Team:Ionis Paris/Collaborations

The European Experience

For the first time since the end of the iGEM Regional Jamborees, two teams collaborated to organize the European Experience, a meeting where all the Europeans iGEM teams were invited in Paris to exchange, discuss, and celebrate. iGEM IONIS and iGEM Evry decided to organize such an event in order to tighten the relations existing between all European iGEMers.

We started organizing this event in late January, and reached out for iGEM Evry to help us organizing it given its importance. We also wanted to team up with another iGEM team to collaborate on a big scale common project. Our goal was to create an event that people would remember, and needed help in order to do so. As time went by, the teams discussed and agreed on the type of event we wanted to do. There was a lot of discussion about what kind of event we wanted to do, but eventually we stated that we had mainly 3 mains goals in mind for the European Experience: train for the Giant Jamboree, learn more about Synthetic Biology, and exchange with other teams.

meeting european experience

We then decided to organize 2 roundtables, focused around two main themes: “Challenges and Risks of Synthetic Biology” and “Synthetic Biology: a new economic world”. The aim of these roundtables was to make everyone learn more about Synthetic Biology straight from professionals, along with knowing more about what they could do once the iGEM is over, how they can transform their project into a professional activity. This was also for us the occasion to host professionally an international-class event: we took that in consideration and organized a special VIP cocktail area where we were able to meet them after the roundtables.

We also decided to ask all the teams to come with a poster, and to be able to present their project to everyone. This would be very useful as a training fort the Boston Jamboree, and would allow every European team to meet and discover each other’s projects.

Thanks to the IONIS Education group, we were able to find the perfect place where to host our event. We also managed to get a discount on a local hotel and provide a cheap housing for every team who wanted one. This way, we would be able to host as much teams as possible, in the same place! After sending our invitations, we got a confirmation from 30 teams scattered all around Europe, coming from 11 different countries.

We also wanted this event to be fun for all iGEMers, along with an opportunity for them to discover Paris and the French culture. For this reason, visits and activities in Paris were planned for the second day. We also managed to get a partnership with Paul, allowing everyone to discover French breads and pastries.

The whole event was really amazing all along, whether when we were preparing it (announcing it and receiving messages from people all across Europe was a blast), or when we were living it: we finally got to see all of the teams we have been in contact with, and meeting everyone in such an atmosphere was very exciting!

We also had the occasion to communicate with teams, through communication tools like Twitter and Facebook, and also through a dedicated app the iGEM IONIS team developed: this « companion app » was the perfect road book a map of the event, a schedule with every major event planned, and even a selection of nearby restaurants and places to eat.

The whole event turned out very well and we received tons of positive feedbacks, which really comforts us in our idea of making it a periodic event. With the Evry Team, we created a common association, called iGEM ESOC (European Symposium Organisation Committee), and are hoping that in next years some teams will choose to organize it again! This structure will aim to provide a frame to the event. This would also give us the ability to efficiently plan (or help planning) any following edition of the European Experience in the future. Though we don’t think that the event has to be in France, if it is, some of the paperwork will already be done.
We would like to thank the iGEM Evry team for this collaboration, which was for us a great opportunity to work with other people. This event was a whole experience on its own, and we are really happy we organized it together!

For a more in-depth version of how the event turned out, please go to our Events page.

iGEM IDF Meetup

The iGEM IDF (Île-de-France) was a collaboration between iGEM IONIS, iGEM Pasteur and iGEM Evry. It was originally intended to be hosted in La Paillasse, the lab where the iGEM IONIS team is working, and ended up being in the Pasteur campus.

The iGEM IONIS team was in charge of designing the event’s logo, and its members were helping out teams as staff. We also tried to find some speakers for the conferences but didn’t manage to do so. Fortunately, the two other teams found a lot of interesting speakers, and the conferences turned out to be great! This event was a lot of fun, both to organize and to attend to. It allowed us to see again the people we met at the European Experience, and we could spend more time with them!

For a detailed version of the event, please see here

Working with iGEM UPMC

During the iGEM Competition, we were working in La Paillasse, an open lab in Paris (see « Working at La Paillasse » ). But a big suprise was waiting or us at the beginning of the summer, as the iGEM UPMC team ended up working in the same lab than us! This was the occasion for a lot of fun together, along with tons of advice, regarding biology, protocols, strategy, and even fundraising… We helped each other in the best way possible and it was a very positive thing for us.

The pinnacle of this collaboration was the presentation of both our project in the Jussieu campus: the aim of this was to convince more biology students to attend to the iGEM,as part of one of our teams or even by creating their own teams. We explained them what was Synthetic Biology, and tried to show them the « iGEM spirit »! A lot of students were interested, and we got tons of interesting questions, regarding Synthetic Biology, our respective projects or even the competition in general!

Our teams had very diffferent projects, yet we all shared the same passion and the same desire to succeed. We had a lot of fun with them and are hoping to see faces from Jussieu again, as 2017 iGEMers!

iGEM EPFL and iGEMnews

During late August, we were contacted by the iGEM EPFL team: they were working on an independant iGEM news site, called iGEMnews. As part of this project, they asked us to Skype them, and so we did! We were interviewed by two of their team members, and had an amazing time with them. An article about our team and project is published on their webpage, and it was for us an occasion to meet even more people! Here is a link to the article.

Measurements with iGEM Bettencourt

During our work with CelloCad, we had to perform fluorescence measurements through a flux cytometer, a machine our lab is not equipped with. However, the iGEM Bettencourt team gave us access to their lab, so we were able to come, see them, and perform our measurements using their equipment!


We happened to fill out a wide number of surveys for various teams throughout the year. We tried to help all the teams as much as we could! Though we did not get this from every team, we thank the iGEM Paris-Saclay and the iGEM Pasteur teams for sending us a Collaboration Badge in return!