Innovation Anthology

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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #837
Program Date: 01/12/2017
Program Category: Alberta, Awards and Competitions, Bioeconomy, Genomics, Health and Medicine, International

iGEM: Secret To iGEM Success At ULeth

For the last few years, Dr Hans-Joachim Wieden has been the guiding light for students entering the iGEM competitions to build genetically engineered machines.  

Dr Wieden is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge.  

His teams have used  synthetic biology to develop award winning projects focused on a wide range oF topics, from tailings ponds to pathogen detection in emergency vehicles.

Here's how he explains the secret to success in working with his iGEM students.

DR. HANS-JOACHIM WIEDEN:    One of the key things is ownership.  The students are the source of the projects.  It's not me telling them, you know this year we are going to do this. So everybody has ownership of their project.  And they pick topics of social relevance or that are relevant to them or  their communities.   I mean, when you are looking at the emergency vehicle thing, that affects everybody,   Like, you know, everybody has a connection to this. When you are looking at the tailings ponds, and anything that has to do with major sources of the economy, the students are really invested into these projects.  So I think they have all ownership and they really want to do their best.
Dr. Hans-Joachim Wieden says the iGEM teams have formed three companies to further develop their inventions in synthetic biology.


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