INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL STUDENT CONFERENCE
In 2011, we, as Fatih_Turkey (Medical School Wetlab Team) started “iGEM” by performing a presentation about Syntehtic Biology in the world and in Turkey for Human Practice. We have arranged the Second International Medical Student Conference in Ankara. In the conference, papers related to Synthetic Biology and the iGEM competition was presented to inform medical school students coming from different medical schools in and out of Turkey (e.g. Japan).
Burak Yilmaz, CEO of Sentegen, as our sponsor mentioned in his talk a wide range of topics from discovery of DNA to Synthetic Biology, International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) and iGEM teams in Turkey.
Medical Students coming to our conference were informed about Synthetic Biology Concept which consists of the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems, and the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes such as genetically engineered medical projects like Fast Wound Healing Project performed by METU-Gene Team at iGEM 2009.
Especially, the students were excited when we mentioned the synthetic biology projects like engineered bacteria having the ability to find and kill tumor cells. In addition, we gave examples from the paper 'The impact of synthetic biology on drug discovery published by Martin Fussenegger and Wilfried Weber. From the paper, synthetic biology phenomenon was mentioned in the conference in order to be used in medical schools to enable disease mechanisms and target identification to be elucidated and also provide avenues to discover small chemotherapeutic molecules or design novel biopharmaceuticals.
Next, we began to talk about the widest synthetic biology competition, iGEM. We said to our friends from different medical schools that gene parts named as Biobricks distributed to all iGEM teams in plates are used to perform functional and useful projects in an organism by the teams, especially in E.coli, during enjoyable summer lab studies. Different BioBricks, their certain functions and how they are assembled were told in the talk.
Finally, we introduced five iGEM teams from Turkey, 2 of them are software teams while the remaining are wetlab teams. We said that we would participate in the European semi-final in Holland as Fatih_Turkey, METU Ankara, Bilkent UNAM as wetlab teams and METU Turkey Softlab and METU BIN Ankara as software teams.