I’ve been responsible for the designs behind the kill switches. I’ve contributed in the wet lab, mainly in molecular cloning, and in particular, with the Synbiota parts. Additionally, I’ve been active in our outreach part of the project, making presentations for GCSE students, and writing our blog.
I’ve been working on considerations of project safety, including physical containment and kill switch options, as well as ensuring that lab practices follow the safety protocols outlined by our demonstrator. I’ve also been in the wet lab, focussing mainly on molecular cloning. I’ve helped in outreach as well, helping to create presentations for summer schools, and helping to promote our project on social media. Finally, I’ve helped to code up the wiki.
As chief chemist I have been in charge of making beads to encapsulate the bacteria (and vodka) as well as having far too much fun making up litres and litres of fluorescent solutions. I have been part of the interface between the wet-lab and the modeling by producing experimental data on the diffusion rates out of the beads. Along with my time in the wet-lab I have contributed to ensuring all of our content is coded up for the wiki; as well as taking artsy pictures for the headers.
Last summer I spent six weeks interning in a UTI clinic and laboratory, and so this summer I’ve spent 13 weeks attempting to destroy the very part of those those patients’ urine samples that brought me such happiness. In particular, I engaged in Human Practices outreach with Doctors and patients at the only UTI clinic in the country and when not doing that I threw a little of my fairy stardust onto the wet lab in the form of PCRs and Cell culturing as well as secret handshakes.
I've been involved mostly with outreach and public engagement. This has been through the production of videos and visits to a local hospital. I've also been part of the day to day work in the wetlab, as well as helping design assets for the poster, presentation and wiki.
As our friendly neighbourhood biologist I’ve been looking into how our final product might interact with the ecology of the urinary tract microbiome and the immune system, as well as whether such problems might be tractable within the scope of our project. I have also been working regularly in the wet-lab, with my focus being on toxicity and biofilm assays.
I’ve been mainly working on culture and image taking of interlab fluorescence microscopy, as well as loading fluorescence and toxicity 96 well assay and retrieving data for them. I have helped in policy & practice section of our project by contacting and meeting synthetic biology experts to comment on our project.
I am a member of the modeling duo and have designed and built our team's wiki. Working in the shadow of Will, star of viral sensation; Modeling with Will, I have been producing gene-expression and diffusion models. Additionally, I have helped with outreach and interviews for our practices section.
Leader from the start similar to that of a deity it might be difficult to overstate the contribution made to this project by Raffy. An avid reader of literature during project choice and development and a master biobrick builder on SnapGene Raffy’s contribution continued through to the practical fulfillment of our ideas. Even if she is covert in her acquisition of coffee from Elaine’s office she was not with her hard work in the lab, on the wiki and in organising us as a team.
Despite his degree designation clearly stating "Chemistry", Leon has long fallen to the dark side since taking iGEM on and now chiefly regards himself as a synthetic biologist through-and-through.
When Raffy is occupied with other engagements, the helm of the team is typically Leon's to take up, but being the team's resident lab nerd/guru he'd mostly rather be left alone by the bench to think about new experiments. Leon was the mastermind behind the bulk of the experimental molecular and microbiology, having been responsible for the literature review and BioBrick design together with Raffy since the project's inception, all the way through to the planning, delegation, and execution of the characterization experiments for the genetic constructs along with the associated data analyses.
When not growing on trees, I am usually somewhere in the lab running microscopy and plate reader experiments for the interlab study and processing the subsequent data. Have also attempted to make contact with teams in other countries for collaboration efforts; these attempts bore fruits on a few occasions as can be viewed on our collaborations page.
Over the summer I have been working regularly in the wet lab, particularly on cloning procedure and Western Blotting. I have been writing articles for our blog page, including a piece on the first GM human embryo. I have designed our project poster, as well as coded various elements of the wiki. My favourite outreach experience was talking to UNIQ summer school, and seeing what they thought of our project!
As the second member of the modeling crew - and physicist-in-residence - you’ll either find me preaching to the biochemists about error bars or coding up our gene expression and diffusion models. I also helped present a workshop on synthetic biology.
Thanks to lab experience prior to iGEM, I was the team's chief molecular cloner. When not reigning as the Miniprep Queen, I made initial contact with local hospitals, taught at the UNIQ summer school workshop and successfully avoided making agarose gels with water. This holding of royal office culminated in being on BBC Radio for a grand total of 7 minutes on the day of the lab’s electrical shutdown.
George Wadhams’ research interests lie in how bacteria sense and integrate environmental information. His group focuses on understanding in a quantitative manner how multiple, homologous pathways operate in individual cells and how the components of these pathways can be used to create synthetic pathways.
For optimum growth bacteria must adapt to their environment, one way to do this is by moving towards advantageous conditions. To do this they must be able to both move and to control the direction of that movement. The signaling pathways that control this directionality form into large arrays of receptors and kinases. The best studied arrays contain transmembrane receptors, however many species also contain arrays that are non-transmembrane and therefore in the cytoplasm. My work focuses on the cytoplasmic chemoreceptor array of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Looking at both how the array is formed and stabilised without the presence of a membrane and how the array is split and segregated prior to cell division insuring faithful inheritance of the complete chemotaxis pathway.
Judy Armitage is interested in the dynamics of bacterial sensory transduction and the control of bacterial motility. In particular, her research group focuses on the communication between the sensory and adaption mechanisms of the two pathways as a model for sensory network integration in general..
Anthony Watts’ group is devising solid state NMR methods for determining high-resolution details of information-rich sites within membrane receptors. Recent focus has been on the neurotensin receptor (NTS1), which is now available highly purified and monodispersed in detergent as well as in a ligand-binding form.
Antonis Papachristodoulou’s research interests include systems and synthetic biology, network systems, aerospace systems and flow control, and convex optimisation. Furthermore, he works on modern control theory, robust stability analysis and design, as well as nonlinear dynamical systems and Lyapunov stability.
Andreas Harris works on the design and implementation of gene regulatory networks harnessing feedback to increase robustness and tunability. The designs are based around transcriptional networks and attempt to translate well-understood control modules, such as proportional and integral controllers, to biological systems.