Dundee 2014

Talks and Media

Spreading the Word


Cystic Fibrosis Trust Conference

News of The Lung Ranger spread quickly in the local community, and we were thrilled to be invited to present at the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust Conference in Manchester. This national conference saw leading experts in Cystic Fibrosis research, clinicians, and funding agencies gather to discuss novel treatments and national concerns relating to CF.

Gillian and Jenny from the team highlighted the use of Synthetic Biology as a novel, viable and powerful option for CF management and care. Our project had also addressed key points highlighted by directors and researchers of the CF Trust, including; managing digital data, personalizing care and ‘Putting the patient voice at the heart of CF care’ (Oli Raynor, Special Adviser, Research & Patient Involvement at Cystic Fibrosis Trust).

It was clear from the feedback that we were attempting to address an unmet clinical need, and this was further evidenced when we received messages on social media from people watching online.


As part of our very first act of public engagement we gave a talk at SULSA, the Synthetic Biology Meeting in Edinburgh. This was a great opportunity for building a line of communication with the other Scottish iGEM teams, and it gave us a first hand experience of the iGEM community. SULSA aims to inform researchers on the variety of work being carried out within Synthetic Biology in Scotland. The event focuses on giving researchers a platform to share their work and explore various new areas. We gave our talk twice during the conference. As this was early on in the summer it gave a general outline of the project, and the information we had gathered so far. On the first day it was given to the other Scottish iGEM teams, and we also heard about their projects, which were interesting and innovative. Then on the second day we presented again to the professionals who had gathered at the conference. It was great to get their feedback on the project. This was an amazing first experience giving our very first presentation.

Tech Talk

The Dundee Tech Meet Up is an informal monthly gathering, based at the University of Dundee, which brings together those interested in technology. The presentations vary each month with regards to the topic area. However, they remain true to outlining technology used in the specific projects and developing those ideas in detail.

As the Dundee iGEM 2014 Team, we presented our project: The Lung Ranger with a heavy focus on the L.A.S.S.O. To build the L.A.S.S.O. we used the Arduino microcontroller, and we were able to explore that along with the circuitry in the presentation at the Tech Meet Up. We also covered the aspects of Synthetic Biology within The Lung Ranger during the talk so that the audience could truly understand what iGEM is all about.

Young Synthetic Biologists 2.0 (YSB)

For the second year running the Young Synthetic Biologists conference was held in London, this year on the 1st and 2nd of September. This is an event sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and University College London (UCL) for iGEM teams all over the UK (and even a team from Denmark) to meet up and present to each other about the progress of their projects. This was a great opportunity to see all the fantastic projects being created with a diverse range of projects.

On the second day of the event our project was presented by Dave, Fatima and Roddy. This allowed us to fully explain our project from all perspectives and give best representation of the work that had been put in. The presentation was followed by a 5 minute Q & A session. All of the questions were answered concisely and professionally by the team.


Oxford University (who have entered iGEM for the 1st time this year), hosted a meet up for UK teams at the start of the summer. It was an excellent follow-up to SULSA, as we were able to meet teams from across the UK and Ireland (this year also marks the first entry of an Irish team, from University College, Cork).

The event consisted of some excellent and inspiring talks by Jaroslaw Bryk, Richard Kelwick and iGEM president Randy Rettberg. Afterwards, all the teams got together for an informal chat and poster session where there was some excellent sharing of ideas and general discussion about Synthetic Biology. It was a great way to do a little friendly brainstorming with other teams before everybody’s projects really got underway. The event culminated in a tour of the beautiful town of Oxford.

Café Science Extra

Café Science Extra is a series of events where up and coming scientists present their research to the public over a cup of coffee. This was an opportunity to engage the public with our project and to get more feedback. The presentation allowed us to introduce the public to the iGEM competition, Synthetic Biology, genetics and Cystic Fibrosis. To aid our presentation some props were used to illustrate how CF patients have difficulties to remove mucus from their lungs compared to non-CF people. The event was well attended and livestreamed! Two members of the wet team presented for 25 minutes followed by another 25 for Q&A. The entire team attended the event, which was a great support, and also allowed questions regarding our device to be professionally and accurately answered.

To see a video of the talk click here.


Brian Cox

Hollywood star, Brian Cox, came to learn more about The Lung Ranger. This helped us to spread the word about Synthetic Biology, Cystic Fibrosis and our project!

STV Interview

Conducting an interview for our National News bulletin provided the opportunity to market The Lung Ranger as an openly available source and encourage biotech companies to continue to develop our project into clinical trials.