Revision as of 05:23, 26 October 2010 by H.dastidar (Talk | contribs)


Spring Workshop Spring workshop was organized by iGEM headquarters on May 29-30. These workshops are organized in all the different continents such as Europe, North America and Asia. This year the Canadian workshop was organized at the University of Calgary. The main purpose of the iGEM workshop was to provide new iGEM students with background about synthetic biology and iGEM in general. There were workshops that covered general concepts ranging from synthetic biology to biobricks, wiki design, using the registry of standard parts, submitting parts and the iGEM Jamboree.

Speakers included

Tom Knight One of the founders of Synthetic biology. Tom Knight was responsible for designing the standard biobrick system and co-pioneering the standard digestion and ligation cloning method (also known as biobrick cloning method) that is used widely in synthetic biology. Tom Knight presented a little bit of history of iGEM and the pioneering of standard biological parts that came about from a group of engineers including himself and Drew Endy. Tom Knight also gave an overview of the biobrick cloning method including some tips and tricks that he had encountered over the years that he has been involved in the field of synthetic biology.

Megan Lizarazo Megan Lizarazo is the iGEM Research Technician. She handles most of the shipping and reciving parts as well as communicating and updating all the teams about iGEM related events. During the workshop Megan provided valuable information about how to send DNA parts to the registry.

Barry Canton Barry Canton works in the Endy Lab. He is a previous iGEM alumni. Barry Canton talked about Wiki making, uploading parts information and also taught us about different tips and tricks regarding the wiki. This presentation also included building a wiki for Team: Example which took interesting directions

Randy Retberg Randy Retberg is the director of iGEM competition. He is primarily an engineer and has worked for popular companies such as Sun, IBM etc. RandyRetberg presented on the general notion of syntehtic biology and iGEM. He also talked about future of iGEM and syntehtic biology.

Lethbridge Conference On June 26/27, Alberta Innovates had invited us to attend their student workshop in Lethbridge. Throughout the weekend we were given insight on several areas of our iGEM project. These included marketing, media relations, presentation skills and project ideas and troubleshooting.

Joey Hundert – Marketing/Sponsorship

The first guest speaker at Lethbridge was Joey Hundert. Joey was an amazing resource because of his expertise in entrepreneurship specifically on the field of sustainable development. He broadened our understanding on approaching companies for sponsorship, especially when marketing to companies about the new and innovative field of synthetic biology. This was incredibly useful for our group as none of the undergraduates had prior experiences with the marketing and sponsorship.

Erin Prefontaine and Bob Cooney-Painless Publicity

Next speaker was Erin and Bob, Erin (Communication Officer of Alberta Innovates Tech Futures) and Bob (Communications Officer of University of Lethbridge). They offered an insightful presentation on the precautions necessary when speaking to the media. They provided us with advices on how to approach the media while remaining careful with the choice of our words. Our aim is not to scare them but to provide them the information of why were are doing what we are doing and what are the benefits of the public from our findings. They also suggested we contact Grady Simmons who is involved with the media relations for the University of Calgary.

Anne Marie Downey- Communication

On June 28/2010, our first speaker was Anne Marie Downey. She was a gracious, talented guest speaker who gave us constructive ideas regarding presentation skills. Some of the keypoints of the presentation were Communication skills, Developing the Content in the powerpoint, Purpose of using visuals and Managing the Response. During her presentation, every team practiced their short “Elevators Pitch” to explain their project to the general public while the audience analyzed and suggested ways to improve this Elevators Pitch of our project. Her presentation was extremely beneficial for the team which was evident by the improvement in presentation of the short summary description of our project as we moved from one member to the other and received constructive feedback from Anne Marie and also other students of Lethbridge University and University of Alberta. We were also given a “Communication That Works” booklet to help us in the future with Presentation Skills.

Andrew Hessel

Andrew Hessel has been the iGEM Ambassador at MIT and currently he is the Co-Chair of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology at Singular University. He was the last presenter of the day, but just as useful as the other speaker sessions we had. He gave us suggestions on various subjects: Wet lab, marketing and promotion to name a few. He strongly suggested that we approach Oil Sands Companies for sponsorship.