Scientific Success despite Irish Obstacles

June 01, 2016

3rd SynSignal Progress Meeting in Dublin

Imre Berger (UNIVBRIS) introduces his team
SynSignal Consortium, 3rd Progress Meeting, Dublin

The SynSignal consortium met for its 3rd progress meeting on the premises of partner UCD (University College Dublin). Boris Kholodenko and his team welcomed the group from May 25 – 27, 2016. Project partners could not even be held off by a potential tram strike, an international football match, or a Bruce Springsteen concert that were putting all of Dublin in a frenzy.

The first two meeting days were moderated by coordinator Horst Vogel (EPFL) and mainly addressed progress, challenges, and achievements within the different work packages of the project. Each consortium member presented their accomplishments and fruitful discussions were launched about the upcoming tasks in each work package. Additionally, the consortium welcomed with the University of Bristol under the PI Imre Berger a new partner and Berger introduced his team and their planned activities for the upcoming months. The consortium was joined by Johannes le Coutre, Head of Perception Physiology at Nestlé Research Center, who acted as Scientific Advisory Board member during these first two days. Mr le Coutre provided greatly to a lively discussion and his presentation on “Taste – The Metabolic Sense” was much appreciated by the whole consortium.

The last meeting day was reserved for a discussion on the public perception of Synthetic Biology (SB) as one of the tasks of the consortium. For this, the partners were joined by two external experts: Hans Westerhoff, Professor of Synthetic Systems Biology at the University of Amsterdam and Professor of Systems Biology at the University of Manchester, and Peter Sandøe, Professor of Bioethics at the University of Copenhagen. Both experts gave additional talks on the issue of SB in public discourse which complemented the work of the consortium. Additionally, Imre Berger (UNIVBRIS) presented BrisSynBio, a multi-disciplinary research centre that focuses on biomolecular design and engineering aspects of synthetic biology.

Altogether, the meeting was a great success and offered an intense discussion forum for all partners strengthening the collaboration within the consortium.