Those studying science alone are all in their final semester of a three-year degree, and have taken various courses in microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, and similar fields at the University of Sydney. The two of us studying both science and engineering degrees simultaneously are also in our third year of study, but have completed less units of study in the same subject areas listed above. Sholto’s training lay in mathematics and engineering, and he’s also studying subjects in finance and business.
At the start of the iGEM season, the wet lab team were given a workshop in common laboratory techniques by Nick Coleman (see below), to ensure that there would be consistency in our practices throughout this project. A lot of learning was also done on the go as the project progressed! All website coding was done by Sholto, a self-taught skill he accumulated over the iGEM season. He had no previous experience in website front end devlepment before, though he has worked on iOS and Android apps. The dry lab team had weekly tutorials with Ed to learn how to apply familiar engineering concepts of modelling to biological systems.
Dr Nicholas Coleman
Dr Nick Coleman was appointed Lecturer in the School of Molecular Bioscience (SMB) in 2006, with teaching and research responsibilities in environmental and medical microbiology.
Nick has lectured to 2nd and 3rd year students across many degree programs including B.Sc., B.Med.Sci, B.Pharm., B.VetSci. and B Ag.Sci, and he has been a course coordinator and prac class coordinator for MICR2022, MICR3022, and MICR3042. Nick did his PhD in Trevor Duxbury's lab at the University of Sydney, studying explosives-biodegrading bacteria. This was the first work to investigate the aerobic biodegradation of the energetic compound RDX, and he discovered that a cytochrome p450 enzyme was responsible for this activity. After graduating in 2001, Nick worked as a postdoc for 3 years at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, USA. The highlight of this work was the isolation of the first and thus-far only known bacterium able to grow on dichloroethene as a carbon source (Polaromonas strain JS666) - this bacterium has now been genome-sequenced.
Nick returned to Sydney and worked for 3 years as a postdoc in Andy Holmes' lab in SMB, studying mobile genetic elements in Pseudomonas stutzeri. This led to a new method for quantifying integron activities that could be applied in environmental bacteria. Nick's research has been supported by ARC Discovery grants, by a NSW Environmental Trust grant, and by collaborations with industry partners (eg. Orica).
Nick was our hero throughout the iGEM season, and the amount of support and guidance he provided couldn’t be quantified. From teaching us new concepts (and clarifying old ones), to letting us loose in his lab, and helping us with the constant troubleshooting of protocols, we couldn’t have done this project without him. The amount of faith he had in us, even after the multitude of wonky SDS PAGE gels we presented to him asking for explanations, is what kept us going.
Brian Jones is a molecular biologist with an interest in the developmental biology of food plants and wood production. He has a B.Sc in Horticulture from the UWSH, Sydney, and a PhD from ENSAT, Toulouse, France. He has spent much of his career working in Europe on various projects related to developmental biology. He has active collaborations with groups in France, Portugal, Sweden and China and has published extensively on the role of hormones in plant development.
Brian’s knowledge in horticulture was highly valued by the team, and his insights into the plant ripening process and the produce industry helped us to understand the significance and mechanism of our project. We also owe Brian a huge amount of thanks in letting us use (abuse) his large contact network to reach out to Zespri, Avocados Australia, and the Fresh Produce Group. Without him, we would not have been fortunate enough to have these interactions that proved to be critical in the development of our project.
Dr Edward Hancock is a mathematician and engineer with research interests in systems and synthetic biology. He completed a BE (Elec) and BSc (Maths) at the University of Sydney, and a DPhil (PhD) in dynamical systems and control theory at the University of Oxford. He was subsequently a post-doc in synthetic biology at the University of Oxford. He has spent time as a visiting researcher at Imperial College London and Caltech.
The following people are members of the Coleman lab who provided invaluable advice on-the-fly regarding everything, from making media to running gels
Frances – Honours student in the Coleman lab.
Mark – Honours student in the Coleman lab, who was also responsible for creating the final plasmid construct pUS232, and also part of the USYD iGEM team in 2015. Deb – PhD student in the Coleman lab.
USYD iGEMers 2015
Antony Allen - Former CEO of Avocados Australia, and current President of the International Avocado Society, who provided us with invaluable information regarding avocado ripening and distribution.
Joseph Eckman - The Fresh Produce Group, who facilitated our visit to the Flemington Markets to get a first hand look at their ripening facilities.
Frank Bollen - Zespri Kiwifruits, who provided us with invaluable information about the ripening and distribution of kiwifruits.