From the beginning of our iGEM journey, when we were still brainstorming project ideas, it was a dream for all of our team members to be a part of one of the biggest, global scientific communities by doing something worthwhile. Now, when we have completed most of the project, we realized that this dream was made possible by the selfless efforts of several people. Undoubtedly without their patience, nothing would have moved so far. We offer our sincere and honest thanks to everyone – for being a part of our dream.
The support by Prof. KVR Chary (Director, IISER Berhampur) has been our driving force to move ahead despite all the limitations and challenges in this unique year, which also happens to be our first year at iGEM. We extend our sincere gratitude to Prof. Yogendra Sharma (Dy. Director, IISER Berhampur), who has been motivating us throughout the project.
Our Principal Investigators
The roadmap was charted with a spark from our Primary Project Instructor - Dr. R Selvi Bharathavikru. The dimension and rhythm of this project were shaped with her guidance and timely supervision. The contribution made by Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee (Secondary Project Investigator) and his research group were integral to the computational aspects of the project.
The Helping Hands
We may like to express our sincere thanks to Dr Sunita Patel(Visiting scientist II, CEBS Mumbai) for constantly guiding and supporting us to carry out Molecular Dynamics Simulation. She helped us develop our skills in molecular dynamics simulation from scratch. She was always there to rectify all our doubts and constantly connected to us over video conferences every week to have a discussion on what has been done and has to be done.
We acknowledge Dr. Malay Kumar Rana for instructions in molecular docking and other simulations who has been of colossal support in providing extremely valuable assistance.
We extend our gratitude to Dr. Vinay Bulusu (Assistant Professor, IISER Berhampur) for his insights on our wet lab, especially in imaging and fluorescence quantification. A special note for his generosity in providing the optimisation plasmid, and competent cells for the preliminary molecular work.
Our special regards to Dr. Mukund Ramakrishnan (Assistant Professor, IISER Berhampur) and to his research team for giving us the freedom and assistance to use their research lab facilities at any time.
We are grateful to Dr. Prabhat Singh (Scientific Officer, IISER Berhampur), Dr. Bal Krishan (National Post-Doc, IISER Berhampur) and Dr. Jose Sebastian (Assistant Professor, IISER Berhampur) for scientific and resource assistance. The help from Jeetendra Mohapatra and Akash Jain guided us to get in touch with different companies and organizations.
We were fortunate to interview and interact with professionals from the Medical, Research and Governmental sectors; their comments and inputs helped us to visualize the project from multiple dimensions. Dr. Rindu Ravendran (Medical Doctor, Kerala), Dr. Blessy Varghese (Medical Officer, IISER Berhampur) shared their experiences and expertise in the epidemiological aspects regarding Dengue infection.
In the field of research, the interviews of Prof. Sudhir Krishna, (Professor, NCBS Bengaluru) and his research group, especially Dr. Arun Sankaradoss and Dr. Meenakshi Iyer helped us get a broader idea on research areas of Dengue.
The interaction with Dr. Gulam H Syed (Scientist, Institute of Life Sciences) Dr. Bharath Srinivasan (Researcher, AstraZeneca) aided in understanding the drug development process.
It was nearly an impossible task to engage with the public during the pandemic but as part of Human practices, we conducted an awareness drive in low-resource regions near our Institute. It was effectively coordinated by Mr. Madan Mohan Padhy (Student Affairs’ staff, IISER Berhampur). Mr. Satya Siva Shankar Rao K (Assistant Security Officer, IISER Berhampur), Mr. Uttam Das (BS-MS Biology undergrad) and Mr. Amit Kumar Padhi (Transportation staff) also helped in communicating with the local dwellers with strict compliance of COVID-19 protocols. The outreach activities were possible with the crowdfunding campaign which was supported overwhelmingly by various known and unknown names and we are grateful for their contribution.
