Team:UCC Ireland/Team



Like most of the team members, it was my first time taking part in iGEM. During the summer, I gained a vast amount of knowledge on lab research and what it entails. In fact, it has fueled my passion to do research work in future. It’s also a great platform that allows you to focus on activities where you can interact with the public. The outreach section was highly educative as it forced me to push my boundaries and do things I wouldn’t have thought of before like, animating and skydiving. When I am not in the lab or the library, I am often found editing videos or kickboxing.

I have always had an avid interest in pursuing a career in research. iGEM was the perfect opportunity to gain first hand experience of what such a career would entail. Working as part of a multidisciplinary team in a laboratory environment for three months was very enjoyable and I have learned so much. When I’m not pipetting I enjoy baking and spending time with my dog Molly.

This is my second time doing iGEM having also been on the team last year. I have always enjoyed science as it has given me the freedom to explore the wider world from a molecular level. Having being introduced to synthetic biology a year and a half ago, I was hooked. Not only could I explore life on the molecular level but also modify it from the genetic level with the ultimate goal of providing benefit to man. I enjoy iGEM because it is an all round experience, it is not just lab work for the summer, it is an amalgamation of lab work, public engagement and human practices and therefore unlike anything else! In my spare time, I often go the gym.

iGEM Was my first real taste of research work as it was my first time participating in a research project. iGEM was such a great opportunity and gave me such an insight into what life as a researcher would be like if I choose that as my career path. Apart from science, I have many other interests such as baking, playing piano and being with my friends.

This is my first time participating in a research project. iGEM has given me a great insight into the trials and tribulations of the research world. Through my time in iGEM I got experience in the day to day running of a lab and the workflow of a research project. In my spare time I like to play the violin and piano.

I entered iGEM to get a taste of synthetic biology and the research world. I believe that scientific research is one of the few careers in which you have the opportunity to achieve things society has never achieved before, and the ever-expanding field of synthetic biology is the perfect landscape to do so. What’s best about iGEM is that it gives the team the freedom to make the project decisions, and also the opportunity to seek advice from helpful expert advisors. This contributes greatly to the development of both the independent and interdependent skills necessary for modern research. Outside of college and research, I enjoy getting to the gym regularly and watching tv series.

I have always loved learning how the world works, and so iGEM sounded like the perfect way to fuel this passion for discovery. Like most of the others, it was my first research project, and it gave me a lot of insight into the world of biology which I had hitherto only ever read about in textbooks. Outside of science, I also love playing volleyball and guitar.

This is my second year in iGEM and it is safe to say that I cannot get enough of synthetic biology! This competition has given me unparalleled access to an all round lab experience which has only encouraged my already huge interest in research. I have been extremely fortunate and I have met a lot of other students who share similar interests, many of whom I am friends with since the Giant Jamboree in 2015! It is incredible to see people coming together from various disciplines to work on a project; it highlights just how inclusive the synthetic biology community is. As a result of my iGEM experiences I am definitely considering a career in research. When I am not in the lab or hiding under a pile of books, you will most likely find me doing Taekwondo or kickboxing, which I have been doing since I was 3!

I was first introduced to synthetic biology in lectures in second year, and I was completely captivated by the concept. iGEM has given me incredible opportunities to pursue this interest in synbio and develop my lab skills. This is my second year involved in iGEM as I had such an amazing summer last year I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take part again! When I’m not researching or studying for my final year exams, I am in the gym or with friends.

I have been a member of Corks iGEM team in 2014 and 2015. This year I helped the team outside the lab, by teaching kids about synthetic biology with fun practical activities at a Summer Camp. I am graduating this year in Biomedical Science and am interning at a hospital laboratory aiding a Medical Scientists to carry out diagnostic tests on patient samples.

This is my first time taking part in such a large-scale project and it has given me experience in collaboration which will help me greatly when I enter the workforce.


Initially, my goal was to provide the team with a background in Neglected Tropical Diseases and supporting the team's research and human practices agenda. However, as for today, my role is to enjoy the amazing experience of interacting with such an extraordinary and talented group, from whom I learn constantly! I want to be part of a generation of scientist that together, through an open innovation, create novel and sustainable solutions to current health, social and environmental problems. I believe that synthetic biology gives us the opportunity to do so.I like to be involved and an active participant of initiatives promoting social development, sustainability, education and social justice. I do so by engaging with several charities and societies, for which I am a member, or by raising independent projects, such as the case of GlowDx, a startup aiming at developing diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases tailored to the needs of developing countries for which I am a co-founder.

I have a keen interest in using synthetic biology approaches for the development of novel live bacterial vectors for vaccine delivery. In particular my lab has created Lactococcus lactis and Listeria monocytogenes (attenuated) strains with significant potential as vehicles for safe vaccine delivery. Properly designed bacterial vectors can have the ability to stimulate appropriate immune responses through engagement with toll like receptors and to drive antigen presentation via class I and/or class II pathways. Furthermore bacteria can replicate at mucosal sites driving local immunity. It is our goal to use rational synthetic biology approaches to optimise live bacteria as vaccine delivery systems.

Mark is a Principal Investigator within the CCRC where he heads a research team investigating various anticancer gene therapies. His interests include developing new, safer ways to treat cancer, using microbes (bacteria & viruses) that grow within tumours. His research in this area has attracted significant media attention, and he is a frequent guest speaker at international conferences. Mark has published extensively in the field of cancer gene therapy and microbiology, and serves on numerous national and international scientific committees and journal editorial boards. He has worked for a number of years at various international institutions (Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Boston), and has joined forces with a large network of like-minded laboratories around the world. As a result, this collaborative research is advancing rapidly towards patient treatment.