Shae McLaughlin was the Team Leader. She assisted with the design of parts but largely focused on human practices and outreach to ensure learnings from human practices research were integrated into the purpose and design of the project.
Simon Tang was the Head of Wet Lab. Although Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions prevented the team from conducting wet lab research, Simon spearheaded the design of parts and experimental strategy.
Emily Cooper was the Head of Modelling. She assisted with the development of the virtual lab simulator and wiki coding, but focused on modelling the optimal placement of natural transformation genes within our gene cluster parts.
Olivia Gorton was the Head of Web Design. She coded the Virtual Lab Simulator and the entire wiki. Olivia also assisted with human practices and outreach, writing a survey to gather attitudes about genetic engineering, its applications and accessibility barriers.
Alex He was the Head of Outreach. He focused on building collaborations and partnerships with other iGEM teams but also contributed to the experimental design and modelling of natural transformation proteins.
Rhys Michelis was the Head of Dry Lab. He conducted extensive literature reviews to contribute to experimental design and human practices. Rhys also single-handedly adapted and performed all of the songs in our musical educational resource package.
Supervisors and Advisors
We would like to extend a big thanks to our supervisor Nick Coleman for his guidance throughout our iGEM journey.
Your words of encouragement in our weekly meetings helped us progress so far into our project, and we have all learnt so much about the world of synthetic biology. Right from the start, you gave us detailed feedback on our model work, supported our ideas for songs and outreach activities, and even let us complain a little bit when times were tough. Thank you for everything!!
Thank you Claudia Moratti for the many meetings you had with us, telling us about the iGEM experience and how to best plan for medal requirements. Your unending wisdom and positive attitude to the whole process made the work so much more manageable, and we can’t thank you enough for your help!
A big thanks goes to Mark Somerville, who helped us develop our recombineering strategy and our cluster design. There was always a way to tweak and improve our designs, and you always encouraged us to keep thinking and to stay innovative. It would not be what it is today if it weren’t for you, so thank you!
Subject Matter Experts
Dr Rosemary Redfield was instrumental in the early formation of our research questions and helped guide us through a sea of natural transformation literature. Dr Redfield’s research on bacterial competence homologues in E.coli was pivotal in informing our approach and our decision to insert the full package of exogenous A. baylyi competence genes into the E.coli chromosome rather than attempt to artificially induce E. coli’s endogenous competence homologues.
Dr Christopher Harmer, who specialises in the small mobile genetic elements and plasmids that are responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in Gram negative bacteria like E. coli and A. baylyi, was pivotal in our early integration of human practices considerations into our design. Dr Harmer alerted our team to the potential for one of our target genes, ComM, to be implicated in the spread of antibiotic resistance. Early awareness of this emerging global problem and the role Gram negative bacteria play allowed us to integrate a number of safety features into our design.
Professor Gareth Denyer was a huge inspiration for us when it came to our online lab simulator. He uses an online lab simulator for teaching in biochemistry, allowing students to gain a greater understanding of why specific lab methodologies are used. By taking a digital approach, students can try different approaches and observe the outcomes which would have previously been prohibitively expensive. This commitment to removing barriers in education inspired us not only to try and develop our own virtual lab but increased our commitment and passion for accessible education.
Holly McLaughlin volunteered to help us with our logo design. She is the creator of the final logo and also worked closely with us through multiple iterations. Thank you for giving us your time and creativity!
Credit is given to iGEM 2020's Toulouse INSA-UPS wiki for initial code used for modelling, project, implementation, human practices, and outreach and engagement pages