Through our journey, we engaged in partnerships with both international and Greek iGEM teams, driven by our desire to forge connections with like-minded individuals pursuing a common goal. However, beyond that, we actively initiated collaborations to disseminate the idea of Synthetic Biology and its profound real-world applications. Additionally, we aimed to promote the international iGEM competition, which recognizes and rewards new and innovative ideas that address environmental and health-related issues each year. Through these collaborations, we strive to gain a deeper understanding of the spirit of teamwork, collective effort and global cooperation that iGEM Competition promotes. During our interactions with international teams, we encounter new ideas, mindsets, and the philosophy of different cultures. At the same time, by getting to know international teams, we learn about the principles and values of their projects and how they vary depending on the characteristics of each country.

Meeting with most of the Greek iGEM teams

Our team, aiming to get to know the members of the other Greek iGEM teams and learn about their research topics for this year, conducted online meetings with most of the Greek iGEM teams. Thus, we had the opportunity to meet with the iGEM Athens, iGEM Thrace, iGEM Ioannina, iGEM Thessaloniki, iGEM Thessaly, iGEM UniCRETE, and PatrasBio iGEM teams. During these meetings, we exchanged ideas, discussed possible collaboration proposals, shared our concerns, and presented our projects, creating a pleasant atmosphere throughout the competition. Concurrently, we engaged in various collaborations with all the aforementioned teams, strengthening and maintaining our relationships.

Organized by us

World Health Day Project

The first collaboration we organized was on the occasion of the World Health Day, which is celebrated on April 7th. In fact, it was the 1st one among all the teams participating in the iGEM Competition for 2023. The main idea was for each team to share a photo of their members holding a paperboard with an awareness message about the importance of health. Specifically, each team chose a quote, which they then wrote on the paperboard and decorated it, as they wished to convey the message of the value of health with their unique touch. There was participation from 25 teams from all over the world and in particular iGEM UniCRETE, iGEM ULaval, iGEM Sorbonne University, iGEM Hamburg, igem NTHU, iGEM Thrace, iGEM IOANNINA, iGEM UB Barcelona, iGEM Aachen 2023, Ollin SynBio, iGEM Heidelberg, iGEM Stockholm, iGEM ABOA, iGEM TEC GDL, iGEM TU Braunschweig 2023, iGEM Thessaloniki, iGEM Erlangen, iGEM NU Kazakhstan, iGEM NANTES, iGEM UNIL, iGEM Bulgaria, iGEM Thessaly, IGEM Patras and iGEM Athens. Through this, we tried in our own way to eliminate the distances and with the help of many other young researchers to spread the importance of health in many countries and encourage people to start taking care of themselves through proper nutrition, good mental health and exercise, for a better and higher quality life!

World DNA Day Project

On World DNA Day, on April 25th, our team had the idea to bring together iGEMers from around the world by creating a video where we share facts and information about DNA, Synthetic Biology, and its general applications in Medicine. So, we prepared a text, which we divided into different parts, and each team chose one of them and presented it in a short video. The teams that helped us bring our idea to life were: iGEM IONIS, iGEM TU Braunschweig, iGEM Tübingen, iGEM Thessaly, Sorbonne University, iGEM Bonn-Rheinbach, iGEM ULaval, iGEM Stuttgart, iGEM Stockholm, iGEM Aachen, iGEM University of Florida, iGEM Thessaloniki, iGEM Erlangen, iGEM IISc and iGEM INSA ENS Lyon 1. Through this collaboration, we were able to share important information about Synthetic Biology and communicate it to more people involved in the science field, as well as to the public, so that everyone understands its definition, its value, its various applications in our everyday life and how it helps in solving critical everyday problems.

Podcast with iGEM Ioannina 2023 team

In our podcast series, titled 'The SynBio Voice #2,' we had the privilege of engaging in a collaborative endeavor with iGEM Ioannina. The purpose of this collaboration was to clarify and discuss our distinct therapeutic approaches, which we have put forth as part of the competition. To be more specific, both of our teams have chosen to direct our focus toward the complex issue of solid tumors. Our divergent perspectives on a shared challenge facilitated a constructive dialogue, with the overarching objective of imparting knowledge to the broader society concerning solid tumors and how Synthetic Biology can significantly contribute to their treatment. During the course of our discussions, we delved into the potential of photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy as viable avenues for addressing solid tumors. This collaborative effort, marked by the exchange of knowledge and the presentation of diverse perspectives, underscores the efficacy of collective engagement, wherein we collectively work towards realizing the optimal outcomes and identifying the most efficacious cancer treatments. We sincerely thank the iGEM Ioannina team for their enthusiastic and invaluable collaboration, which was both enjoyable and fundamentally significant.

