Astroyeast - Accelerating outer space exploration through synthetic biology !-- Title end -->


Meet our Collaborators

We worked with iGEM Team members, academic researchers, industry leaders, and community representatives. Our collaborations strengthened the design, execution, and the science communication components of our project.

iGEM Team
Researchers and industry
Community groups

Science Communication Collaborations

In collaboration with iGEM ULaval, academic researchers, and industry leaders, we hosted two online panel discussions on sustainable nutrient production on Earth and in space.

2020 ULaval iGEM Team

Affiliation: Laval Univeristy, Quebec

Sustainable nutrient production

Synthetic biology

This year, iGEM ULaval and iGEM Concordia are both using genetically engineered micro-organisms to tackle the food sustainability problem. Seeing that we are both passionate about educating the public on the importance of synthetic biology in solving some of the food industry issues that are taxing our environment, we co-organized and hosted two successful online panel discussions on the topic of synthetic biology applications for sustainable food production on Earth and in space. With over 150 attendees, these events sparked a fruitful exchange between iGEM members, industry leaders, academic researchers, and sustainability groups members.

Collaboration Notebook

iGEM ULaval wiki

Learn more about our panel discussions
Michael Selden

Affiliation: Co-Founder and CEO of Finless Foods

Sustainable food production

Cellular agriculture

Michael Selden was a speaker in our online on panel discussion on August 19th. He discussed how Finless Foods uses cellular agriculture to produce fresh, delicious, and sustainable seafood for everyone...

learn more about our panel discussion
Dr. Luchino Cohen

Affiliation: Senior Space Exploration Scientist at the Canadian Space Agency, Paris XI University

Space Exploration

Experiments on the ISS

Dr. Cohen gave the introductory speech to our online Canadian Mini Jamboree. He discussed the importance of synthetic biology in advancing outer space exploration by providing innovative solutions to challenges faced by the Canadian Space Agency...

learn more about our Mini Jamboree

Dr. Karen McDonald

Affiliation: NASA, Division Lead at the Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space, UC Davis

Biomanufacturing in space

Microgravity research

Dr. McDonald was a speaker in our online panel discussion on September 3rd. She discussed how her research group is using plants can be used as "drug factories" to biomanufacture medicine in space...

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Dr. Michelle Oeser

Affiliation: R&D manager at Lallemand

Yeast strain improvement

Biomanufacturing nutrients

Dr. Oeser was a speaker in our online panel discussion on August 19th. She discussed sustainable research and development initiatives at Lallemand and the range of biomanufacturing applications in yeast offered by this global leader...

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Morgan Irons

Affiliation: Founder and Chief Science Officer of Deep Space Ecology, Cornell University

Microorganisms in microgravity

Space farming

Morgan Irons was a speaker in on our online panel discussion on September 3rd. She discussed the importance of using quasi-closed, agroecological systems for sustainability in extreme environments and long duration space habitation...

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Ahmed Khan

Affiliation: Founder at CellAgri

Cellular Agriculture

Science Communication

Ahmed Khan was a speaker in our online panel discussion on August 19th. He discussed the importance of cellular agriculture in future of food as a sustainable solution for the food production industry...

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Scot Bryson

Affiliation: Founder of Orbital Farms

Space Farming

Synthetic Biology

Scot gave the introductory speech to our online Canadian Mini Jamboree on the second day of the weekend-long event. He discussed the importance of the role of synthetic biology in building closed loop farms that can produce food & vaccines anywhere on earth today and in space.

learn more about our Mini Jamboree
Dr. Marie Filteau

Affiliation: Research & professor at University of Laval, Food Science

Sustainable nutrient production

Synthetic Biology

Food scientist Marie Filteau was a speaker in our online panel discussion on September 3rd. She discussed the use of synthetic biology in improving the quality of maple syrup and reducing waste...

