2017 Project Design

This year we started our project brainstorming in February after we hired the 2017 team. We allowed anyone on the team to come up with any preliminary ideas and then split into separate groups to research each of the ideas that were brought forth individually. After a bit of research into each of the projects, the projects were then repitched to the whole team and the members were instructed to vote.

After voting was done by the team, we met with the advisors on our team, to discuss the results of the voting and to gain a more expert opinion on the project we should pursue. Ultimately we decided to go with the current project and "Prions Be Lit" became our project.

Our team, which consisted of 33 people from different backgrounds and majors was split into three subteams to focus on the wet lab portion of the experiments, the policy and practices, and the modelling and software component. These three subteams continued to develop different components of the project.

After the projects components were detailed, the team executed the project which consisted of experimental designs, creation of mathematical models, public engagement events, and research into human practices. The project was developed independently by the 2017 Waterloo iGEM team.


The Waterloo iGEM Lab and Design team was trained by the two lab leads, Max Reed and Cody Receno. Additional lab training was provided for use on special equipment and is listed below.

Co-op Student

Jamie Lam was the Waterloo iGEM 2017 co-op student. He was a full time member in our lab and provided valuable help to the wet lab team.


The Waterloo iGEM team has 6 main advisors from different disciplines. The advisors provided us with immense feedback for the creation and design for our project, administrative help, and knowledge that helped allow us to pursue the 2017 iGEM project.

Dr. John McLevey - Professor Knowledge Integration

Dr. Brian Ingalls - Associate Professor Applied Math

Dr. Trevor Charles - Professor Biology

Dr. Barb Moffatt - Professor Biology

Dr. Forbes Burkowski - Associate Professor Emeritus Computer Science

Dr. Andrew Doxey - Assistant Professor - Biology

Wet Lab Support

Alicia Dubinski - Helped with yeast transformations, troubleshooting, and expertise on our experimental design

Patrick Diep - Helped with project decision, troubleshooting

Samuel Pop - Designed the team's logo, helped with project decision, troubleshooting and training.

Dr. Moira Glearum - Provided expertise on yeast and troubleshooting different aspects of the project.

Dr. Todd Holyoak - Provided expertise on creating biochemical scaffolds and potential directions of our project.

Dr. Michael Palmer - Provided expetise on FRET and further analysis of data.

Dr. Elizabeth Meiering - Use of Fluorimeter, expert opinion on the project.

Dr. Matt Scott - Trained team members on flow cytometer

Dr. Brian Ingalls - Allowed use of Flow Cytometer

Dr. Bernard Duncker - Provided expertise on experimental and construct design

Dr. Mungo Marsden - Let us borrow a Restriction Enzyme when we were in dire need.

Dr. Bruce Reed - Provided expertise and knowledge for the project.

Administrative Help

Lucy Satora - Provided help with finances for the iGEM team.

Jen Lehman - Provided help with administrative and shipment for the team

Policy Support

Dr. John McLevey - helped set up the IAT survey and obtain ethics approval for that aspect of the project


  • Dr. Todd Holyoak
  • Dr. Michael Palmer
  • Dr. Moira Glerum


  • Jawad Khan,
  • Bethany Bouchard,
  • Krishna Patel,
  • Dr. Elizabeth Meiering

Heather Neufeld - Allowed the iGEM team to participate in the Science Open House 2017.

Kim Boucher - Invited Waterloo iGEM to create a workshop for SHAD Valley.


Isaac Ellmen - Primary Member of the team responsible for management and creation of the 2017 Waterloo iGEM wiki.

Melissa Prickaerts - Created and Designed the majority of the 2017 Waterloo iGEM graphics.


Dr. Bogumil Karas - invited the iGEM team to speak at the Western Symposium on Synthetic Biology at the University of Western Ontario

Dr. Trevor Charles - invited the iGEM team to speak at the Canadian Society of Microbiology conference at the University of Waterloo

Dr. Jordan Thomson - main contact at Ontario Genomics that helped organize the oGEM Meetup at the University of Waterloo


Thank you to our sponsors for supporting the work of the 2017 Waterloo iGEM team. This project is thanks to the funding and support received by them.

Sponsors for Waterloo iGEM 2017