Collaboration with iGEM BITS Goa 2023 team

CAR-NK Therapy vs modified CAR-T Therapy in solid tumors

We collaborated with the iGEM BITS Goa 2023 team, as both teams are working on cancer therapeutic projects. We have been working on two approaches to address the same problem: the iGEM BITS Goa team focuses on a modified CAR-T therapy for treating solid malignancies, whereas we have been utilizing CAR-NK cell technology to target solid tumors. Through this collaboration, we had the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss how cancer can be tackled using various applications of Synthetic Biology. Subsequently, after brainstorming, we decided to compile the different characteristics of our projects and present them in a video, comparing the techniques and methods of our two therapies. Therefore, Synthetic Biology can offer different therapeutic approaches for cancer, allowing the patient to choose the most efficient treatment for their specific case. We can only find the best solution for the patient by sharing our ideas and perspectives with others, which is why we are particularly pleased with this collaboration.

Collaboration with iGEM Toulouse team

iGEM Guide about Safety Rules when using cancer cell lines / Similarity in Greece and in France

The subsequent collaborative effort with the iGEM Toulouse 2023 Team was centered on the development of an iGEM Guide about Safety Regulations for the utilization of cancer cell lines within laboratory settings, both in Greece and France. The primary objective of this initiative was to conduct a comparative analysis of safety regulations between the two respective countries. The intention was to elucidate and underscore any distinctions that may exist, thereby enhancing our comprehension of the biosafety protocols essential for the meticulous execution of experimental procedures. Click here to see the Safety Guide

Collaboration with iGEM Thrace 2023 team

  1.  1) A podcast about the link between pancreatic cancer and depression.

    One aspect of our collaboration with the iGEM Thrace team was to host them to an episode of our podcast series “SynBio Voice #2” to highlight the potential biological link between pancreatic cancer and depression. So, we initially discussed the critical characteristics of pancreatic cancer, such as its extremely high mortality rate, early vague symptoms, and the fact that a significant percentage of pancreatic cancer patients often experience depression more frequently than patients with other types of cancer. On the other hand, iGEM Thrace communicated the methods of diagnosing depression and the therapeutic approaches to address it. In conclusion, we realized that pancreatic cancer and depression are particularly challenging conditions whose connection is still under investigation.

  2.  2) Social media post about the link between pancreatic cancer and depression.

    In a subsequent collaboration with iGEM Thrace, we jointly created a post for our social media accounts where we present some key research points that support the biological link between pancreatic cancer and depression, as well as with butyrate. We also mention some dietary preferences among patients with pancreatic cancer, which also help the healthy function of the GUT-BRAIN AXIS.

Participated in

Business plan collaboration in entrepreneurship - with iGEM Toulouse

In the context of our collaboration with other iGEM teams, we came in touch with iGEM Toulouse, knowing that we share a similar project related to cancer therapy. After discussing our concerns and the challenges we were facing, the need for assistance in developing a business plan became apparent to both our teams. For this reason, we proceeded to figure out where we should focus our market research. Subsequently, both teams presented the progress made concerning the Canvas, SWOT analysis and PEST analysis. Moreover, we exchanged opinions regarding the final product and the ultimate customer. It was a significant discussion that helped us broaden our thinking and understand the extent to which other iGEM teams are operating in terms of their business plan organization.

Inclusivity Collaboration- with iGEM BITS Goa 2023

In a second collaboration with the iGEM Bits Goa, which focuses on lung cancer treatment, we decided to gather statistics on the incidence of pancreatic cancer in Greece and lung cancer in India, respectively, based on parameters such as gender and geographical location. Our goal was to explain how socioeconomic status influences the occurrence of a disease. Regarding Greece, we found that the incidence of pancreatic cancer is slightly higher in women than in men, although insufficient evidence supports this. However, globally, the incidence of pancreatic cancer is higher in men than women. Among several factors responsible for pancreatic cancer, smoking has been shown to be responsible for approximately 25% of cases. It may partly explain the different incidence of pancreatic cancer between the two genders worldwide. So we decided to gather the epidemiological statistics of lung cancer and pancreatic cancer for India and Greece, respectively, and examine their differencies in a social media post.

“iGEM Playlist” Project- by iGEM 2023 MSP Maastricht

Participating in such a unique and enjoyable collaboration centered around music was a great joy for us. Music is an integral part of our daily lives, often bringing us tranquility and an opportunity to escape our demanding routines. During the iGEM competition and its challenges, all members find solace in music, experiencing moments of joy and relaxation. Specifically, in this collaboration, each participating team chose a song that represented them, creating a playlist with all these songs. This was a valuable chance to get in touch with the musical preferences of other teams and, in a way, briefly immerse ourselves in their lives. The song we chose was "Wind of Change" by Scorpions. This song inspires us because, as its title suggests, it reminds us of the significant change that our project, Synthetic Biology, and generally the iGEM competition, may bring on a global scale.

