Our Project on a TimelineThe team met for the first time on March 6, 2020. Throughout spring and summer, we worked on brainstorming project ideas, going through the deliverables, past projects, and forming subgroups to divide the work evenly. Due to the coronavirus, we could not enter the lab until July, so we focused our attention on designing parts, primers, and how to do dry lab modeling, outreach, and human practices. Covid-19 posed a challenge for us throughout the year. Naturally, this meant lost time in the lab. This was compensated for by interacting with the stakeholders of CIDosis. Stakeholders such as doctors, researchers, and patient groups. We also began our journey on how to translate a scientific idea into a biotech/medtech start-up. All these experiences have enriched our iGEM journey, and for that, we would sincerely like to thank the iGEM Foundation. The atmosphere within the team, the meet-ups, cabin trip, and the work itself has made this journey worth it, and for that, we have several people to thank for!
Our AccomplishmentsThe iGEM team conducted meetings, performed lab work, and had an office at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN) at University of Copenhagen (UCPH).
At UCPH, iGEM is not a course, but an independent team project guided by PLEN department employees. It has been a continuous shuffling between human practice research and interviews, scientific development and innovation throughout the summer.
Everything on our wiki is done by ourselves unless otherwise stated. The filming and editing of our promotion and presentation videos is done exclusively by our team. However, we have included inputs from our advisors in regards to the storyline.
LabEveryone on our team has helped in the lab, cloning, transforming, running PCRs and gels, DNA extraction etc. However, our two main lab coordinators Emil and David have been instrumental for the success of our experiments! David, especially, has been really good at establishing the experiments for our designs and both have been working day and night to make sure that we could get as many results as possible in the very limited laboraty time we had this year. Due to logistics of ordering, our supervisors helped with ordering most of our primers from the local distributor Taq Copenhagen, but all primers have been designed by ourselves. All of the constructs for our 3 designs have been designed by us. The supervisors has helped look over the parts pages before the wiki freeze.
Project ManagementWe have had a non-hierarchical team structure; thus, everyone has been part of all main decision on the team, and our focus has been on a collected management of our project and shared responsibilities. Our project coordinators, Aje and Jan, allowed the team to flourish by taking on the hard responsibilities of deadlines and planning. They also spent time listening individually to the team members and managing any conflicts from arising.
WikiEveryone on our team has written the wiki! Without the contributions from everybody the wiki would not have been what it is today. Still, we would like to attribute the main design and structure of our wiki to our wiki coordinators Aje, Victoria and Emil. They have pulled a heavy load, learning how to code in different languages so that we can all share our results in style! They dedicated days and nights in ensuring we documented every effort and milestone, get the colour scheme right and maintain uniformity through all the different sections.
Human practiceEveryone has been a part of shaping the pathway for our human practice. Although the entire team reached out to different contributors of our project, the main work has been done by our HP coordinators Endre, Ignacio and Shivani. They made sure our surveys were sent out, the data was analysed, and the information conveyed to the lab and entrepreneurship team so they could make the necessary modifications based on the input we received.
Dry labAlthough the modelling goals have been formulated in a shared effort, the execution of our modelling work has been carried out in great deal by our main dry lab coordinator Vit, who took care of our modelling using MATLAB, Rosetta, with help in parts from Aje, Jan and David.
Funding & EntrepreneurshipAlthough many of us contributed in various ways to the funding efforts, we would like to attribute our success in part to the funding coordinators Victoria and Ignacio, who with help from the rest of the funding team, Vit and Endre, carried out majority of our funding applications. All four, in addition to Shivani, also contributed to the entrepreneurship completed in the project. Victoria, Ignacio, Vit, Shivani and Emil also joined the SUND Hub Incubator Program to learn the ropes of biotech start-ups.
OutreachThanks to our coordinator Shivani for managing our social media and outreach. The outreach team oversaw the different social media: WordPress and Facebook - Shivani, Instagram - Aje, Twitter – Emil, LinkedIn - Jan.
Project support and advice
Sotirios Kampranis,Associate Professor at PLEN
Sotirios is an Associate Professor at the Section of Plant Biochemistry. He has helped us immensely throughout the iGEM season – he sat in on our meetings, guided us through the brainstorming process, advised us on valuable input on applicability and viability, helped us to design our science experiments and also provided us with an iGEM workspace, materials and equipment, training and guidance in his lab to conduct experiments. He has also helped us in our applications for funding and ideating the promotional and presentation videos. We are so grateful to him for his support and approachable nature!
Karel Miettinen,Postdoc at PLEN
Karel is a postdoc working with Sotirios at PLEN. As our secondary PI, Karel has been very invested in our project. We have been in daily contact with him regarding all matters of scientific planning. He has provided us with immense scientific guiding and an uplifting spirit in the lab. He knows all there is to know about yeast, and his well of knowledge has helped the lab team advance throughout the project.