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4th Space

Affiliation: Concordia University

Science Communication

4th space was also a co-host of our online panel discussion on both dates. They setup online event registration and the zoom webinar. They also connected us with Concordia News for event promotion and they moderated the technical aspects on zoom...

learn more about our panel discussion
Women in STEM

Affiliation: Concordia University



We collaborated with Women in STEM for a "hashtag" social media campaign to raise awareness about STEM women in our own team and our university STEM departments. More information can be found in our inclusion page.

learn more about our collaboration

InterLab Collaborations

We have collaborated with a number of researchers from around the world to build our microgravity simulator, design our wet lab experiments, and build our AstroBio software and web application.

Dr. Richard Barker

Affiliation: NASA's GeneLab, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Dr. Richard Barker collaborated with us on the development of AstroBio. Specifically, he directed us in implementing meta-analytics of our transcriptomics datasets to help illustrate the differences and similarities of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in various biological states that complement his work with Arabidopsis thaliana. Dr. Barker also showed us various resources for processing RNAseq data and interactive visualizations that he developed for NASA's Gene Lab. He also suggested best practices for employing these methods. We will continue to seek his advice to better understand the needs and concerns of microgravity researchers.

Dr. Corey Nislow

Affiliation: NASA, University of British Columbia, Genetic Networks LLC




We will be testing Dr. Nislow’s disposable rotating wall vessels next year in tandem with our microgravity experiments to help standardize his innovation, as well as to compare results with our microgravity simulators. Dr. Nislow has also generously agreed to share his protocols for space applications such as freeze-drying and RNA-later testing for cell fixation. We will be continuously consulting him and his lab as we progress.

Dr. Brandiff Caron

Affiliation: Assistant Professor and Associate Chair, Centre for Engineering in Society at Concordia University

Ethical and social implications

We collaborated with Dr. Brandiff Caron to conduct our Real-Time Technology Assessment (RTTA) in order to analyze the ethical, legal, and social implications of AstroYeast. We had an initial meeting where he explained how the RTTA works and once we performed our research, we presented our findings and he provided us with constructive feedback and advice on how to ensure the safe of our project. The RTTA collaboration can be found here.

Dr. Edval Rodrigues de Viveiros

Affiliation: Centro Universitáro Católico Salesiano Auxilium - Araçatuba, Brazil, University of Paris 8

Engineering microgravity simulators


We consulted Dr. Edval Rodrigues de Viveiros as part of our background research for building a microgravity simulator. Dr. Rodriguez generously shared his previous designs with us, discussed important engineering considerations, and shared tips and lessons learned from his early designs. He is also advising us during the engineering process of our microgravity simulator throughout 2020 and 2021.

Education Collaborations

In collaboration with iGEM judges and committee members, District 3, and the STEM Fellowship, we hosted the Canadian Mini Jamboree. Other iGEM Teams attended a number of free workshops offered by our collaborators.

Patrick Wu

Affiliation: Patrick Wu, iGEM Executive Judging Committee

Web & Graphic Design

Science Communication

At our Canadian Mini Jamboree, Patrick lead a workshop on graphic design for iGEM's deliverables. He provided design techniques that help iGEMers enhance their messaging and clearly communicate their ideas...

read more about our Mini Jamboree
District 3

Affiliation: District 3, Concordia University


Pitching for success

District 3 offered a workshop on pitching for success during our Mini Jamboree. They provided a plethora of resources and interactive exercises to our iGEM audience to help them communicate complicated synthetic biology concepts in a clear, concise and effect way...

read more about our Mini Jamboree

Asal Golshaie

Affiliation: iGEM Diversity and Inclusion Committee



Asal conducted a workshop during our Mini Jamboree on how to build an inclusive iGEM project. She shared a number informative examples and tips that helped our participants understand how to incorporate inclusion within their research groups...

read more about our Mini Jamboree
Danya Kallas

Affiliation: STEM Fellowship, Concordia University

Science Communication


Danya Kallas gave a workshop on empowering young scientists with scientific research skills and teaching them how to visually communicate their research findings effectively. She demonstrated the DOs and DONTs of scientific poster design...

read more about Mini Jamboree

Our 2020-2021 iGEM project is generously supported by

Gold Partners

Copyright 2020 iGEM Concordia