1. What is BIOMOD?
Biomod is a design competition for undergraduate students in biomolecular nanotechnology. It was founded and continually sponsored by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Previous BIOMOD competitions have been held at Harvard University. This year it will be at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
2. What is the difference between BIOMOD and iGEM?
BIOMOD is inspired from the Molecular Programming community whereas iGEM is from the Synthetic Biology community.
BIOMOD was driven by researchers “trying to repurpose biomolecules for nanotechnological tasks.” Some of these biomolecules could be DNA, RNA, liposomes, proteins…anything at that molecular level repurposed for biosensors, drug delivery systems, robotics platforms and much more. iGEM grew from researchers working in aspects of molecular cloning to reprogram living cells.
BIOMOD and iGEM are similarly structured wherein international teams compete against each other and present in a Jamboree at a hosting university in the fall season.
Check out BIOMOD’s example showcase and Molecular Programming for examples of really cool projects!
3. What teams does the BIOMOD have?
- Finance, budget (including supplies management) and sponsorships
Wet Lab team
- Designing and performing experiments
Dry Lab team
- Research and writing (wet lab support, drafting protocols)
- Model 3D molecule structures, possible reactions using ligand- and protein-docking software
- Upload all content on website platform
- Webpage design, graphics, coding
- Version Control with GitLab, CSS, HTML, Markdown
- Create video/film/animations, design graphics
- Currently using GIMP animation for our video but are open to other platforms!
4. Are you recruiting for September 2016?
Unfortunately, we are NOT RECRUITING for this fall. The team is quite full at the moment and are well on their way to completing the project! Please keep your eyes peeled for recruitment in January, for the 2017 BIOMOD competition!!
5. What type of background experience is the UBC BIOMOD Team looking for?
The BIOMOD competition is very multidisciplinary so we are considering applicants from all faculties. However, the skills listed below are what we typically look for.
- Video editing skills (animation, filming, etc.)
- Website designing skills
- Photoshop experience (or other graphics design experience)
- Basic wet lab skills or experience in research labs
- Data analysis, mathematical and statistical modelling experience
- Great ideas and excitement to work on a super cool project!
6. What was last year’s project? How did the UBC BIOMOD team do?
It was our first time competing at BIOMOD. The motivation for this project was to design a drug delivery system for multiple cancer drugs to target cancer cells, limiting the side-effects of chemotherapy. The nanostructure was composed of liposomes as a drug carrier, DNA origami as a robust and flexible dimerization joint, and gold nanoparticles as a trigger for drug release.
The team placed Silver and won first place in the audience choice category for giving an awesome presentation! You can check out our project in the Archives tab of this website.
7. How much time do I have to commit?
Some roles require heavier time commitments than others (i.e, exec team, wet lab in the summer), while others will only ramp up in September (i.e, finalizing website). Overall, the time commitment, and how much you want to contribute is up to you.
8. What stage of the design process is the BIOMOD 2016 team currently at?
We are well on our way to presenting our new project at the competition in October!