This year, our team collaborated with UCSC iGEM because our projects relied on using the same organism, namely Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7492. We gave them the strain because their lab did not have it, and we also discussed a number of strategies on how to take care of the bacteria and culture them properly. In return, UCSC iGEM was very helpful in giving us advice as a new team. We were very inspired by their project from last year, and they even helped us get in contact with a regional director at the American Diabetes Association. In addition, they offered to assist us with the tagatose detection phase of our project because their campus had the detection column that we were looking for.
We also thought that it would be important to collaborate with teams that were near to us. Therefore, we reached out to the high school students across from UCSD who also participate in iGEM. Because our projects had different focuses, we decided to discuss presentation strategies and general tips on how to prepare for the Jamboree. The captain of the team has gone to the competition for the past two year teams, and she helped us start thinking about the structure and narrative of our presentation. We also discussed the possibility of media exposure for both teams on the San Diego Tribune.
As a team we wanted to focus on making synthetic biology accessible to as many individuals as possible. Therefore, we invited a high school student, Ayse, to intern with the Golden Lab during the summer and sit in on our meetings and get a sense of how to run an iGEM team. Eventually, Ayse went back to her school, San Dieguito Academy, and we gave a presentation to the Intro to Biotech class. Afterwards, several students from SDA reached out to us and expressed interest in starting up a team. We sat down with them and showed them all our resources for starting up a team; best of luck at next year’s competition!
San Diego Meetup
Before we fly out for Boston, we also thought it would be valuable to do several trial runs of our presentation and then get feedback from all the advisors. We also invited past members of UC San Diego and UCLA iGEM to give their thoughts. Therefore, we are hosting the San Diego meetup at Geisel Library on November 4. Hope to see all the San Diego and Southern California teams there!