The first iGEM Team from the University of Stuttgart consists of 8 technical biologists and 1 technical cybernetic engineer. Since January we met every week for intense brainstorming and discussed different interesting ideas. During the first half of april we decided on our project idea. As first iGEM Team from Stuttgart we had to fight some challenges, like finding some appropriate sponsors, getting a lab and equipment for our project etc. End of july we started our research and working on our project in the lab. Unless otherwise stated, all the experiments, constructs, codes, wiki and results documented on our wiki were performed, written and collected by us, team LIGHT OF THE PIPE. Every team member got several tasks in this project:
- Sponsoring: Nici, Cati, Anna-Lena, Georg
- Modelling: Amatus, Ina, Benjamin
- Wiki: Heidi, Elke
- Human Practices: Nici, Cati, Anna-Lena, Georg, Elke, Ina
- Wetlab: Anna-Lena, Elke, Nici, Cati, Georg, Heidi
General and lab support
We would like to thank the members of the Institute of Biochemical Engineering and especially Prof. Dr.-Ing. Takors, Dr. Siemann-Herzberg and Dr Blombach for offering their expertise, their laboratory and equipment to us. Both of them always offered their help and shared essential knowledge with us. A special thanks goes to Dr. Siemann-Herzberg who took over the iGEM Team as a mentor not only concerning the scientific project but everything that goes along with it. With his cheering and bright character he never gave up to introduce the idea of an first iGEM team at the University Stuttgart and helped us with his indestructibly motivating engagement to establish this team, the iGEM laboratory and our project here.
With an enlightened heart we definitely want to thank our Advisors Sebastian Grenz, Robert Nitschel and Adrian Eilingsfeld who are all Ph.D. students at the institute of bioprocess engineering. They all have been participants at the iGEM competition in the past and shared valuable knowledge of their own experiences with us. They kept us motivated and cheered us up in dark times but also expected a lot of independence and autonomous work. They accompanied us during the whole time with great advices, support, tolerance and patience and tried to educate us to independently working, critically thinking scientists. We know we have been a bunch of chaotic students at the beginning but we hope that you saw the light at the end of the pipe with us after all. Thank you for your great mentoring!
A big thank you also goes to the Institute of Microbiology to Prof. Dr. Sprenger and Prof Dr. Stolz who were so kind to share one of their laboratories with us so that we could introduce our very first own iGEM laboratory at the University Stuttgart. We would also like to thank Erik Eppinger and Janosch Gröning for introducing us to the lab equipment and giving us safety instructions and advice for unknown equipment and advices to improve certain methods. Everyone at the Institute of Microbiology was always very kind and helpful. Thank you a lot.
On the SynbioDay that was carried out by the iGEM Team Duesseldorf/Cologne 2017 we learned how important it is to make science available and understandable for the public. As we all know that science is often a bit tricky and not immediately easy to get we wanted to make our project and idea understandable for everyone within a few moments. For this we were supported by our great comic designers Mathias Eberhardt and Jörn Siemann-Herzberg who both translated complicated scientific explanations into a funny story of pictures and transformed our enzymes in lovely co-workers. Who would not want to share their pipe with one of our busy enzymes now?
Maybe it is uncommon to list up an iGEM Team in the attributions. Nevertheless we want to do this for the iGEM Team Duesseldorf/Cologne who have not only been a great mentoring team during the whole time, but who also donated one of their application fees to us. This made it possible for us to send one more team member to the giant jamboree in Boston and we can’t tell you guys how speechless and stoked we were about this generosity! We wish you all of the best success and are excited to meet you in Boston again! Read more about team Duesseldorf/Cologne on their wiki page.
To cover our lab- and travel costs to the giant jamboree in Boston we are happy to thank the Hirsch-Vogel Stiftung and the Dr. Michael Waldbauer and Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. Wolfram Ressel from the University of Stuttgart and Schweitzer Chemie, Freunde der Universität and ATG Biosynthetics for their financial support. We also like to thank all the people we met during our human practices, like Dipl.-Ing. Carsten Meyer from the department of wastewater technology and the Rohr-Fuchs-Company Stuttgart for their expertise and counsel. We are happy for all the sponsoring we received from several sponsors (see sponsoring), nevertheless we want to highlight a thank you to the Stuttgart Research Center Systems Biology (SRCSB) that enabled us to cover our whole seed capital. Without your courage to invest so much in us we would’ve have been able to start at all. Thank you so much!
Synthetic Biology stands for the invention of something new that nature hasn’t created before. This means innovation and progress, but also raises the awareness that things that nature hasn’t dealt with before must be ensured to be safe. For our biosafety elaboration we want to thank Dr. rer. nat. Josef Altenbuchner from the Institute of Industrial Genetics of the University Stuttgart for his ideas and knowledge to keep our hardworking E.coli under control and preventing them from exchanging funny unpredictable ideas with the environment. After our team was set and the idea of our project was clear, fundraising is a big part of iGEM that kept us busy during the whole project period.
To publish our idea of a biological tube cleaner it takes appealing media work and design to raise attention in the public. For this we are happy for the great help of Isabella and Buri Eberhardt who took over the whole design of our Logo, flyer, business cards, t-shirts and website. We were so proud when we hold our first flyer in our hand and immediately loved it! We couldn’t wait to distribute them! Although they both live in Berlin, Isabella – our communications designer – and Buri – who is a programmer – they’ve always been available and rescued us with their skills more than one time last minute!
Keeping our results and project eternalized and available for everyone was one of our biggest efforts. The work of more than 10 months was collected, sorted out and noted down on our wiki page. This work was just able with the great help and guidance of Christopher Stebe (media developer) who set up our design. Thank you Chris - without you our wiki wouldn’t turn out as pretty as it is now! Check out his webhosting GbR iServ4u !