Over the course of the summer, the Penn iGEM undergraduate team members played a leading role in the design, experimentation, and realization of this year’s project. The undergraduate students planned the experiments and performed the lab work that could be reasonably and safely expected of undergraduate researchers. In particular, molecular biology procedures including PCR, electrophoresis, restriction digests, transformations, minipreps, etc. as well as tissue culture were done exclusively by the students. Often when using advanced equipment the students were overseen by a trained advisor.
• Design of experiments
• Lab work
• Molecular biology procedures including PCR, electrophoresis, restriction digests, transformations, minipreps, etc.
• Tissue culture
• Wiki design
The Penn iGEM team was fortunate enough to have an extremely talented and knowledgeable group of advisors assisting the undergraduate students during the summer. The roles fulfilled by these individuals provided invaluable support and guidance to the inaugural Penn iGEM team. As the primary advisor, Dr. Sarkar assisted the team in all capacities, from ensuring the creation of realistic and achievable goals, troubleshooting, use of laboratory facilities, as well as overall project guidance. Jordan Miller and Dan Cohen provided all-around guidance and oversight and assisted the students with more technical procedures including transfections. Daphne Ng and Najaf Shah provided oversight to the creation of the team’s molecular biology protocols as well as in-lab guidance. Anthony Choo allowed us use of his fluorescent calcium dyes, and he operated the confocal microscope and Fura-2 imaging system on which we conducted real-time Calcium imaging. Lab directors Sevile Mannickarottu and Ken Chen graciously allowed Penn iGEM the use of laboratory facilities in addition to providing thoughtful and appreciated advice.
• Assisted with advanced technical procedures
• Advised on feasibility and realistic limitations of experiments
• Overall project guidance and advisement
• Use of laboratory facilities
Although this was Penn’s first year participating in the iGEM competition, we are proud to have the support of many organizations and companies. Our project and success would not be possible without the contributions from these sponsors. From on-campus departments and organizations which donated their money, equipment, and knowledge to allow us access to imaging, sequencing, and laboratory facilities to the biotechnology companies which provided equipment, supplies, and reagents, we are truly thankful for their generosity and support of the 2011 Penn iGEM team.