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Beyond the confines of the classroom

Biotechnology students inspired by the NUS-Edinburgh Synthetic Biology Symposium

Thirty-five second-year Diploma in Biotechnology students participated in the NUS-Edinburgh Synthetic Biology Symposium 2015 to find out about the latest developments in the expanding field of synthetic biology, a science of the future that involves multi-disciplinary collaborations, and promotes innovation. Synthetic biology is crafted into the DBT curriculum through the modules: Bio-explore; Bio-conceptualise; and Bio-discover, where students ideate and perform synthetic biology-based projects, using their knowledge gained from the biotechnology curriculum, to resolve current issues in healthcare, food and environment, a true representation of programme tagline “Biotechnology: Science that changes lives”.

SP DBT students listening to the opening speech by Prof Barry Halliwell, Deputy President (Research & Technology), NUS to welcome the Edinburgh delegates, including Ms Judith Slater, Acting British High Commissioner.

Below are write-ups from students who attended the symposium.

“I was privileged to be able attend a synthetic biology symposium conducted by NUS, with distinguished guests from Singapore and United Kingdom. The event was a welcoming change of pace to my school life, and was a real eye opener into the world and future of synthetic biology. It was very reassuring to know that synthetic biology has been growing, and that countries are willing to invest in the possible revolutions brought on by synthetic biology. Although most of the presentations were difficult to understand and comprehend, there were still several things that I could learn. Some talks reminded me about things that I often took for granted or never considered before. These inspires me to look at things in new perspectives and pushes me to work harder in the future. Overall, the event was very interesting and meaningful, and it made me proud to be part of the future of synthetic biology.”

Ang Xiang Yong
Current Year 2 student

“The Synthetic Biology symposium 2015 hosted by NUS was definitely an eye-opener for me. The speeches given during the symposium were exceedingly interesting and informative. My understanding on synthetic biology was deepened and I am truly intrigued by the promising impact synthetic biology can bring to the advancement of science. Synthetic biology is definitely an interesting up and coming field which possesses exceedingly great potential in changing lives.”

Don Loi Xu
Current Year 2 student