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<b><font size="3">Joy Edwards-Hicks</font><br><font size="2">Biomedicine Undergraduate</font></b><br><br>
<b><font size="3">Joy Edwards-Hicks</font><br><font size="2">Biomedicine Undergraduate</font></b><br><br>
Joy is going into her third year and is looking forward to a future career working within cell biology; preferably working in a lab out in the jungle somewhere! She has done a fantastic job of managing the human practices side of the NRP UEA iGEM team, liasing with places such as STAR Radio and the Norwich Forum to score the team some brilliant opportunities to present the project. In her spare time Joy is normally found in the shops, until they close, when she can be found surfing eBay adding to her already-impressive clothes and shoes collection.  
Joy is going into her third year and is looking forward to a future career working within cell biology; preferably working in a lab out in the jungle somewhere! She has done a fantastic job of managing the lab, as well as the human practices side of the NRP UEA iGEM team, liasing with places such as STAR Radio and the Norwich Forum to score the team some brilliant opportunities to present the project. In her spare time Joy is normally found in the shops, until they close, when she can be found surfing eBay adding to her already-impressive clothes and shoes collection.  
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Revision as of 23:11, 26 September 2012





The NRP UEA iGEM Team 2012

The NRP-UEA iGEM2012 Logo

The iGEM 2012 team for the Norwich Research Park and University of East Anglia (NRP UEA) are a close knit group of seven biology-based undergraduate students working in the labs within UEA’s BIO building. They are the second iGEM team that the NRP has produced and truly relish the opportunity to compete in a competition that has placed itself in such an innovative and exciting field of biology.

The NRP is one of Europe's largest concentrations of researchers in the life sciences and the environment, the UEA being a core constituent of the park. Known for its abundance of rabbits, its Ziggurats (as seen in various album covers) and its world-leading research. Despite having a olympic sized swimming pool on campus, the team prefer taking leisurely swimming in the river Yare that flows through the campus, a site of special scientific interest. It is frequented by cuckoos, sedge warblers, great crested grebes and, if you're lucky, you will see the odd flock of students too!

The iGEM team really are spoiled by both the natural beauty of their surroundings and the teaching excellence. Despite only having two main official academic advisers, practically everyone in the UEA School of Biology has very kindly imparted some of their wisdom to the student participance, as well as members of the John Innes Centre and the rest of the NRP, making the project a real representation of UEAs best and brightest!

The Team Members

Joy Edwards-Hicks
Biomedicine Undergraduate

Joy is going into her third year and is looking forward to a future career working within cell biology; preferably working in a lab out in the jungle somewhere! She has done a fantastic job of managing the lab, as well as the human practices side of the NRP UEA iGEM team, liasing with places such as STAR Radio and the Norwich Forum to score the team some brilliant opportunities to present the project. In her spare time Joy is normally found in the shops, until they close, when she can be found surfing eBay adding to her already-impressive clothes and shoes collection.

Khadija Ouadi
Molecular Biology & Genetics Undergraduate

Khadija anticipates beginning her third year of studies in September, and as someone that finds the intricacy of molecular biology amazing, she hopes to earn a living in academic research. iGEM has proved to be an experience she has relished, educating her both in what life in academia entails and in her own skill sets. Currently, her interests include tricking Rebecca into pegging herself in the lab groups many Peg Wars, failing to teach herself to play the guitar and using OligoAnalyser to make pretty shapes out of DNA constructs!

Lukas Harnisch
Biomedicine Undergraduate

Lukas is entering his 3rd year of studying Biomedicine. For him iGEM is a great opportunity to dive into the world of synthetic biology, the possibility to learn new skills and broaden his understanding of this field of research, and to meet and collaborate with students from all over the world. This summer he is looking forward to spending lots of time with his team members both inside the lab and outside. In his free time he enjoys photography, cooking and cycling, as well as travelling, and is therefore especially excited to go to this years jamboree in Amsterdam.

Pascoe Harvey
Biological Sciences Undergraduate

Pascoe is a Biological Sciences undergraduate, about to enter his final year. The iGEM experience has been invaluable to him and he is now strongly considering a future in academia specialising in synthetic biology. The project has fortified his presentational skills and blue sky thinking. It has also further developed his research and practical lab skills within a team environment from his previous work experience involving research into curculionoidea morphology in the Natural History Museum. He has a diverse range of interests from sports to the arts to politics. He is the only member who can ride a unicycle and is currently teaching his fellow iGEMers his self taught circus skills.

