Starting on Friday the 22nd of June and through to Sunday the 24th, about one hundred of this year’s German iGEMers met in Marburg for the annual German iGEM Meetup. Marburg is the heart of Germany, a very charming city with a rich academic tradition that conducts research at the cutting edge of science. In this one of a kind locale, the teams had the opportunity to network with their fellow iGEMers and receive feedback on their projects from young scientists with a fresh perspective as well as from renowned experts.
Marburg an der Lahn. Photo by: ElenaL1
On Friday the 22nd, the teams arrived in Marburg, where the city's campground had been booked for the meetup. Quickly, the tents were set up and everyone settled in. After a warm welcome by the hosts, the visitors proceeded to some sightseeing in the old town. Members of Marburg’s team led small groups of visiting iGEMers to discover some hidden gems in the narrow alleyways between the medieval buildings.
The burden of choice at the breakfast buffet. Photo by: Franziska Müller
The focal point of the following two days was sharing ideas on topics ranging from science, Synthetic Biology to the iGEM competition itself. Key stakeholders were invited to share their different backgrounds, presenting diverse experiences and views. The event featured the German Association of Synthetic Biology (GASB), Serghei Glinca (co-founder of Crystals First), Stefano Vecchione (from Georg Fritz’s research group) and Rüdiger Trojok, a well-known member of Germany’s growing biohacker scene, and a Q&A section with Guilherme Kundlatsch, the After iGEM Coordinator.
Poster sessions were held on both days, allowing teams to present an outline of their work and preliminary results, providing an opportunity for current iGEMers to sharpen their presentation skills and get feedback from their peers. The students presented outstanding projects that covered a wide range of topics, resulting in a very stimulating atmosphere for all attendees.
Students looking at posters. Photo by: Franziska Müller
The event also featured an After iGEM Workshop gathering alumni from various previous seasons. It was an opportunity to discuss the main challenges of the After iGEM Community in Europe and to brainstorm about key steps to build a stronger Synthetic Biology community in the country. Open Science, entrepreneurship, the key difficulties of current teams, and general goals for the initiative were also part of the debate. The fundamental points were summarized in a report that provided interesting insights to the After iGEM staff.
A group picture by the riverside. Photo by: Daniel Bauersachs
The Marburg team would like to thank all the people who came to Marburg and contributed to this remarkable meetup. See you all in Boston!
Written by iGEM Marburg 2018
Edited by Guilherme E. Kundlatsch and John Girgis