Craig Shand, Co-owner and operator of Shand Farms Ltd. and an agronomist with Chinook Agronomists Inc., for helping us tremendously at the beginning of our research period by giving us vital insights into how our project would affect the lives of Canadian farmers.
Randall Weselake, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta, for using his years of experience in commercial oil processing to provide feedback on how our project could be scaled up to an industrial size.
Dr. Veronique Barthet, Research Scientists at the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), was an excellent resource on oilseed processing, having served as a research scientist at the CGC for the last 19 years.
Angela Brackenreed, agronomy specialist at the Alberta Canola Council, for informing us on the current procedures that canola farmers use to mitigate the occurrence of green seed in their crops.
Autumn Barnes, agronomy specialist at the Canola Council of Canada, for informing us on the current procedures that canola farmers use to mitigate the occurrence of green seed in their crops.
Kyle Makila, Darren Walkey, Peter Waldner, senior staff at Pleasant Valley Oil Mills, for giving us a look into how oil processing companies function.
Dallas Gade, Manager of Engineering at Richardson Oilseed, for being kind enough to respond to our cold-calling attempts and arranging for us to meet with his team in person at Richardson’s processing plant in Lethbridge. Our meeting gave us a lot of insight into the economics of the canola industry and the subtle nuances of the oil purification process.
Laurence Parslow, Operations Supervisor at Richardson oilseed, He helped walk us through the entire process flow of the canola oil production facility which helped us understand how to design our emulsion system.
James Rea, Assistant Vice President of Richardson, answered a few emails about the economics of canola oil refining, greatly aiding basic economic modelling to understand where to implement our project.
Ward Toma, General Manager of Alberta Canola Producers Commission. The ACPC advocates for Albertan Canola Farmers and informs the government on policy issues affecting canola. Ward was able to provide us with an overview of the industry from a macroeconomic perspective.
Dr. Brian Beres, Senior Research Scientist in Agronomy at Lethbridge Research and Development Center, provided insight into the current agronomy practices put in place to lessen the risks of developing the green seed problem in crops.
David Bailey, CEO of Genome Alberta, for allowing us the chance to receive funding from Genome Alberta, and for connecting us to valuable contacts in the canola industry.
Anita Ludwar, Business Developments Operations at Genome Alberta, for graciously welcoming us to the funding opportunities available at Genome Alberta.
Patrick Wu, Life Science and Synthetic Biology Marketing Consultant, was kind enough to watch our presentation and offer constructive criticism as to how to sell our narrative.
Dr. Gijs van Rooijen, Chief Scientific Officer at Genome Alberta, having over 20 patents to his name, helped us understand the process of commercializing an agricultural biotechnology.
Emily Hicks, President and Co-Founder of FREDSense Technologies, for presenting at JulyGEM on her experiences in turning an iGEM project into a company, and for providing us invaluable feedback on our iGEM project.
Robert Mayall, Co-Founder at FREDsense Technologies, for being kind enough to provide valuable feedback on various presentations throughout the season.
Dr. Peter Facchini, Co-founder of Willow Biosciences and professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, for presenting at JulyGEM on his experiences in taking his research to the level of a company.
Swapan Kakumanu, Entrepreneur and Chief Financial Officer of Red to Blank Inc., for presenting at JulyGEM on the subject of startups and navigating the market when producing a new product.
Jason Arnason, Law Student at the University of Calgary, providing an informative presentation about patents and protecting intellectual property at JulyGEM.
Dr. John Baker , a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. Dr. Baker's research interests lie in bioethics. He was kind enough to provide an ethicist perspective to our "The Good, The Bad and the Biological" event, a philosophical discussion on synthetic biology's role in society.
Dr. Gavin Cameron , a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. His research interests in international relations and strategic studies made him an ideal panelist in our "The Good, The Bad and the Biological" event, a philosophical discussion on synthetic biology's role in society.
Deirdre Lobb, lab technician and manager of the iGEM Calgary lab space, for supporting the team with material acquisition, and providing countless chemicals and equipment throughout the summer.
General Wet Lab Support
Dr. Mary Reid, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Calgary, aided us in our ideation process.
Dr. Vanina Zaremburg, Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, helped us understand the uses of yeast chassis to see if we would use one in our project./p>
Dr. Isabelle-Barrette-Ng, Teaching Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, was a general supervisor of team member Micha Atienza, and attended our Faculty Talk.
Daniel Ziemianowicz, PhD Candidate, attended our Faculty Talk, and provided useful advice on our wet lab experimental designs.
Margaret Renaud-Young, Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Calgary, for providing valuable feedback on our presentation, and for helping us run experiments concerning the binding affinity of the 6GIX protein to chlorophyll.
Dr. Dae-Kyun Ro, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Ro met with us to briefly discuss the challenges of expressing plant enzymes in bacterial and yeast chassis
Dr. Raymond Turner, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Calgary, provided feedback on our proposed emulsion system and supported us in the design of our genetic circuit, particularly in the design of the inducible promotor.
Dr. Marie Elizabeth Fraser, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Calgary, helped us that our idea of using a biofilm matrix with chlorophyll binding proteins was not feasible to for chlorophyll extraction. Through our meeting with her, we were able to pivot to an emulsion system instead.
