The BioInnovation Group at UC Davis  exists in a close partnership with the Department of Biomedical Engineering TEAM (Translating Engineering Advances to Medicine) Lab and the MPBIL (Molecular Prototyping and BioInnovation Lab) Lab, and through this partnership, is able to provide laboratory space and resources to undergraduates interested in working on student-led projects with the oversight of UC Davis faculty. Current student-run projects include “Real Vegan Cheese,” in which students produce casein proteins in yeast, “Plant Bioprinter,” in which students modify a 3D printer to print living plant cells, and “Microfluidics,” in which students build a microfluidic device for use in biotechnology applications.
As part of our outreach program, we gave a presentation to the BioInnovation Group at UC Davis, detailing the design and results of our iGEM project. The BioInnovation Group at UC Davis, formerly the Synthetic Biology Club at UC Davis, is an undergraduate student research organization. We also aim to extend our iGEM project through this club and get more people involved with mammalian cell research!
Innovation & Entrepreneurship Pre-College Program
This summer we worked with the Davis Graduate School of Management to integrate biotechnology into the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Pre-College program. This program gives motivated pre-college students the opportunity to develop the skills and foster new relationships essential to becoming a successful entrepreneurs and innovators. Students spend a month touring leading Silicon Valley and San Francisco companies, meeting with startup entrepreneurs, and end the program by developing a business concept and business pitch presentation.
We used this opportunity to shed light on the iGEM experience to the future innovators and potential future iGEM participants. We discussed the principles of synthetic biology and the current and exciting research that is being done by biotechnology companies across the world. We made our course interactive by conducting a simple heat shock transformation in E. coli using GFP, RFP, and YFP inserts. This was a fun and education experience for the students and we enjoyed the opportunity to spark interest in synthetic biology in the next generation of entrepreneurs. The colorful bacteria cultures were also a plus!
Seed Central Forum
“Seed Central is an initiative of the Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis and SeedQuest, joined by a growing number of companies and organizations in the global seed and agbiotech industry.”  The purpose of Seed Central is to facilitate the research collaboration between agbiotech industry and UC Davis. UC Davis is regarded as the world leader in seed, plant and agricultural sciences. We were grateful to have the opportunity to present our project at this conference. We gained valuable insight about current research in agbiotech and how our project can be integrated into this industry. A copy of our presentation slides are included below.