Synthetic biology and our society

Principal Supervisor

Professor Chan King Ming, School of Life Sciences


3 years

Approved Budget

HK $250,000

  • Project Objectives
  • Key deliverables expected
  • Evaluation of deliverables/outcomes
  • Dissemination of deliverables/outcomes

Project Objectives

  • To build up a team of students joining the iGEM competition. The students of various majors will be recruited to work together on a synthetic biology project, aiming to join the international iGEM Jamboree. This team of students will create innovative idea to help solve global issues using synthetic biology techniques.

  • To foster the participating students to learn and work cooperatively with innovative design to help solving major global problems associated with the environment, food, energy, and health aspects encountered in a modern society. Both basic science, engineering and humanity approaches will be applied in the proposed projects.

  • To engage students in explaining the use of synthetic biology in resolving major global issues to local high schools students, undergraduates on campus, and the general public, and make people around aware the development of science and its applications that could and might have profound effects in our society. Safety issues and human practice are our prime concerns.
  • Key deliverables expected and timelines for completion

    The following cycle of time lines will start from 2013 to 2015 for three years.
  • January: Recruitment of students
  • February: First meeting to organize the iGEM2013 team for CUHK
  • March/April: Formation of iGEM2013 team and begin the brainstorming of new projects
  • May: Promotion of iGEM2013 team in CUHK
  • June-September: Beginning of wet-lab work; obtain further sponsorships for iGEM2013 team
  • July/August: Promotion of iGEM and synthetic biology to local high schools
  • September: Exhibitions of synthetic biology and our society on campuses in Hong Kong/websites will be available
  • October: Asian Jamboree
  • November: World Jamboree (if nominated by Asian Jamboree Judging Committee)
  • December: Compilation of a report on Synthetic Biology and Our Society
  • So far, over 30 students from the School of Life Sciences and 8 Biomedical Engineering students have been recruited. Also 9 Year One students from DSE intakes are also joining from the Faculty of Science. First team meeting will expand the recruitment from other Faculties.

    Arrangements for evaluation of project deliverables/outcomes

  • Weekly meeting will be held within the team, and monthly meeting will involve all supervisors from this TDG project.

  • Wiki website will be made available for evaluation.

  • Exhibitions will be prepared for campus-wide promotion and questionnaires will be prepared to evaluate the outcomes of this project. Ultimately, the team will join the Asian Jamboree in early October.
  • Means for disseminating project deliverables/outcomes

  • All team activities will be available on our team wiki website.

  • Exhibitions will be held on campuses to promote Synthetic Biology and the use of genetic engineering to improve our environment and the society as a whole.

  • Some (around 10) pioneer students and team leaders will take the Life Science coded STOT course known as Synthetic Biology Workshop.

  • Annual reports will be made available, as well as a full report after 2015.