Advisers and instructors
Nanna Heinz,Center coordinator at PLEN
Nanna has been our team mentor throughout the year. She has helped us establish trust in the team and define a structure in which we could all be an equal part of the team and project direction. She has been an important part of our daily iGEM life, guiding our idea process, setting up meeting-structures, and facilitating a healthy, independent team environment. She has offered her advice on a number of issues throughout the project and aided a great deal in our management of iGEM deadlines and deliverables. She has single-handedly managed our HR and bridged the road for the team from strangers to friends, whilst helping us maintain a safe environment to put forth our ideas and motivating us during the tough times.
Jon Fugl,Ph.D at PLEN and former iGEMer (InCell 2017)
Jon used his experience as an iGEMer to guide us during our idea development phase. He has provided us with valuable advice and support, even hosting a workshop for us on biobricks early on in our process.
Cecilie Cetti Hansen,Ph.D at PLEN and former iGEMer (UNIK 2014)
Cecilie is a former iGEM member and has experience with mentoring in multiple aspects of an iGEM project. She has given us valuable advice on how to go about human practices, Wiki, and outreach.
Nattawat Leelahakorn,Ph.D at PLEN and former iGEMer (PharMARSy, 2018)
Nattawat has helped the lab team immensely with everything from troubleshooting, mastering new techniques and finding the right materials in lab. We are thankful that he was there to help us out even when we were working till late at night!
Jonas Hansen,Master student at PLEN and former iGEMer (Ovulaid, 2019)
Jonas has been instrumental in helping us navigate in the lab and has shared his experience from last year to help us make 'new' mistakes.
Iben Egebæk Nikolajsen,Master student at PLEN and former iGEMer (Ovulaid, 2019)
Iben gave us extensive advice on funding, management, human practices as well as outreach and sat in on a few meetings to help guide us. She has also provided us with a lot of moral support!
General support at PLEN
Tilla Augusta Engelsted,Laboratory Coordinator, PLEN
Tilla has been extremely helpful in giving the iGEM team safety tours and ensuring we had access to registers where we could order any lab materials we needed. She was also instrumental in giving us access to the lab so that the entire team could try some science in action whilst adhering to the restrictions due to Covid-19!
Jette HøjgårdSection Secretary, PLEN
Thank you, Jette, for helping us with administrative tasks, easing our conversations at the PLEN office and taking care of funding for our social and educational activities!
Other employees at PLENThank you, Kirsten Jørgensen, for helping us with our project approval. Thank you, Birger Lindberg Møller (Professor and Head, Center for Synthetic Biology) for believing in us, and for supporting us during the entirety of the project. Thank you, Annett, for your valuable advice on public engagement and tips on entrepreneurship. Thank you to Claudia Lassen (Ovulaid, 2019) for giving us advice on how to do wiki in the early stages of our project. Workshop with Irini and Simon are researchers at our host lab in PLEN. The workshop held by Irini Pateraki (Assistant Professor, PLEN) and Simon Louis Théodore A Dusséaux (PostDoc, PLEN) taught us about cloning strategies and how to simulate on a supercomputer. They made the science behind synthetic biology more understandable. Thank you to both of them!
Human Practice SupportHuman Practices is all about help from others. We are grateful to everyone whom we interviewed and gave us input for our integrated human practices. Furthermore, we would also like to thank SynEthics and the iGEM Lund team for helping us curate the Ethics Guide.
AppWe would like to attribute our app idea to the work previously done by Ovulaid in 2019. They developed the groundwork for an app to analyze color intensity on an image.
Funding & Entrepreneurship support
We would like to thank SUND Hub, the innovation and incubation hub for start-up coming out of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, for allowing us to be part of their annual SUND Hub Incubator Program and giving us opportunities to meet people who can help us develop a business model and methods to target customers. We would especially like to thank Peter Løvschall and Anna Vestergård Jacobsen, who are currently heading the place, for putting us in contact with experts who helped us answer important questions in our project. You can read more about our interactions with entrepreneurial experts here.
Other expertsWe would like to help the experts we interviewed in our Entrepreneurial journey.
Caroline Lærke Oldin Student Assistant at Ambu, specialised in medical devices
Hanne Dalsgaard MSc Environmental Engineering, DTU
Rasmus Kvist & Helene Robertsen Patent attorneys, AWA
Claus Rømer CEO, Rømer Consulting
You can find more about their contribution in theEntrepreneurship page.
Lab and Modelling Support
Marcus Meydom Ryding,Former iGEM'er from Technical University of Denmark
Marcus was kind enough to give us a workshop about characterization and standardization of parts early on. His input helped our understanding of modelling and dry lab.
Kurt Valentin Mikkelsen,Professor at University of Copenhagen
He helped us with access to a supercomputer for modelling our Rosetta data.
Andreas Erbs Hillers-Bendtsen,MSc at University of Copenhagen
He helped us with access to a supercomputer for modelling our Rosetta data.
Ant Andrews,Influencer, @idblife
Ant was kind enough to talk about his disease in our presentation.
Jessica Chrzan,Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) patient
Jessica was kind enough to talk about her disease in our presentation.
Distribution of SurveyWe would like to thank everyone who has helped us distribute our survey. This includes: Kronisk-syg (Facebook), iGEM IISER Berhampur, Colitis-Crohn Foreningen (CCF) and Association For Autoimmune Diseases (FAIM).