Rachel Dobson
Molecular Biology & Genetics Undergraduate

Rachel is a smiley, enthusiastic second year student, studying Molecular Biology and Genetics at UEA. Over the last two years at UEA, she has also developed an interest in cell biology and is keen to continue further studies in this area. She has really enjoyed her summer, from getting to know the other iGEMers while chilling and playing games by the lake, to listening to a wide variety of music while carrying out aspects of wet lab. Rachel likes the variation of tasks that she has been able to undertake as a consequence of participating in this rewarding competition, both the practical and research side, as well as taking part with the elements of human outreach. When Rachel is not in the lab she is usually filling her time being very active, for example she supervises a weekly cooking class for a local charity, and more recently she has been improving her badminton skills.

Rebecca Lo
Molecular Biology & Genetics Undergraduate

Rebecca is about to enter her final year at UEA. After university she plans to pursue a career in academia with a particular interest in plant genetics. She greatly anticipates an iGEM filled summer. Applying for iGEM was an easy decision for her as it brought about the opportunity to meet students with similar interests to her, gain research experience, and of course have 10 weeks of awesomeness! Currently, her greatest joy would be to get revenge on Khadija in Peg Wars. She loves KPop, especially songs that blows your brains out, only difference is you do you the shooting. She also loves playing team sports but can be rather competitive; someone always gets hurt! She has a long list of accidental injuries, of which none are to herself, so you have been warned…

Russell Gritton
Biomedicine Undergraduate

Russell is a third-year Biomedicine student looking forward to a career in cell biology research. He sees iGEM as a fantastic opportunity to become a part of a new, innovative branch of science with many real-world applications for the future, and is therefore excited to be a part of this year’s NRP UEA team. He particularly likes the creative side of the project and is the main user of the team’s Twitter, as well as having designed the Wiki and many of the graphics on it. In his free time Russell enjoys good music and good company, and is currently trying to learn the ukulele.

Richard Bowater
Advisor - Senior Lectuer

Richard is a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia, in the School of Biological Sciences. He specialises in Biochemistry, and is currently leading a research team at UEA. The work carried out within his lab studies the macromolecular interactions of DNA repair mechanisms in bacteria, in particular focusing on DNA ligases. Not only is he the founder of the team, but he also the spiritual and academic advisor of the team, therefore consistently keeping the team and their project on track.

Richard Kelwick
Advisor - PhD Student

Richard Kelwick is a doctoral Student at UEA, focusing his studies in Cancer Research. His research is centered around understanding the role of proteases in breast cancer and is interested in elucidating the tumour suppressor functions of several metalloproteinases, particularly ADAMTS15. Richard is THE KING of all things technological. Among the iGEM team he is renowned for his tweeting as he tweets more than Stephen Fry, as well as introducing google hangout to the UK team meet up. Richard is fueled by Twix's, giving him the energy that makes him super efficient and always the guy to save the day. It is Richards great advice, organisation of events and elevating the team spirit higher than a giraffe on stilts makes the NRP-UEA iGEM team the team that it is- #Thank you Richard and thank god for Twix's.

Amy Congdon

Amy Congdon completed her BA in Contemporary Textile Practices, at Norwich University College of Arts, and then went on to do her masters in Textile Futures, based at Central Saint Martins in London. Amy has played an important role as the team’s artist, since she got in touch with the team a few months before they started on their project. She is fascinated between the links of design, craft and science, and has used her interest to help the team to engage with the public. The team are very thankful to have her on board for her creative input, as well as her dedication and time to the team’s project. Amy has been very active within our human outreach program; from designing the team’s eye catching logo, to directing and editing their film.

Team Spirit

The iGEM competition 2012 was an amazing time for the whole NRP UEA team. At the beginning of the 12 weeks that our project would span, we didn't imagine the amount of knowledge and experience we would gain and the fun we would have. Not only did we work with many very interesting researchers at our university, we also became part of the great community that iGEM is and met other students that were just as drawn in by synthetic biology as we were. A highlight for this was definitely the UK team meetup that we hosted in London. All this made us grow close together as a team and the summer flew by. We celebrated our results and rejoiced when hard work payed off. But not only did we enjoy our time in the lab, we also made the most of our free time. We threw birthday parties, traveled together, enjoyed culture and music and in general just had a good time. To be honest, not everything was pleasant and in the lab especially first tries often did not succeed. We soon realised that research can confront you with setbacks that press down hard on moral. Everyone who has experienced this will know that team spirit is very important. Be it a failed gel purification or the realisation that you spend the last 3 days working with the wrong plasmid, it is never pleasant to see a team member disappointed. We were lucky to have an easy cure for this. We passed the time with fun games that sprung our imagination or were inspired by funny realisations or activities. Pegging, Dress-Up Thursday and mini prep queen/king, to name only things that caused lots of laughter and joy. But the game Ninjas was always the highlight be it during late nights of research, sunny lunch breaks or during the UK meetup where we played with lots of other teams. Team spirit has been high the whole time of iGEM 2012 and was one of the things that made this summer so rememberable. Read on and be inspired by the fun!

