Team:Hong Kong HKU/education

HKU EVOLVE - Education


Advising the younger generation of scientists

Our team mentored two high school iGEM teams this year, the Hong_Kong_HCY 2020 team as well as the HKIS 2021 iGEM team.
In the HCY mentorship, one of our members, Kenneth, is working closely as an advisor to give suggestions to his alma mater team, dealing with the biofuel contamination problem.

The mentorship could trace back to 2018, where Kenneth brings the iGEM competition back to his high school to provide a jumping board to university applications and research opportunities for students from his alma mater. In the early phase of the project in 2020, Kenneth visited the school on weekends to meet-up and brainstorm project titles and held several talks and workshops for new HCY iGEM members. In the later phase, due to covid, project planning is mostly virtual. In the end, they were able to identify the root cause being the biofilm, which causes biocin resistance. In the end, the HCY team can identify several approaches to inhibit biofilm formation with a cell free lysate approach.
For the HKIS 2021 mentorship, Kenneth provided several weeks of basic lab training for two HKIS team members in Dr. Zhang Jiangwen's laboratory in early summer. However, it discontinued in July due to Covid-19 waves. They still strived to brainstorm the project titles for next year and do pervasive paper research for several potential topics with remote settings.

Online course on Synthetic Biology

We have always wanted to promote Synthetic Biology at our university. We believe that students from all backgrounds (science or non-science) could join us to share the joy of modelling and engineering microorganisms to serve different purposes. Moreover, we would like to offer some unconventional courses at our school which provide fresh ideas and current advancements in the field. We wish to keep challenging and bombarding ourselves and our students and make Synthetic Biology more recognisable.

We therefore launched the Online Synthetic Biology course, targeting all interested students. Students from different schools and department could join and share the joy of learning Synthetic Biology.

We have hosted our first lesson virtually on Oct 24th, 2020. Participants were engaging and interact with us in a packed 1-hour lecture. We gained over 80 views both live and on Youtube. Whole lecture could be viewed on Youtube by clicking here or down below on the picture.

We introduced some knowledge of basic biology and Synthetic Biology and all sorts of application of Synbio. We also briefly touched on the topics of ethics in Synbio with examples of human gene editing. We believe ethics in research and Synbio should be an important element in our syllabus.

The first lecture will be a pilot test of our future series of online synbio lectures. We would promote our courses on an education platform in HKU and youtube and promote to all interested people.

Here is our course outline, and the list of related resources we compiled~