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Revision as of 08:21, 27 November 2006 by JohnChattaway (talk | contribs) (iGEM 2006)
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About Me

I am an undergraduate student at Imperial College London. I have just finished my second year studying biology which I thoroughly enjoyed. I got on brilliantly with both fellow students and staff alike and am looking forward to next year. I am currently looking for a PH.D project in an area related to Synthetic Biology, Gene Therapy or Molecular Biology.

iGEM 2006

I was one of the undergraduate team members in the [Imperial College London iGEM team 2006 (Icoli06)]. The project was a brilliant experience. We entered the iGEM competition hosted by MIT and came second!

Our project and experience has been reported in various publications.


iGEM for any of you who googled me, rater than finding me through [Openwetware] or [The iGEM competition.]. It is one of the most productive ways to spend your summer I have seen yet. It is a Synthetic Biology competition held at [MIT] (Massachusetts Institute of Technology!) We get flown out to Boston to present our project to hundreds of other contestants and scientists. We are a team of eight undergraduates from Imperial supervised by two PHDs, two Post Docs and two Professors. The ethos of this project is that it is our (the undergrads) project and if it works (or fails) it is our fault. So as a result we are given a huge amount of free regin and If you see [our wiki] you can see that we have been very successful, both at working as a team and doing the project.

I have learnt many invaluable skills from this project, such as communication skills. For example I was Chosen, along with two other students to give a presentation on our project to a group of academics and other iGEM contestants at Cambridge which went down rather well. I have learnt the value of teamwork and how to keep track of what your team-mates are doing. I have learnt leadership skills, such as how to boost morale and to persuade others of the importance of your ideas and why they should carry them out. I now understand the value of keeping track of your contacts so that you can quickly find a person to help if you need to do something that is out of your supervisor's immediate area of expertise, such as using an unusual piece of equipment like a chemostat. Or if you require some unusual materials like rare genes, such as aiiA, which required liaising with many contacts until finally I was pointed to Dr Rupert Fray who was the only other person in the country working with this gene!

This project is also an oppertunity to show creativeity, lataral thinking and problem solving skills in an unusual situation. For example using an abstracted version of the [Lotka Volterra Population Dynamics model] to create a synthetic biological oscilator or using a chemostat to alter frequency independently of amplitude. There is also a large element of time management to this project as we are all responsable for our own contribution and we don't have people standing over us making us work.

Also this project has improved my lab skills and computer modeling abilities

My Interests

I am and always will be an avid Rock climber, I have met hundreds of very interesting people through this sport and it has taken me all over the world (or Europe at any rate). I am also an active member of the [Imperial College Mountaineering Club] and have [written articles published in Felix for the Club.] I have also competed at a nation al level in the [BUSA climbing Competition, (Bouldering)] where I came 16th in 2005 and 20th in 2006. I also came third in the london heat of an open men's climbing competition SIBL, I couldn't attend the other heats as my degree took priority. Recently work commitments have reduced the amount of time I spend training, so my climbing grade has plateaued.

I'm also into road cycling, It all started when I was seventeen and my mate Charlie decided it would be a good idea to cycle from Ayr in Scotland to his house in Eastbourne, Sussex and rather surprisingly it was! The six hundred mile trip across some of the hilliest terrain in England took eleven days. It was incredible and I got to know the other guys far too well. Also we raised over £1000 for charity. It all went to St Wilfred’s hospice who had looked after Charlie's granddad the previous year.

Another interest is Surfing, I’m a beginner still, so my board spends more time surfing me than the other way round! I started this summer when I visited some friends in Newkey.

Music. I am a fan of many bands and take full advantage of the London music scene. I love the new unsigned bands and anything artistic and experimental. Particularly I like Post-Punk and Electro.

Other Information

Date of Birth 01/03/1986 (Cuckfield UK)

Contact Information

  • E-mail


  • 2004 - Present BSc Biology with Microbiology at Imperial College London
  • 2002 - 2004 : A-levels Biology Chemistry Physics Maths
  • 1997 - 2002 : GCSEs loads