Dr. Marcus Samuel, Associate Professor and Director of the Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, was a crucial factor in our choice to pursue the green seed problem. His work in developing transgenic canola plants to be resistant to green seed is what initially sparked our curiosity in the subject.
Dr. Ian Lewis, Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary, helped us understand the difficulties of working with recombinant proteins and design factors we would have to consider when designing our chlorophyll binding protein.
Dr. Gordon Chua, Associate Professor and is the Associate Head of Operations in the Department of Biological Sciences, met with us a few times in the early ideation stages of our project to help us determine how synthetic biology can tackle the green seed problem.
Dr. Joe Harrison, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, helped us realize that biofilms would not be the best approach to take, and we subsequently changed the direction of our project to utilize emulsions instead.
Milligan Biofuels, Diesel fuel supplier Saskatchewan, Provided us with the green-seed canola oil needed for our chlorophyll extraction experiments.
Dr. Nashaat Nassar, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, helped us understand the Winsor classification system for emulsions and directed phase diagram design.
Dr. Giovanniantonio Natale, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, helped us understand the transfer mechanism of chlorophyll into emulsions.
Dr. Hector Siegler, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, discussed kinetic models for examining the chlorophyll degradation pathway.
Dr. Jinguang Hu , Assistant Professor Department of Chemical Engineering , helped us understand the scalability of our emulsion system.
Dr. Kazi Sumon, Chemical engineering professor at the University of Calgary, helped us understand how to develop our chlorophyll-binding assays using the acid-activated clays. Even more importantly, he highlighted the importance of understanding the effect that the Acid-activated clays may have on the physical properties of Canola oil, that may not be directly related to chlorophyll.
Dr. Ronald Moore, Professor of Surgery and Oncology at the University of Alberta, provided us with a wealth of knowledge when we spoke with him about the use of pheophorbide in experimental photodynamic therapies.
Dr. Heather Addy, Mycologist and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, was invaluable in our exploration of pheophorbide's potential application as an anti-fungal agent.
Fran Cusack, Biological Science Technician at the University of Calgary, was gracious enough to supply us with fungal samples, Pestalotiopsis microspora and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, media plates for culturing those species, as well as, the knowledge needed to culture fungi. Without Fran's help, we would not have been able to study pheophorbide's potential application as an anti-fungal agent.
John Mayko, President of Apex Agrology Services, provided us with insightful information on pheophorbide application, and its viability as a product.
Dr. Kelly Turkington, Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Lacombe Research Centre in Alberta, helped us understand more about the progression of S. sclerotiorum fungus, its impact on farmers and preventative and prescriptive measures to combat it. .
Dr. Kartikeya Murari, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Calgary, was approached for help with Cameras for Mean Green Machine. He helped explain project requirements both for standardizing conditions and considerations for working with low-level camera firmware.
Dr. David Anderson, Instructor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary, advised us on how to model the molecules involved in our project using cutting edge supercomputational platforms and molecular simulation systems.
Dr. Behrouz Far, Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering , for providing us with a camera for use in our seed grading project, and for acting as the principal investigator for one of members on the team.
Sean Mason, Mechanical Engineering student, for mentoring us on the designing of our parts in Solidworks, design considerations, measurements, tolerances, sourcing parts, and choosing the right materials for the job.
Dr. Usman Alim, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Director of Data Science, for providing us information on methods of analyzing digital colour information in regards to the seed grading project.
Jeff Danielson, Manager of Grain Inspection for Viterra Inc., for providing valuable feedback on our seed grading system.
Dr. Thierry Chekouo, Assistant Professor in Statistics and Actuarial Science, was integral to determining the methods used within the development of ModGIX. Dr. Chekouo recommended the utilizing clusters generated after functional principal component analysis, which then was implemented into the ModGIX development. Along with this he was also the personal supervisor of our protein modeller Andrew.
Dr. Lora Oehlberg, Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary, advised the team on how best to perform usability testing for Mean Green Machine.
Dr. Laura De Castro, Editor in Chief for Alberta Academic Review, assisted in the editing and polishing of the Sunny Days paper for publishing.
Elisa Park, Manager of Health Innovation at the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, provided us with entrepreneurial resources to aid in the business aspects of our project.
Noren Howg, Legal Associate at Bennett Jones, helped us strategize how we could keep the patentable aspects of our project confidential leading up to our first public disclosure at the iGEM Jamboree in Boston, MA.
Erin Kulhawy, Innovation Manager in Life Sciences at the Life Sciences Innovation Hub (LSIH), acted a liaison between the team and LSIH, providing feedback on our project design and its commercial feasibility.
Education and Outreach
Alyssa Lam, Community Engagement Specialist at the Life Science Innovation Hub (LSIH), opened a line of communication with Innovate Calgary and the LSIH, allowing us to get an insider's view as to how the LSIH supports local biotech startups. Alyssa was also kind enough to let us spread our love for science at their "Bacteria Night" event.
John Pye, Public Programmer at Telus SPARK, let us share our passion for science at Telus SPARK's Adult Night in August.
Bogusia Gierus, Senior High Science Teacher at Webber Academy, let us lead an activity for high school students to teach and inspire them about synthetic biology.
Erin Kelly , Former Lethbridge High School iGEM Advisor, provided advice and insight into the inner workings of mentoring a high school iGEM Team, which is a goal that our team wants to accomplish.