Team:Rio UFRJ Brazil/Collaborations


Collaborations Session

Throughout the competition we have talked with some iGEM teams to exchange ideas about our projects and help each other. Also we had the opportunity to participate in some programs and events such as the Brazilian Symposium on Synthetic Biology, the LATAM iGEM Fest and the iGEM Mentorship Program, where we could network with other teams and learn even more with other fellow igemmers! Below are listed the collaborations we had!


Since it is our first time on iGEM, we have decided to register ourselves in the iGEM Mentorship program in order to better understand how the competition works and receive advice regarding planning, deliverables and awards. Thus in the end of May we started to have meetings with our assigned mentor, Jorge Luis Hernandez Ayala, from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, who has helped us a lot with questions we had regarding.


We met once in June to discuss our projects, especially since we both were evaluating using an electrochemical approach for signal transduction. We already had some knowledge about it because of our partnership with a laboratory in UFRJ Institute of Chemistry that had this expertise. Thus we could help the Calgary team with some advice regarding the redox label to use, probe immobilization techniques and also we sent them some papers and protocol suggestions.


We have met twice to discuss our iGEM projects. Since both our projects involved designing chimeric proteins for diagnostics, the conversation was really fruitful. The team suggested to us in our first meeting to use the software ClusPro for protein-protein docking and we incorporated analysis with this software in the modeling part of our project to better evaluate the interaction of the multi-epitope protein and the anti-Dengue/ anti-Zika antibodies (Check our modeling page for more details). Also, we Talked later to refine the parameters we used in the docking and this really helped us to run better simulations and also to interpret better the results we obtained. At last, they gave us some valuable suggestions regarding topics to include in our chimeric protein guide to be used for future iGEMers.


Similar to the Calgary team, they had contacted us in order to discuss electrochemical detection ideas, methods and protocols. We gave them some advice regarding their electrode design and also discussed immobilization techniques. Later in August, since they told us that they had experience with 3D printing, we asked them if they could help us to design a mask that would optimize the process of printing our Screen Printed Electrodes, and they gladly accepted. At last we also helped by giving them some experimental data so they could test the model they built in order to design a DIY potentiostat. It really was a helpful collaboration for both parties and that is why we evolved it into a partnership.


Their team was elaborating an iGEM beginner guide so they were interviewing some teams in order to collect advice and information that might be helpful for people facing the competition for the first time. We were one of those teams interviewed by them and we spoke about our challenges with running experiments during pandemics, also since we are a small team compared to others, we highlighted the importance of planning and organization to deal with all the deliverables and activities executed during iGEM.

Brazilian Symposium for Synthetic Biology

Previously known as the Jamboré Brasuca (a reference to the iGEM Giant Jamboree), the Symposium is an annual event dedicated to Synthetic Biology discussion and networking with the professionals working in the area. The meeting also has a session for iGEM team presentations and we have participated in it showing them our projects and also interacting with other Brazilian teams to exchange ideas and feedback.


If I could define the Latan Fest in one word, it would be communion. In order to prepare the brazilian part of the Latin Cinema we worked together with other brazilian teams, which permitted to create new friendships and also known a little more about the reality of different parts of our country, that is quite big.

On the event, we were able to watch presentations and interact with many Latin American teams. Also sharing our research to so many people and receiving a nice feedback was fantastic and motivated us even more to do a great project. On the Latin Cinema, watching different parts of latin american countries culture and geography was really fantastic, we enjoyed and learned a lot. So, if could define all of this in one word, no word fits better than communion.


The team was organizing a High School Academic Olympics for Synthetic Biology and thus were contacting teams in order to help them elaborate some questions for this competition. We gladly accepted their proposal and contributed with five questions.

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