Welcome to GCAT 2010; the first synthetic biology faculty workshop!
30 educators from multiple disciplines gathered at Davidson College this morning to attend the 2010 GCAT workshop where they hope to learn how to collaborate in the fields of biology, chemistry, computer engineering and mathematics to enhance their knowledge about the growing interdisciplinary subject, synthetic biology. The participants are teamed in pairs from 15 different institutions (listed below). Partners in each pair are from the same college or university and one is a biologist while the other specializes in a different field previously mentioned. The challenge that lies ahead for participants is learning to work together (harmoniously) to enhance their understanding of synthetic biology. Hopefully this will stimulate an on-going relationship between the respective disciplines that can be nurtured at their home institutions. Faculty can engage undergraduates in synthetic biology using this interdisciplinary approach. Participants came to the workshop with different expectations and some had a very limited understanding of what synthetic biology was. Regardless, everyone was gung-ho and ready to go learn more about the exciting new field.
Leading the workshop are mathmaticians Dr. Laurie Heyer and Dr. Jeff Poet, and biologists Dr. Malcolm Campbell and Dr. Todd Eckdhal. Dr. Heyer and Dr. Campbell are from Davidson College. Dr. Poet and Dr. Eckdhal are from Missouri Western State University.
Participating institutions include: Cardinal Stritch University, Emporia State University, Hampden-Sydney College, Kapiolani Community College, Longwood University, Macalester College, Moravian College, Ouachita Baptist College, Saint Mary’s College of CA, SW Oklahoma State University, Texas Lutheran University, University of Evansville, University of Mary Washington,Vassar College and Widener College.