All of our supervisors has been essential for our project. Without them, we wouldn't have been able to do anything. They have helped with both the big and the small decisions and lead us in the right direction when we were in doubt. We are very thankful for the time and energy they have spent with us while our project has been growing. Thank you so much!
Associate Professor Sotirios Kampranis, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen
Centre coordinator Nanna Heinz, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen
Postdoc Simon Louis Théodore A Dusséaux, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen
PhD Fellow Morten Raadam, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen
PhD Fellow Davide Mancinotti, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen
PhD Fellow Cecilie Cetti Hansen, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen
PhD Fellow Victor Forman, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen
We are grateful to Center for Synthetic Biology, University of Copenhagen, for hosting us. Furthermore we would like to give a special thanks to the inspiring people at the Section for Plant Biochemistry at University of Copenhagen for always helping us out and answering our questions.
We are grateful to the following list of people who have helped in various ways in the development of our project.
Aaron Berliner, Graduate Student at Arkin Laboratory and NSF Fellow at UC Berkeley. We were put into contact with Aaron through Adam Arkin. Aaron kindly helped finding some interesting material from NASA regarding space medicine.
Adam P. Arkin, Professor and Director of The Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES). Adam kindly helped us by answering our questions regarding biotech development in the space industry. Adam was also very nice and forwarded our mail to other experts that we could be interested in speaking with.
Alessandra Luchini, PhD, Postdoc at Lise Arleth's group at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. Alessandra met with members of our wet lab team and helped brainstorming what artificial planar membrane-technology we could use in our experiments.
Birger Lindberg Møller, Professor and Head of the Center for Synthetic Biology, University of Copenhagen. We really appreciate that Professor Birger Lindberg Møller, as head of the Center for Synthetic Biology, provided us with a letter of recommendation for our funding applications.
Eva Horn Møller, PhD, Senior Drug Product Specialist at Zealand Pharma A/S. We had a very fruitful discussion with Eva Horn Møller regarding our project. Eva highlighted the importance of having the patient and his/her safety in mind. She further pointed out that we need to take special care to determine what that might be secreted in our system in addition to our protein of choice. She suggested that we could use a special E. coli strain with disabled lipopolysaccharide. These are all ideas that we intend to incorporate into our project. Eva also suggested that working on smaller, non-glycosylated peptides – including antibody fragments – may be the best way to go.
Lise Arleth, Professor in structural biophysics at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. Lise answered our initial questions about artificial membranes, which helped guiding the development of our membrane-focused experiments. She also put us in contact with Dr. Alessandra Luchini.
Luis Ángel Fernández Herrero, PhD, Principal Investigator, National Center for Biotechnology (CNB) Madrid, Spain. Luis sent us the bacterial strain that we used in all our experiments and for this we are very thankful.
Jacob Hofman-Bang, PhD, Senior Scientist, Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness. We contacted Jacob in order to hear about the biosafety aspects of our project. Jacob made a very good analysis of our product and concluded that in the form it has right now there are no biosafety issues.
Jon Fugl, Research Assistant, Section for Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen. Jon helped us in the laboratory and gave us useful inputs throughout the project.
Jon Scott, PhD, Medical Projects Team Lead, Space Medicine Office, European Astronaut Centre. Jon told us that there is an interest in combining exercise with anabolic drugs such as PTH, GH, and IGF-1, in order to improve the effect of exercise. Furthermore, there are some drawbacks with exercise in space as it is right now such as, 1) it is time consuming, 2) not all astronauts like to do it, 3) it produces heat, CO2 and moisture and 4) it increases the consumption of food. Jon also mentioned that proteins that can be used for diagnosis and for research purposes during space travel also would be very useful to produce with our system.
Jozef Mravec, Assistant professor, Section for Plant Glycobiology, University of Copenhagen. Jozef has helped us to perform experiments with the confocal microscope in the laboratory.
Jørgen Sauer, PhD, Fermentation Scientist from Novo Nordisk. Jørgen gave us some very interesting and useful feedback on our project. We spoke with him about several aspects of our project both safety, design and technical aspects of protein production.
