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Training activities

Program goals

  1. Synthetic biology knowledge base
  2. Capacity for scientific research & problem solving
  3. Design skills for both product & process
  4. Advanced automation tools for genome building and editing
  5. Structural & functional genomics data analysis
  6. Computational simulation & use of design tools
  7. Capacity for independent & team-based projects
  8. Oral communications & technical writing capability
  9. Innovation, entrepreneurship and other business skills
  10. Knowledge of legal & ethical issues, and social & environmental awareness

Training program

Program training includes hands-on learning of various synthetic biology technologies and methodologies. Participating researchers bring a range of expertise including computer modeling, organism and protein design tools, DNA and RNA construction methods, microfluidics and bioinformatics. Students will engage in multidisciplinary team projects to apply synbio techniques and project design to real world, industry-led challenges. Training activities include:

  • Thesis research project in a laboratory using cutting-edge synthetic biology approaches.
  • Participation in two graduate level courses: Tools of Synthetic Biology and Synthetic Biology and Industrial Applications.
  • First-year rotations through two labs to master complementary bench or computational skills that can be applied to a student’s research project goals.
  • Guest speakers in the field will be brought in, and attendance at special lectures and conferences is supported.
  • Optional participation in academic exchanges or industrial co-operative internships.
  • Optional mentoring of undergraduate iGEM competition team project.

Program courses

Students will learn about the various technologies used to engineer living systems, including bioinformatics, modeling and design tools, automation in DNA synthesis (with Concordia’s Genome Foundry), microfluidics platforms, protein- or RNA-molecular design and AI/machine learning. Students will be exposed to basic synbio engineering and/or molecular biology concepts (for life sciences and engineering students, respectively). An industry-mentored challenge will be provided by industry partners from various sectors, and students will work on these projects in small, multidisciplinary teams.

Applied R&D in multiple sectors will be contextualized. This seminar-style course will include discussions on societal- and bioethics issues and impact; IP and patents; regulatory landscapes; communication strategies; and an introduction to business and stakeholder considerations in product/platform development. Students will build on industry team projects to explore these concepts and will frame projects deliverables through a “Pitch” presentation to potential funders.

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