Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT - SynBio)

Synthetic Biology

GCAT Synthetic Biology 2012, 13 & 14 Summer Workshops - details coming soon


GCAT's Mission

Synthetic Biology Defined

Synthetic Biology Workshops

Synthetic Biology Protocols

Syntheitc Biology Publications



Purpose of GCAT

1) Bring synthetic biology into undergraduate curriculum primarily through student research

2) Provide free tools for use in synthetic biology. This includes the GCAT-alog which is the only nationally distributed network of freezer stocks of DNA standardized parts. Members can bank their parts in freezers on other campuses as well as search other freezers and request parts from GCAT SynBio members.

3) Use NSF- and HHMI-funded workshops to train teams of faculty (one biologist, one non-biologist) how to think about synthetic biology and to bring the field into their teaching and research. We have workshops planned for the summers of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

4) Collect student data and designs in a national registry of functional promoters (RFP). This database of promoters will allow anyone using the plasmid pSB111 to compare their promoter to known standards.

5) Assess the impact of GCAT on student learning.

Everyone using GCAT resources is a faculty member trying to bring synthetic biology into the curriculum to help students. We often have to figure out things as we go along. GCAT helps coordinate stuff, but you and your students do all the work. You design the experiments and analyze the data. All GCAT does is lower the energy of activation.

Requirements for Participation in GCAT

To become a "GCAT member", you have to agree to these terms:

1) All work must be performed by you and your UNDERGRADUATE students. Sorry, but graduate students are not allowed under any circumstances. The chips we use have been given to us for use by undergraduates only. Graduate students can use real-time PCR or other methods to validate undergraduate results.

2) All data will be public domain.

3) You have to pay for all your own supplies and reagents. If you request DNA parts from another GCAT SynBio member, you are responsible for the shipping.

4) You are willing to help other faculty by answering questions when you are able. These questions usually come from GCATSynBio-L.

5) You are willing to take a risk and try something very new, knowing that it may not work out the first time.

6) You are willing to participate in the assessment component of GCAT which we are initiating to help improve our use of genomic resources for teaching and to establish data for a future grant proposal to the NSF. This assessment will be coordinated by:

GCAT-Sponsored Synthetic Biology Workshops

Synthetic Biology Workshop #2
(June 15 - 18, 2011)

Workshop on Synthetic Biology

June 16, 17, 18, 2011

Missouri Western State University, MO

Synthetic Biology Workshop #1
(July 8 - 10, 2010)

HHMI-Funded Workshop on Synthetic Biology

July 8, 9, 10, 2010

Davidson College, NC

If you have any questions or would like to participate, contact Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell

Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell, Director of GCAT
Biology Department
Davidson College
P. O. Box 7118 (US Mail)
209 Ridge Road (Ground Delivery)

Davidson, NC 28035-7118

phone: (704) 894-2692
fax: (704) 894-2512

© Copyright 2012 Department of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035
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