We remember you always: The small and big contributions
With the pandemic forcing many of us to leave the campus, it is because of the support by many individuals, that the essence of the project was kept alive. We appreciate Subhasish Halder, Tanya Verma, Rabi Shankar Pal (Research Scholars), Iwin Joseph (BS-MS Biology undergrad), Dipak Kumar Maharana and Saurabh Singh (Staffs, Computer Centre) for their support in various activities throughout the project. Thanks a ton to Tribhuvan Parida (Research Scholar) and Aswin Vijayan (BS-MS Physics undergrad) for helping us with the modelling part. Loud applause to Surabhi Chandra, Asutosh Behera and Aiendrila Roy (all are BS-MS Biology undergrads) for their helping hands in the lab. The designing of effective promotional activities was aided by Manish Dwari (BS-MS Biology undergrad) and Sadanjeet Kumar Kar (BS-MS biology undergrad).
We believe that to reach out to each and everyone, effective science communication can play a pivotal role. This thought led to the Synthetic Biology Blog - “Syntillate”. This venture turned out to be fruitful, because of the articles from our friends and colleagues who contributed earnestly as authors. We take a moment to thank Harshita Mahajan, Kunjulakshmi R, Kanika Phagna, Shiviya Raina, Anuska Mohapatra, Mayurakshi Das (all are BS-MS Biology undergrads), Nabendu S Mishra, Gayathry Thampi (BS-MS Physics undergrads), Ankita Misra (BS-MS Chemistry undergrad), Akankshya Sahu, Pratyush Mishra (BS-MS undergrads). Along with this, we also thank our integrated PhD Scholars Rohan Nath, Nishad Gosavi, Sunil Dhasmana and Gautham Srinivasan who contributed to Syntillate just within a few days of joining IISER Berhampur. Our warm regards to NGSF (Next Gen Scientist Foundation) and THQ (The Qrius Rhino) blogging platforms for publishing our synthetic biology articles that made our venture reach a broader audience.
We are grateful to various organizations/companies who came forward to extend generous financial support for our activities. We thank SnapGene and MatLab for providing free licenses to their premium tools. We thank Eppendorf for the financial support. We really appreciate the support from Genscript (MolecularCloud) for providing us with a platform to convey our thoughts to a larger audience via their interview session and we also greatly value their sponsorship. We also extend our thanks to New England BioLabs, Twist BioScience and Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) for supporting us with cloning reagents and oligonucleotides.
We appreciate the collaborations with other iGEM teams and their participation in our activities. Assistance from iGEM Headquarters that helped us to resolve many hurdles and we sincerely thank the entire foundation for being with us.
The Dreamers: Team members
Team spirit has helped us to navigate through all our hurdles. The contribution by each team member has helped in effective utilization of the pandemic enforced lockdown.
Each member with their unique skillset helped us divide the work and accomplish the first phase of the project effectively. This division also led each member to explore the project in-depth and learn new things by exploring this exciting field.
The specific area where the members have contributed most:
Sukanya Chakraborty- Wet Lab , Science Communication , Designs , Safety , Documentation
Gokul Bhaskaran- Wet Lab , Science Communication , Sponsorship , Public Relation , Documentation
Vinayak S- Animations , Poster Designs , Graphics , Video Editing , Human Practices
Harish Kumar Senapati- Modelling , Data mining , Molecular Structural Construction , Interview session coordinator
Chitrak Bhowmik- Modelling , Documentation , Analytics , Presentation
Sudev Pradhan- Wiki-Head , Modelling , Epidemiology , Simulations , Coding , Data Analysis
Gyanaranjan Parida- Team Lead , Social Media , Collaboration coordinator , Human Practices , Crowdfunding
Deepjyoti Satpathy- Modelling , Simulations , Epidemiology , Data mining , Analytics
Gokul Madhav- Wet Lab , Science Communication , Notebook Documentation , Safety
U Abinash Patro- Dry Lab , Documentation , Language Translation , Promotional Campaigning
Tanishta Bhattacharya- Modelling , Science communication , Analytics
Neehar Verma- Coding , Wiki-Head , Simulations
Kingkini Roychoudhury- Wet Lab , Modelling , Science Communication , Illustrations , Designs
Prachiti Vithole- Human Practice , Designs , Presentation , Expert Interviews
Sayantani Biswas- Creative Head , Logo , Wiki page , Animations , Designs , Human Practice
We realize our dreams were given wings, by many people including eminent scientists, administrative staff, family and friends. We have enjoyed interacting with all these wonderful people and in bringing to you our first phase of our first ever venture at iGEM. Thank you each and everyone for being with us.