When 7 UEA undergraduates collide, we come together and have lots and lots of fun. Thanks to this awesome opportunity that iGEM has provided, the last few months have been AMAZING. We worked really hard but we also played hard and we would like to take you through some of our experiences and share the Joy - yes pun intended, with you.

This was our 10 weeks in, shortened to 6 minutes. It has been crazy experience and scary how fast it flew by. Below are some activities that we played more than a lot. We changed some of the rules around a little but we hope this gives others an idea of how to enjoy the project all the more.

For all iGEMers and researchers out there, you all know that there are times when during experiments you have some free time but not much or you just need a good pick me up, well these activities are perfect for you. They bring the team together, keep you alert and can make you laugh so hard that any stress of failed cloning or unexpected breakdowns become a thing of the past.


Contrary to the name of this game, you do not need to dress up in black or as turtles and throw shurikens, instead you just need to be swift, fluid and tactical. For this game you need to ideally have a large group of people but more than 3 is fine too. The aim of the game is to be the last man or woman standing.

How to

If the video demonstration is not clear enough, here is a written version of the rules. There are actually quite a different set of rules for this game but we like to keep things fast, fun and unexpected by using this set of rules (i.e. we made up bits)

1) Get into a circle and everyone put your hands to the centre and have your finger tips pretty much touching.

2) Wiggle your fingers and say "EEEERRRRRRRRRRR Ninjas!", on the word of "Ninjas", everyone jumps back from the circle and gets into a ninja-like stance. What kind of stance you get into will probably depend on what films you watch.

3) One person then starts, they pick one person who is immediately to their left or right and in one fluid motion moves to hit their hand. In the meanwhile, the person who has been targetted is also allowed to move in one fluid continual movement.

4) If the person targetted has their hand hit they are out, and the next person in their direction continues the game. If the person evades being hit, then they move, they are also allowed to choose whichever direction to move in and hence you you target.

5) This game continues till only 2 people are left. These two then stop and get back to back and on the count of three jump away and make a VERY cool ninja pose. The coolest/hardest pose is the person who starts first. The winner is the last one remaining.


1) Only hitting the person's hand counts, that means no arms! However, it does not matter whether it is the palm or back of the hand you hit.

2) When the defending person moves, if they hit the next person in the hand in the process, that person who is hit, is out. This is a sneaky move but it makes the game more interesting.

3) Some people play this game so that you are only allowed to move in one direction, but moving in both makes it more unexpected.

4) When you move, it is like a robotic movement. If you move you arm forward, you may not retract your hand in the same move. Check out the dos and don't of this in the video.

5) Defense or approach movements are allowed. For defense, it may be that you know you are very close to being hit so you purposely jump back to evade being hit. You can also jump towards a person if you are too far away.

That's it, that's all the rules of Ninjas. If you think we are crazy for playing this, we are not the only ones. At the UK meet up, we got many many people involved. Don't believe me? Check out our team spirit video. This game is a great ice breaker. You just have to get past the bit, that some people hit really hard.

Pegging Assassin

This is a long game and takes more organisation but is very simple. It is literally pegging someone. The aim of the game is to have as many pegs as you can by the end of the game.

How to

Team Pegs.JPG

1) At the start of the game, we write every participants name on pegs and put them into a bag or envelope, anything opaque is fine.

2) The team then take out a peg each, if one person gets the peg with their own name on it, then all pegs are put back into the bag and a reselection is called.

3) Once everyone has different pegs then the pegging commences.


1) The how to is really simple, now for some ground rules. When we play in lab, we make sure that when anyone is working, that includes talking to someone about work, dry lab work or wet lab, they are not pegged.

2) You can peg that person (e.g hair) or any of the clothes that person is wearing so that means no bags. However due to 1 minute rule, you can peg clothes they are not wearing and the minute rule commences when they put that item of clothing on.

3) The one minute rule means that if you peg that person and if for a minute they do not remove the peg, then you have successfully pegged them, if not then you have to retrieve the peg and continue.

4) You can trick the person to peg themselves. Rebecca found this out the hard way and the rule stayed.

5) Once someone has been pegged, then the pegger tells the pegged and the pegged surrenders all their pegs to the pegger. Therefore, if the pegged has 4 pegs, then the pegger is very lucky indeed.

6) If you get a peg with your own name on it, then that means you can peg anyone with that peg. This seemingly messes the game up but it actually makes the game rather interesting.

7) When there are only two people left and you can't seem to successfully peg each other, then there is a tie breaker. The tie breaker is to peg someone the first. This is decided by the team. For us, it was anyone who is extremely hard to peg. To make things harder, you must peg them and remove the peg after a minute, without them noticing.

This is a good game to get advisors into too. Not just the 7 of us undergraduates played this, we roped in Richard Kelwick and Richard Bowater. Pegging rules are quite relaxed so have fun and make up and change some rules, these are rules that we kept to but some of the best games are ones that you create so create some of your own too.