January 20, 2020 – February 21, 2020

How is synthetic biology reshaping our world?

A rapidly emerging new area of research, synthetic biology is already being recognized as a game-changer in everything from the fight against climate change and global food insecurity to the production of life-saving medications and therapies. Operating at the crossroads of biology, engineering, and computer science, the field is also challenging and reshaping disciplinary boundaries to drive creative collaboration in unprecedented ways. 

At Concordia, researchers from across disciplines are leading the way in developing synthetic biology technologies that can be applied to food production, drug development, sustainable manufacturing, and more, while also investigating the ethical implications and social impacts of these new technologies. The University is also home to the only genome foundry in the country: an innovative facility that uses robotics to automate synthetic biology processes. 

From January 20 to February 21, visitors came to 4TH SPACE to learn more about how Concordians are rethinking, recreating, and reinterpreting biological systems to contribute to this exciting new field. They engaged with displays and media that brought you behind the scenes and into the labs of researchers from the Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology. Visitors participated in workshops and talks with students from Concordia’s award-winning iGem team, and joined a biotalk with District 3.


SynBio at 4TH SPACE
From extracting a strawberry's DNA to examining glowing bacteria, the interactive installations opened up the world of Synthetic Biology for the public to engage with.
Interview with Steve Shih
Steve Shih, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Shih's lab works with microfluidics and synthetic biology to solve issues in energy and health.
Biotalk Café
On February 13th, Jordan Young, PhD, from Repare Therapeutics, a Montreal & Boston based leading biotech company in the field of precision oncology, spoke about CRISPR technology and more at 4TH SPACE.
Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) is a list of symbols that describe parts of a DNA strand, that can be used to draw out genetic diagrams. In this game, you could connect parts to make a protein.
Interview with Alisa Piekny
Alisa Piekny, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, the Co-Director of the Centre for Microscopy at Concordia, and the Concordia University Research Chair in Cancer Cell Biology.
Created by iGEM Concordia, the Transilluminator allowed you to look at the colony ring growth of different E.coli strains. When placed under fluorescent light, the E.coli would glow.
Interview with David Kwan
David H Kwan, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. Kwan's lab focuses on the function and engineering of enzymes and proteins.


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