Conferences & lectures

Microbes and cell agriculture for sustainable food production

An interactive panel discussion with iGEM teams and industry leaders Michelle Oeser, Michael Selden and Ahmed Khan

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

This event is free





Veggie burgers, algae shrimp, vegan cheeses, synthetic flavors, and animal-free egg whites are  making their way into our restaurants and supermarket shelves. What consumers may not realize, however, is that many of these foods are made using synthetic biology, an emerging science that applies principles of genetic engineering to redesign organisms to solve real world problems. 

Synbio holds a promise for a sustainable future for the food industry by using fewer natural food resources, improving crop yields, and ensuring the availability of basic nutrition at a global scale. Synbio food products are also key to a sustainable future for the space industry: NASA is designing a yeast strain that can manufacture crucial nutrients in space, like beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), to ensure the health of astronauts during long-duration missions.

An increasing number of food suppliers are teaming up with microbes for smarter food production. Yet, public perception has been changing at a slower pace. This stems from a lack of accessible information leaving unanswered questions about the safety and environmental, economic, and social sustainability of these products. In collaboration with 4TH SPACE and iGEM Université de Laval, iGEM Concordia is hosting an online event where academic researchers, industry experts, and community representatives explore answers to these questions. 

How can you participate? Come and engage in the dialogue, via Zoom or watching live on Facebook, with our iGEM teams and industry leaders during a one hour interactive panel discussion, followed by guided Q&A and networking opportunities with our speakers.

Have questions on this topic that you want to get to the panelists ahead of time? Send them to


Organizing Committee

Hajar El Mouddene, iGEM Concordia

Lancia Lefebvre, iGEM Concordia

Paula Gomez, iGEM Concordia

Angel-Fernando Cisneros-Caballero, iGEM ULaval

Emilie-Margaret-Marie Alexander, iGEM ULaval

Kenza Samlali, iGEM Concordia, PhD Candidate in Synthetic Biology (moderator)



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