Team Dave Richard, Ciaran and Natasha Rachel and Dave Lucia and Natasha Jane and Kasia Richard Kasia Lucia Natasha Natasha, Richard and Lucia Natasha, Richard and Lucia

The Sphereactor Team, including attributions and contributions

This is the first iGem team to emerged from Dundee. We are all very excited to be taking part in the competition.

Fordyce Davidson

Fordyce Davidson is a Reader of Applied Mathematics. His research interests lie at the interface between the analysis and applications of differential equations, with particular emphasis on applications to biological systems. He continues to work on modelling multi-scale morphology and function of microbes, including the development of fungal mycelia, swimming patterns in Oomycete zoospores and bacterial biofilm formation. He also has an ongoing interest in modelling aspects of the mammalian cell-cycle, with specific focus on the chemo-therapeutic action of small molecule Kinase inhibitors. Dr Davidson is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and is a past Vice-President of the British Mycological Society and a BMS Berkeley Award Prize winner. He currently holds an MRC Fellowship focusing on the study of cell differentiation in bacterial biofilms.

Frank Sargent

Frank is an instructor on the Dundee iGEM 2011 team. Frank was born in the Kingdom of Fife and has a biochemistry degree from the University of Edinburgh. He first came to Dundee in 1992 to undertake a PhD in bacterial genetics and energy metabolism, before leaving Scotland altogether and moving to Norwich, England. Frank returned to Dundee in 2007 as a Professor in the College of Life Sciences. He knows a bit about E. coli physiology, basic molecular biology, and protein chemistry. Hopefully this will come in handy. Frank also has the important job of raising sponsorship for the team and somehow getting everyone to two international jamborees.

Natasha Christodoulides

I’m a 4th year Biomedical Sciences student with a passion for public health. I’d like to work towards bridging the gap between science and clinical medicine. What initially caught my attention when we were told about the iGEM competition was the prospect of turning ideas into reality from scratch. The opportunity to use my imagination, think outside the box while still building upon my scientific knowledge and skills.

Emelie Johansson

I am a 3rd year Biomedical Science student. A lot of my dedication at university has been directed towards Neurobiology and Pharmacology. However, synthetic biology is a fascinating and relatively new field which is providing me with a unique perspective on science. On my free time I like to rock climb, play golf, read, sing, travel or just hang out with friends.

Lucia Licandro Lado

I was born in Belgium, but have lived most of my life in Spain and Italy. I developed a love for science during high school, and specially for microbiology, because I love the idea of being able to modify microorganisms for our advantage. I also like to read and write short stories.

Rachel Montague

I am about to start my fourth and final year of Applied Computing at the University of Dundee. I have always had an active interest in technology and love keeping up-to-date with new and current technologies. A lot of my time at University is spent developing software solutions for clients as well as responding to briefs set by lecturers. At the moment I am developing applications and games for smart phones and hope to have them available for download very soon. In my spare time I also like attending festivals and hanging out with friends.

Brian Ortmann

I have just finished my final year of BSc(Hons) in Biomedical Sciences and I am delighted to be graduating with a first class honours. My next step is to further my knowledge through a PhD. My research interests lie in the fields of diabetes and cancer. I look forward to studying the new exciting field of synthetic biology and I believe the practical experience gained through our iGEM project will greatly aid me in pursuit of my PhD. I also like the interdisciplinary element of the project allowing me to take part in a lab work but also the computing and mathematical model building. Outside of the lab I enjoy playing tennis and also reading.


Thanks to the Division of Cell Signalling & Immunology in the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, for giving us lab space and equipment to carry out this project. Thanks also to the Division of Molecular Microbiology for the use of equipment and space. We gratefully acknowledge The Wellcome Trust Rotation Studentship Program for providing molecular biology equipment. We thank all our sponsors for the consumables used in this work. Student stipends over the summer were awarded by The Wellcome Trust (nine studentships), the University of Dundee (one studentship), and the James Hutton Institute (one studentship). Travel funds were provided by the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM), the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, and the School of Mathematics, University of Dundee.

T-shirt design was the work of Dyce Davidson while cakes and biscuits were baked by random team members.


None of the advisors or instructors are involved in microcompartment research - the project areas were chosen entirely by the team. All cloning and sequencing was carried out by Rachelle, Natasha, Kasia, Lucy, Richard, Brian, Jane and Emelie - overseen, in addition, by Prof Tracy Palmer and Dr Sarah Coulthurst. Our molecular biology "training week" was supervised by Tracy, and we have since never "strayed from the path". Protein production and Western analysis was all done by the team. Confocal and electron microscopy was kindly supervised by Dr. Alan Prescott. Website design was down to Rachel. The iPhone apps were also done by Rachel, while the Android apps were designed by Dave. In addition, Ciaran and Dave conceived the Gene Synthesis tool and Dave made it a reality. The DNA analysis tool was also the work of Dave. Mathematical modelling was figured out by Rachelle, and we thank Lionel for his enthusiasm for iGEM and his modelling workshop afternoon.

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