Team:Mexico-UNAM-CINVESTAV/Human Practices/Workshop




In a joint effort to promote synthetic biology among the new generation of students in Mexico, our team participated in the organization of the First Mexican Synthetic Biology Summer Workshop (Primer Taller de Verano de Biología Sintética) that took place in July 2010.

The team representing UNAM in the first synthetic biology workshop.
The first day. Giving us an introduction to the workshop.
Brainstorming at the first week.

This Workshop was organized by students and faculty from Facultad de Ciencias UNAM (Mexico City) and Cinvestav Irapuato (Guanajuato, Mexico). In early 2009, a nation-wide application call was published and distributed among different undergrad programs. After receiving over 90 applications from all over the country, 29 undergraduate students and 7 graduate instructors were selected to participate. The Summer Workshop took place in the modern laboratory facilities of the Laboratorio Nacional de Genomica para la Biodiversidad at Cinvestav Irapuato

Wetlab work, learning how to digest plasmids with the IGEM requested enzimes.
Arriving to the lab early to begin our day activities.
Waiting for ligations or posing for the camera?

The final working team included undergraduate students and graduate instructors from different fields, as well as invited speakers .In total team had 49 individuals participated, representing 13 different Institutions in the country and 10 different state.


Theorical course. It was a headache for everyone, just look.
Discussing the methodology of our lab project.
The final stage, exposing the project at the end of the summer.

During four weeks, we took part of the following activities:

  1. Brainstorming of short synthetic biology projects.
  2. Wetlab implementation of projects with biobricks and iGEM vectors.
  3. Mathematical modeling of biological circuits.
  4. Discussion of human practices, ethical issues, and biotechnology-based business.
  5. Biobricks documentation and handling.
  6. Lectures by invited Speakers who are doing research in different fields related to synthetic biology.
  7. Presentation and discussion of projects at the end of the Summer.

The Workshop was a fantastic experience for all of us, as it boosted the interchange of new and original ideas between members of our team and with students from other schools and programs from all over our country. The future of synthetic biology in Mexico largely depends on the people who are attracted to the field and the quality of their first interaction with it. In this regards, we are positive that all students became much more enthusiastic about synthetic biology after the Summer, including ourselves.

Visit the Workshop Wiki for more information about our activities and projects (In Spanish):