Education and Public Engagement
All of our team members actively organized various academic activities, and participated in many meetings inside and outside schools to promote teachers and students to know more about iGEM and synthetic biology, as well as to improve the international influence of iGEM. At the same time, it also helped our team members accumulate cutting-edge knowledge of RA (our target disease) and provided a strong guarantee for the improvement of the subject
CPU BioX Club Academic Association
In the joint efforts of all CPU_CHINA iGEMers, we established the first life science academic association in China Pharmaceutical University---- CPU BioX Club (Figure 1). The daily activities of CPU BioX Club include:
Figure 1. The speech meeting for establishing the club
1. Journal Club
It is held mainly by students in CPU BioX Club. We invite a reporter to make the presentation of the latest discoveries every week. The reporter will introduce the new discovery of medicine, synthetic biology and so forth. Our team members have absorbed a lot of knowledge, which widens our horizons and provides us with novel ideas (Figure 2).
Figure 2. The journal club
2. Academic debate contest
We encourage all students to participate in the debate contest. In the debate contest, we argued about some scientific problems such as whether tumorigenesis was determined by congenital genes. After a series of debate contests, all of team members have developed a critical thinking and judged scientific problems more dialectic (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Students in the debate contest
3. Thematic academic reports
According to the content which students were interested in, we invited professors of the relevant research areas to come to have the academic reports on their research areas to explain for the students’ questions (figure 4).
Figure 4. The teacher having the academic reports on their research areas
Teaching in high school
Invited by the biology teacher of the senior secondary school affiliated to the Bohai University in Jinzhou, Liaoning Province (Figure 5), our team members went to the high school for the students who were interested in biology to introduce the progress of synthetic biology and immunotherapy research. It actively promoted iGEM, and guided more people to join us in the development of synthetic biology to contribute their own strength.
Figure 5. One of our team members who is giving a lesson
Communicating with other teams
We held academic exchange activities with the other two iGEM teams, NJU-CHINA and NAU-CHINA.
1. Asking the NJU_CHINA team for experience exchange
At the Life Science Building Conference room in Nanjing University, the two leaders talked about the progress on their own subjects and the status quo of the team. Yu Zhou, the leader of Nanjing University team, told us about their recent sessions of the iGEM, and explained some important time node, like human practice attention points, the contents of the two co-operation and other issues. Also, he showed our team members around their labs. After talking with them, we have gained some knowledge of iGEM competition, which gave us a lot of help in participating in iGEM competition. (figure6).
Figure 6. Our team is listening to the introduction of NJU iGEMer
2. Inviting NJU-CHINA to attend academic debate
In order to enhance the exchange between two teams, we invited the iGEM team of Nanjing University to attend the academic debate (Figure7). Two teams conducted a debate on whether changes in epigenetic modification can determine tumorigenesis at the China Pharmaceutical University Conference Center:
Attitude: changes in epigenetic modifications can determine tumorigenesis
Attitude: changes in epigenetic modifications cannot determine tumorigenesis
The two sides held different arguments, and cited frontier knowledge of self-argument and deduction to express their views. Also, two teams obtained a lot of gains during the debate, and made a further exchange on the issue of respective topics.
Figure 7. Inviting the iGEM team of Nanjing University to attend the academic debate
3. Participating in experience sharing meeting at Nanjing Agricultural University
Invited by the iGEM team of Nanjing Agricultural University, we participated in experience exchanging meeting (Figure 8). The meeting invited Haoqian Zhang, the predecessor of Peking University iGEM team, to share his experience. According to his previous experience, all the notes on the formation of the team and participation in the Giant Jamboree have been described in details and shared with us about the personal experience of participating in the iGEM competition. Besides, we actively communicated with other teams to share different ideas and projects processing. It inspired us a lot and we avoided a lot of problems that may happen in our experiment.
Figure 8. Participating in experience sharing meeting at NAU