Ambassador Diary, Asia: Chapter 1

Jul 01, 2019

Dorothy’s Experience

During the past few weeks, Chinese teams have been working hard on Preliminary Safety Form and Project Inspiration and Description drafts which were due on June 28th. Seeing the iGEMers having discussions and trouble-shooting collaborations in the chat groups every day, I can relate to their anxiety whilst feeling the pride of surviving all the competition deadlines.

It was also great to see more Chinese iGEM teams for the year 2019 receive financial and technological support. Congratulations to OUC-China for winning a free OT-2 provided by Opentrons. In addition to iGEM official partners, BGI generously announced their sponsorship to Chinese teams this month. UCAS-China, UESTC-China, ZJU-China, SHSSIP-CHINA and NEFU_China were the lucky teams to get free synthesis & sequencing service provided by BGI at the amount of CNY 10,000 (USD 1450-1500). All the Chinese teams can enjoy a 25% discount when ordering BGI synthesis & sequencing service, and the free technical support on bioinformatics.

Up to now, 4 iGEM meetups have taken place in Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Nanjing. More than 400 iGEMers from 38 teams participated in those events. And it was such a pleasure to participate and present in all these meetups physically and remotely. I guess it’s the “privilege” of being an Ambassador. =P 

More activities are coming in the summer!

Here's a photo of us having fun at all the meetups and being together.


By the way, thanks to genscript, eventually, Chinese teams started to receive the 2019 ditribution kit. Hurray!

Nurul’s Experience

iGEM greets Southeast Asia

For the past decade, form the ASEAN region only teams from Indonesia and Singapor had been participating in the GEM competition. The universities make and provide support to the iGEM teams include National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technology University, Bandung Institute of Technology, and University of Indonesia. It is hard to mention why iGEM is less famous in Malaysia, Phillipine, Vietnam, or even Thailand.

However, our first journey for Southeast Asia was started in Sumbawa, Indonesia on January 2019. It was the first After iGEM meetups. There were 9 iGEM alumni attended the event and a total100 attendees include high school and univeristy students along with members of the academia and industry. The event allowed After iGEM to develop collaboration with Indonesia Biotechnology Association through their President Dr. Maria Gorreti. Moreover, Hassnain was invited to Surabaya and I3L to promote iGEM and develop teams for 2020.

We wanted SynBio and iGEM more resonated in Thailand as well. Hence, on April 2019, for the very first time, Nurul and Hassnain visited Thailand promoted Synthetic Biology and iGEM. For four days in a row, they give speech in Mahidol University as the first destination. The special part was that the first iGEM team of Thailand, Ruamrudee high school, joined the event and they got helped for the wet lab from Mahidol University. The second place was in King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonbury, at Freaklab and Biosensor and Nanobiotechnology department. Hassnain and Nurul were delivering SynBio and iGEM. The third place was in VISTEC, both for university and high school students as well as the teachers. Lastly was at HUBBA Thailand. 


Just recently, Lifehack 2.0 was conducted by NUS and NTU iGEM team in Singapore. The event was mainly attended by senior high school students and bioentrepreneurs from Singapore. They were introduced to the iGEM Competition, Synthetic Biology and the relationship between bio-engineering and entrepreneurship. The speakers were from industry and academia as well as iGEMers. The event was also packed along with the lab tours and fun games, which i enjoyed alot. The participants were thrilled and so was I :D

The month ended up in Palembang when Nurul visiting UNSRI team. UNSRI iGEM team is participating for the first time in the iGEM competition. To ensure they are on the track, we engaged in a three hour discussion. Hopefully, the mentorship was fruitful for them, we talked about their wet lab, modeling and the VISA process for attending the Jamboree. It felt great to meet them and they are excited for their first project. YAY!

Looking forward to see what the month of July has in store.

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