the symposium.

Eddie Cano Gámez
Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge
[email protected]

My name is Eddie Cano Gamez. I was born and raised in the metropolitan area of Mexico City, where I spent my happiest days reading novels or sitting by the shade of an old church. I obtained my BSc in Biotechnology Engineering from Tec de Monterrey (Estado de Mexico) in 2015. Later, I was granted a Gates Scholarship to come to Cambridge and pursue an MPhil in Genomics, which I completed in 2017. I am currently a PhD student at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, where I use genomics to study the immune system. My research tries to understand why certain people are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases, and it also looks at identifying potential drug targets. I am passionate about education and science outreach (sharing knowledge being my favourite activity) and I also enjoy literature, music, art and learning languages. My two biggest dreams are to bring together science and art, and to help building cutting-edge research in Mexico and Latin America.

My role in the Symposium is to provide attendees with a variety of social events and activities. Through these activities attendees will experience student life in Cambridge in a fun way, while also getting to know the city and its history. I look forward to this event, which is an extremely valuable space for any Mexicans doing research outside of their country, and I hope it can help them build bridges with other Mexicans and with the world. If you are planning to attend and have any questions, feel free to contact me by email.

Roberto Zedillo Ortega
Art Exhibition
Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge
[email protected]

Hi everyone! My name is Roberto and I am currently a Chevening-Cambridge Trust scholar completing an MPhil in Sociology. My work looks at the ways state-level social programmes contribute to the reproduction of discursive and material inequalities on the basis of gender and sexuality in Mexico. Before coming to the UK, I graduated from the Centre for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) in Mexico City with a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations. I spent almost two years working in policy evaluation projects for institutions such as Coneval and INAI, and later two years and a half as an Advisor to the Head of the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (Conapred). I also taught International Baccalaureate students at Tecnológico de Monterrey CSF, and developed my own research on both public opinion about LGBT rights and the links between discrimination and natural disasters. Together with Estelle and Karla, I work on the Art Exhibition Committee of the Symposium. I look forward to meeting you all!

Sofía Sánchez Velasco
Authorities’ Liaison
Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge
[email protected]

Hi! My name is Sofía, I grew up in Tampico, Tamaulipas, and I am currently completing and MPhil in Public Policy (MPP). Before coming to Cambridge, I graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City with a B.A. in International Relations. I spent almost two years working at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, overseeing the multiple issues surrounding U.S.-Mexico bilateral relations -and later I worked for two years in political consulting, focusing on political campaigns and anti corruption cases. I am part of the Authorities’ Liaison committee, and I look forward to meeting you all! Feel free to get in touch!

Luis Welbanks
Institute of Astronomy
[email protected]

Hi everyone, my name is Luis Welbanks and I am here to make sure that the event venue(s) and your accommodation for the symposium are to your liking! I am a second year PhD student in the Institute of Astronomy. I am working on characterising the atmospheres of planets outside of our solar system. What this means is that I am interested in creating a map of the different types of planets out there and understanding why they are the way they are. I also want to know what makes a planet similar to Earth, and I hope to eventually understand what conditions are necessary for a planet to host some form of life.

Before coming to the UK, I studied an M.Sc. and a B.Sc. in the University of Calgary in Canada. Canada was my home for six years and I learned to love country life and visiting the mountains while I was there. I am originally from Mexico City and it is by far one of my favourite cities in the whole world. I am here to chat and make of your experience in this symposium phenomenal. Come talk to me about art, science, food, what to do in Cambridge and anything else! I look forward to meeting you.

Sarah Abel
Department of Anthropology, University of Iceland
[email protected]

My name is Sarah, and I'm British by birth but Mexican at heart. I grew up in the UK, and went to Cambridge to study a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish, and then an MPhil in Latin American Studies. More recently, I completed a social anthropology PhD at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and I am currently doing a postdoc at the University of Iceland – although I live most of the time in Cambridge. Studying and experiencing other societies is the part of my research that I love best, and I am fortunate that my studies have allowed me to travel to and live in lots of different places, including Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, France, Brazil, USA, and Iceland. While doing my PhD I also met my partner, who introduced me to his home country, Mexico, where I plan to live some day. I am thrilled to be part of the organising committee for the Symposium, which I think is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen academic and cultural bonds between Mexico and the UK – a project I feel passionate about. My role on the committee is to help with English translation and proofreading.

Claudia Hernández
Communications & website
European Bioinformatics Institute
[email protected]

It was my interest in understanding how cells make decisions that motivated me to start my PhD in Bioinformatics, working with protein phosphorylation. During this journey, I have been studying how kinases sense and process biological information to regulate cellular functions, and I use statistical models to achieve this. Before my PhD, I obtained my bachelor degree in Genomic Sciences at the UNAM. I enjoy reading texts that cover discussions of the implications of science in our lives and I also like reading poetry, novels, and discussions about the evolution of the Internet. The digital world has had a strong influence on my education and my aim is to contribute to projects that make science and knowledge more accessible, and to creating communities that empower people, while respecting their rights to navigate an inclusive and decentralised internet. My hobbies include attending film festivals, traveling, throwing parties, talking to people, reading on random topics, and dancing. The multicultural community of Cambridge and its academic diversity keeps me learning all the time, so it is an honour to work with other Mexican and international students to organise this symposium. I hope we gain lots of inspiration and can contribute to facing the challenges of the present and the future. I will be helping out with the digital side of the project. Hope you enjoy navigating our website!

David Harada
Design Officer

David is based in Texas, U.S. and loves Cambridge. He shares a passion and commitment to make a significant contribution to Mexico and is thrilled and honoured to be part of the Symposium's Organising Committee.

Cristina Acasuso

Morning! I am Cristina, a Mexican passionate about the sea and the interactions between human and non-human animals. I am about to finish my PhD in Animal Welfare & Evolutionary Biology at the Department of Veterinary Medicine. I lost track of where I am from, but I spent my “key-years” (sensitive periods) between Quintana Roo and Cuernavaca, Morelos. During my adult years I have also moved around. I first did a degree in contemporary jewellery in Italy, since I have always been fond of art. Back in Mexico, I developed as a non-human animal trainer and research assistant. This led me to several anthrozoological questions and the need for a related degree. I studied biology in Cuernavaca, molecular genetics in Argentina, Interdisciplinary Sciences in France, conservation in Greece, Philosophy and Statistics in Paris, moved to Australia, and then came to the UK. I strongly believe in Mexico and think that this Symposium plays a part in the advancement of the country. My role is to implement the operation of the Symposium, as part of the logistics team. Even if Cambridge provides already an extraordinary setting for this meeting, our team is taking care of the details! Hope to see you here Challenging ideas about Mexico and the World! Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if I may be of any help.