News and events
CDT News and Events
Industry Day 2020
The CDT is holding its first annual Industry Day on 11 September 2020. This will be an opportunity to meet with academics from the CDT as well as network with others from industry working in this exciting and emerging field. We will be hosting talks from the academic leads giving you an overview of their work and potential projects that you could collaborate in, followed by one to one partnering meetings with academics to develop these ideas further.
The CDT is sponsoring a team of students from Imperial College London to enter this year's International Genetically Engineering Machine (iGEM) competition. In iGEM, students teams develop their own projects to meet challenges in the wider world, in the process using and developing standardised tools for the engineering of biological systems. The projects, completed over the summer, are hard work, but very rewarding. Imperial first entered an iGEM team in 2006, and we have consistently been represented by talented teams with innovative projects ranging from water purification solutions, to drug delivery mechanisms, to soil erosion preventions.
Student BioFoundry launch
In December we opened the Student BioFoundry at Imperial College London.Students will have full access to six state of the art Opentrons OT-2 robots, as well as plate readers and other lab equipment. Students on the Master's of Research in Systems and Synthetic Biology will complete a module in automation using the robots, which can be programmed to automate hundreds of different lab functions.
The CDT cohort attended the Synthetic Biology UK conference at Warwick University on 9-10 December. For many of our students this was their first chance to attend a scientific conference. With two days of presentations and posters sessions, a wide range of cutting-edge work in Synthetic Biology was on show.
The CDT sponsored a team in the annual BioMod biomolecular design competition for students. Here's an update from the team:
Traditionally, chemotherapeutic drugs are administered intravenously and circulate freely throughout the body. This inevitably kills healthy cells along with cancer cells, leading to some of the unwanted side effects of chemotherapy. Additionally, high dosage and systemic administration desensitises cancer cells, potentially leading to drug resistance. Our solution is to package the drug payload within large, unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) containing a membrane-embedded DNA nanopore. The nanopore responds to the presence of cancer-associated proteases in the immediate vicinity of the tumour, selectively releasing the drug to kill cancer cells. This is achieved by a peptide-oligonucleotide conjugate (POC) that can trigger a downstream toehold displacement reaction to open the DNA nanopore. The nanopore could be customisable towards a variety of protein biomarkers and disease contexts. This novel cancer drug delivery system could minimise the proclivity towards drug resistance and side effects of future chemotherapy treatments.
The team won the following awards: Gold project award, 2nd place overall, 2nd best website, 2nd best video, 3rd best presentation