Jane Nøhr, PhD, Cluster Manager at Biopeople, Denmark's Life Science Cluster. Jane provided us with very useful inputs concerning both the project and the current protein production processes in industry. Jane drew our attention to the current way of protein production in the industry using Pichia pastoris. Jane also suggested us to pay special attention to yield and purity when developing our product.
Kirsten Jørgensen, Associate Professor, Work Environment Coordinator, and Vice Head for Teaching at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Kirsten assisted us greatly when filling out the Safety Form and ensured that we applied for the appropriate internal safety applications to ensure we were able to do our experiments. Furthermore, she provided us with a letter of recommendation that was useful for our funding applications.
Karen McDonald, PhD, Professor at Department of Chemical Engineering, UC Davis. We got into contact with Karen through CUBES. We discussed the biomedical aspects of the proteins that we want to produce for space travel and she gave us some very valuable inputs. Karen said that the 2.5 hours of exercise per day (which is the standard right now for astronauts) might be difficult for long term space explorations and therefore some drugs would potentially be very useful when facing this problem. Karen McDonald's research group are working on producing the protein drug PTH (parathyroid hormone) in a way that is suitable for space travel. Karen McDonald also mentioned anti-cancer drugs as something that would be very useful to produce during long term space travel.
Lonnie Grove, PhD, Postdoc at University of Copenhagen and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California San Diego. Lonnie was one of the first experts we talked with and she help us understand the general health issues that arise during space travel. Lonnie said that production of antibodies would be useful for space travel.
Lynn Rotschield, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Bio and Bio-Inspired Technologies, Research and Technology Lead for NASA HQ STMD. Lynn visited us in Copenhagen in the Spring. We had a very interesting and inspiring meeting, which among other reasons let us in the direction of a space project.
Matthew Romang, Project perchlorate, iGEM team from the University of Exeter, wrote the part “What are the ethical implications for colonization and transport of biomaterial?” in the report “Colonising Mars”.
Melissa McGrail, Hyphae Hackers, iGEM-team from the technical university of Denmark, wrote the part “What has the incentive of launching space missions been, historically?” in the report “Colonising Mars”.
Mette Galsgaard, PhD Fellow at Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. Mette has taught us how to make liposomes and supported lipid bilayers. She also helped designing our liposome experiment.
Michael Hecht, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University. We met Michael at the European iGEM Meetup in Munich where Michael gave a talk. After his presentation, we were very happy to talk with him and he provided some very nice inputs regarding protein folding and production.
Nikos Hatzakis, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. Nikos helped us designing the liposome- and supported lipid bilayer-experiment and made it possible for us to carry out our experiments using confocal fluorescence microscopy by letting us use the microscopes in his laboratory.
Piers Millet, PhD, Director of Safety and Security at iGEM and co-chairs iGEM's Safety Committee. Piers helped us filling out the safety forms and pointed us in the direction of Jacob Hofman-Bang who helped us by making a biosafety analysis of our project. Piers also sent our safety questions to the Australia Group.
Poul Erik Jensen, Professor, Head of Copenhagen Plant Science Center, The University of Copenhagen. Professor Poul Erik Jensen has previously been supervisor for the iGEM team from University of Copenhagen. He therefore kindly provided us a letter of recommendation which was helpful for our funding applications.
Søren Schmidt-Rasmussen Nielsen, PhD Fellow at Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. Søren has taught us how to use the confocal fluorescence microscope. He also helped with the design the supported lipid bilayer experiment.
Tomas Laursen, Postdoc at Section for Plant Biochemistry, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Tomas helped preparing the protocol for liposome preparation and supported lipid bilayers and lent us extrusion equipment.
Virginia Wotring, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Space Medicine and Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Baylor College of Medicine. We had a very interesting conversation with Virginia Wotring on Skype, where we discussed several aspects of our project. We also discussed which protein that would be relevant to produce from a pharmacist's point of view. Virginia suggested that we could look into production of IgG-stan (type of IgG antibody which is used therapeutically), antibodies, immune modulators (cytokines and interleukins) and G-CSF.