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RebelBio: For Aspiring Entrepreneurs in Life Sciences

RebelBio: For Aspiring Entrepreneurs in Life Sciences


Do you feel a strong urge to commercialize your project or research into something that the world needs? 

RebelBio, the world’s first early-stage life-sciences accelerator is seeking applications from ambitious scientists and entrepreneurs for its 2018 programs.

RebelBio will invest up to $250,000, along with extensive business and scientific mentoring during a three-month long program, which will take place in London from January 8th to April 8th 2018.

For an overview of the program, visit this link.

To apply, go here


Spotlight on geekStarters: Chris Isaac

Spotlight on geekStarters: Chris Isaac

Chris Isaac – member of ULethbridge iGEM team and dedicated geekStarter mentor – shares tips for designing successful bioengineering projects at the Lab skills workshop held at University of Lethbridge in March 2017


10 Quick Questions for Chris

  1. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

Something along the lines of a jack of all trades and a master of none: picking up the skills I need to know as I go.

  1. What do you love the most about your work/school?

Having recently begun my Master’s at the University of Lethbridge, I most enjoy the freedom associated with studying at a higher level. While you have objectives that need to be met in your research program, it’s also possible to enjoy the full support of faculty in pursuing additional academic projects even if they don’t perfectly align with your supervisor’s laboratory goals.

  1. What is your best accomplishment so far?

Most recently, I had the good fortune to collaborate with wonderful people on the Lethbridge Collegiate iGEM team while working on a fantastic project. As a result of our efforts, we were nominated for several awards at the international level. I’m very proud of our team and the part that I played in helping us to that success.

  1. What is something you are working towards right now?

There are always several irons in the fire, but there are two really cool things happening right now. The first is my academic research into picking apart disease pathways that are common to both Alzheimer Disease and Cancer. The second is a personal research project wherein I develop software to address biosecurity concerns in order to keep DNA synthesis and synthetic biology safe.

  1. How do you like to spend your downtime?

I really enjoy a subset of rock climbing called bouldering. It’s much closer to the ground, but the moves are generally much more interesting than roped climbing. In the summer it’s also a fantastic excuse to get outside!

  1. What is something you can’t imagine your life without?

I cannot imagine life without a free and open internet. The power that it provides for innovation, collaboration, research, and expression is not likely to be surpassed in the near future and is integral to every part of my life. The Internet is a utility that should be available for all.

  1. What is one thing that people will be surprised to hear about you?

People might be surprised to learn that I know every word to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton”. And they’re certainly surprised when the singing begins.

  1. What is something you are afraid of?

Lately I’ve been concerned by the changing rhetoric surrounding science and its value in society and policy. Evidence-based decision-making should be the foundation of a good government that serves civic interests above corporate interests.

  1. What would you like your work to be ten years from now?

In ten years I would like to have solved the problem of predicting what my work will be in the future! We’ll see which way the wind blows, but I would love to be involved in as many cool projects as possible. Perhaps asteroid mining will be the next big thing. Stay tuned.

  1. What is one thing you appreciate about geekStarter?

I appreciate the mission of geekStarter, and the overarching goal to promote science literacy and excellence within our province. Alberta is a hotbed of talent and is uniquely positioned to be a scientific and economic leader within Canada and abroad. geekStarter helps build strong networks that allow for education, mentorship, and innovation within Alberta, within Canada, and with partners abroad.


Spotlight on geekStarters: ULethbridge iGEM Team

Spotlight on geekStarters: ULethbridge iGEM Team

A favorite ULethbridge team picture with the Lethbridge High School team – from our recent aGEM 2017 event in Edmonton

Check out this recent interview with the iGEM team from University of Lethbridge, and learn about their exciting plans for this iGEM season and beyond.

  • What is unique about your team? Any memorable moments?

It is the University of Lethbridge Collegiate iGEM team’s 10th year of participation.

  • What is your team’s favorite fun activity? What’s something your team does to bond?

We bond over pizza at our regular wiki content meetings.

  • How does your team use social media?

We occasionally post to our Instagram (uleth.igem), Twitter (@LethbridgeiGEM) and Facebook (@LethbridgeiGEM) pages.

  • How would you describe your team’s project in 3 sentences or less?

We are developing a standard, safe, modular and user-friendly cell-free system, to lower the barrier of synthetic biology for new users and hobbyists, while also providing a flexible tool for researchers. This tool is based on a simplified protein production system found in all living cells and can be used as a safe synthetic biology teaching tool. ….Next vivo…

  • What has been one highlight of working on your project so far?

One of the major highlights that we have had is coming up with new ideas of how our project can be used by others and what ethical issues our project brings to the field that didn’t exist before.

  • What is your team’s biggest challenge?

Coordinating what step each of our parts is in development, with 40 parts it proved to be very challenging!

  • What does your team look forward to the most this season?

Our team is looking forward to sharing all of our hard work at the Giant Jamboree in Boston, as well as seeing other projects.

  • What do you hope to achieve by the end of this season?

We hope to provide a useful tool to synthetic biologists, while also bringing awareness to the biosecurity risks associated with cell-free systems.

  • Where would you like to see your project go in the future? What are your team’s dreams for the future?

We would like to see this project continue to be integrated into teaching synthetic biology in high schools and even middle schools as a teaching tool. Ideally we would continue developing more modules to our project improving it for uses outside teaching and basic protein expression.