“Postcard Exchange” Project- by iGEM Düsseldorf

Every year, several iGEM teams collaborate on the Postcard Exchange Project, through which each team has the opportunity to receive and send a postcard from and to anywhere in the world. So, we also had the pleasure of participating in it this year! Specifically, this event aims to foster global connections and bring iGEM teams closer together to get to know each other better and develop strong bonds. Each team has the opportunity to create a postcard that showcases their vibe, incorporates their logos, and introduces themselves. By participating in this collaboration, we had the chance to admire the incredible work being done by iGEM teams worldwide. It is an excellent opportunity to learn from each other, gain inspiration, and forge connections that could potentially lead to future collaborations between the next generations. Below, you can find the postcard made by our team!

“Cancer Survivors Day” Project- by iGEM Patras

On the occasion of Cancer Survivor Day, which takes place on June 4th, we had the opportunity to participate in a collaborative video project. Within this event, we were exposed to the harsh reality of cancer and gained valuable insights. Specifically, the central idea was for each team to interview a cancer patient or a cancer survivor and ask them 2 to 3 questions. Ultimately, the team that organized the collaboration combined these questions and created a complete interview. Through this experience, we witnessed the scourge of cancer from a patient's perspective and realized its consequences. Of course, the interview was not devoid of positive vibes, as the individual we spoke with had previously overcome cancer. This provided a highly optimistic message and encouragement to those still battling the disease! Below, you can find the video project!

“The SDGs” Project- by iGEM Thessaloniki

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to transform our world. They are a call to action to end poverty and inequality, protect the planet, and ensure everyone enjoys health, justice, and prosperity. These are the values ​​that the iGEM teams try to highlight through their projects, too. Thus, in this collaboration project, the idea was for each group to choose one of the 17 sustainable development goals and explain how their project helps create a more sustainable and green planet. Our team chose the goal of good health and well-being. Pancreatic cancer is a severe health issue that has affected many of the population. Its treatment is complicated, the survival rate is small, metastasis is widespread, and its diagnosis is poor. Consequently, by proposing an advanced and more effective treatment option for this disease, we contribute to improving the well-being of individuals affected by pancreatic cancer. Below, you can find the video made by iGEM Thessaloniki!

"iGEM is…" Project- by iGEM Thrace

The iGEM competition offers a truly unparalleled experience to all its participants. It provides a platform for acquiring fresh knowledge, igniting inspiration, fostering creativity, nurturing relationships, cultivating friendships, and engaging in collaborative endeavors with novel acquaintances. This competition unveils the realm of Synthetic Biology, empowering individuals to realize their aspirations, extend their helping hand to humanity, and contribute to resolving local predicaments. Within the idea of the iGEM Thrace team, each team encapsulated their idea of "iGEM is..." in a short video presentation. Our team chose the phrase "iGEM is a collaboration between different mindsets." The competition allows us to collaborate and work with individuals with different mindsets, both within our own team and amongst teams worldwide. This immersive experience instills values of respect and cooperation and encourages thinking "out of the box". So, you can find the "iGEM is..." project video below!

“SynBio Questionnaire Project”- by iGEM Thessaloniki

"How informed is the world regarding Synthetic Biology?" posed a question that sparked the creation of this particular collaboration. All Greek iGEM teams, organized by iGEM Thessaloniki, made a questionnaire revolving around Synthetic Biology and its applications. Subsequently, this questionnaire was disseminated via social media to numerous individuals, acquaintances, friends, experts, and members of our university departments. Below, you can see the outcomes of the research:

‘’iGEM map’’ Project- by NTHU Taiwan

How could we get to know each other more easily when we live so far away? The NTHU Taiwan team found the solution. Specifically, the team had the idea of ​​creating a map with over 20 teams from different countries and states. By clicking on each team's logos on the map, it is possible to learn the team's name, see a group photo of its members, their logos, and a description of their project. Even though the iGEM teams may be physically far from each other, projects like this can still bring us together!

‘’Project Promo Video translation’’

In our effort to make the Project Promo Video of our team understandable and accessible to a broader audience, we collaborated with iGEM Toulouse to mutually translate our Project Promo Videos. We translated their video into Greek, and they translated our video into French. Our team's Project Promo Video includes subtitles in English, Greek, French, and German.