News and events

SynBio Hackathon

SynBio Timisoara. A synthetic biology hackathon

Page adapted from POSTING BioCoderDojo Timisoara.

SynBio Timișoara is a synthetic biology hackathon organized by Radu Ticiu with the solid involvement of an exceptional partnership that includes the "King Mihai I" University of Life Sciences in Timișoara, the OncoGen Association and the One Source Association.

The first large-scale event organized in Romania in the field of synthetic biology brought together 60 high school students and students from 5 countries (Romania, Serbia, Moldova, Tanzania, Ukraine), who spent the three days intensively exploring a new science and technology for most of them, through a complex program, which included:

Attending online and offline presentations in the field. Beyond connecting to the global IGEM Startups 2024 BioHackathon program, which included online lectures by top synbio specialists (Harvard professors Pamela Silver and George Church), online ideation workshops (facilitated by Marcel Wittmund), driving team dynamics (hosted by Will Wright) or pitching (hosted by Han Spinner) and the March 8 panel on the roles women play in the synbio ecosystem with Rebecca Godfrey PhD, Sara Holland/, Kennedy McDaniel Bae, Ph. D. and Alya Masoud (ANutr), the participants from Timișoara also learned on the spot details about the synbio and drug discovery projects managed by guests from Bucharest Ioannis Karpathakis and Horea Szedlacsek

Online interactions regarding the broader picture of synbio and practical aspects regarding participation in the iGEM competition by specialists of Romanian origin who teach or study in Canada (Codruța Ignea, assistant professor of synbio at McGill University and lead researcher of the iGEM team, graduate of Timișoara Life Science Uni, and Dan Voicu, former student leader of the iGEM 2023 winning team, currently co-CEO of Nucleate Canada)

The program included guided visits to the laboratories of OncoGen and Timișoara Life Science University, exposing the tools and methodologies used in the research activity.

The groups took part in the project development activity, supported by on-site mentors (Sorina Popescu, Oana Gavriliuc, Horea Szedlacsek, Ioannis Karpathakis, Victor Baerle)

On the last day of the event, nine teams submitted their projects that were evaluated in two competitions:

– a local one with a jury that included Dorin Camen, Virgil Păunescu & Daniela Matesan, Ciprian Man, Ioannis Karpathakis, Horea Szedlacsek and Vladimir Ticiu

– a global one organized online by our friends at iGEM Startups

The local competition ended with the EcoDot team winning and The Spice Savants team in second place. A special award was given to "The Serbian Delegation", the youngest team

Congratulations and many thanks to everyone involved: participants, mentors, jury, leaders of partner organizations, the fantastic volunteers of the USVT Club, Alexandru Făgăraș from AgroCampus, Cătălin Stephănescu from Vanity Pizza Station, Liliana Merce from the USVT Canteen, Clement Lupu from USVT Communications Office, Vladislav Petkovic

We are glad that there is such a promising interest in Timisoara for synthetic biology! (BioCoderDojo Timisoara)