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OpenPlant Fund Pitches

  • John Innes Centre Unnamed Road Norwich, England, NR4 United Kingdom (map)

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The OpenPlant Fund supports innovative, open and interdisciplinary projects relevant to plant synthetic biology and cell-free systems. The latest call for applications closed recently, and all applicants will be pitching their project proposals at this event. Come along to hear a variety of interesting and innovative short talks about projects in biology, instrumentation, training and building low-cost resources for schools in Ghana - the full timetable and list of proposal submissions is below. Lunch will be included for those who register to attend the event.

If you are travelling from Cambridge for the pitches, you are welcome to also join the 11:30 JIC Friday Seminar given by Prof. Christina Smolke on Synthetic biology platforms for plant natural product biosynthesis and discovery. Please register your interest in attending this seminar in the registration form (link at top of page).

Information and outcomes from previous projects funded through this scheme can be found at

Pitch Timetable

11:30 Seminar by Prof. Christina Smolke on Synthetic biology platforms for plant natural product biosynthesis and discovery

12:30 Lunch (room G36)

13:15 Introduction and first round of pitches (room G34/35)

Focus Stacking for Teaching and Publication in Plant Sciences: Jennifer Deegan (Plant Sciences, UCam), Richard Mortier (Computer Science and Technology, UCam), Tim Deegan (Computing industry), Christopher Whitewoods (JIC), Matthew Couchman (JIC), Aleksandr Gavrin (SL, UCam)

Actin visualization: to disclose mechanisms of host cell reorganisation during interactions with microbes: Aleksandr Gavrin (SL, UCam), Wendy Harwood (JIC)

Comparative analysis of cell free and in planta protein synthesis systems: Susan Duncan (EI), Laura-Jayne Gardiner (EI), Quentin Dudley (EI), Philippa Borrill (JIC), Pallavi Singh (Plant Sciences, UCam)

Cell-free proteins synthesis as a resource for generating plant proteins: Quentin Dudley (EI), Susan Duncan (EI), Nicolas Larus-Stone (Department of Computer Science, UCam)

'R for Proteomics' training proposal: Jan Sklenar (TSL, Norwich), Laurent Gatto (Computational Proteomics Unit, UCam), Marielle Vigouroux (JIC), Govind Chandra (JIC)

Towards an efficient transformation system for legumes: Abhimanyu Sarkar (JIC), Julia Russell (JIC)

14:20 Coffee Break

14:40 Second round of pitches

Time Series Analysis of Environmental Variables to enable GxE studies: A Machine Learning and Open Hardware Approach to Plant Research Experimentation: Daniel Reynolds (EI), Aaron Bostrom (EI), Joshua Ball (EI)

Open-Cell: An Open-Source 3D Printable System for High-Throughput Cell-Free Screening: Clayton Rabideau (Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, UCam), Stefan Grossfurthner (Plant Sciences, UCam)

Development of open source camera trap powered by plant microbial fuel cell (pMFC): Paolo Bombelli (Biochemistry, UCam), Rachael Kemp (Zoological Society of London), Alasdair Davies (Zoological Society of London)

Open Source Resources for Teaching Synthetic Biology in Low-Resource Settings: Sabrina Gonzalez-Jorge (Plant sciences, UCam), Hans Pfalzgraf (UEA and JIC), Alexis Moschopoulos (University of Leeds), Aseda Addai-Deseh (Kumasi Hive), Anna Lowe (Kumasi Hive)

Design of synthetic plant and mammal gene regulatory networks using nonparametric Bayesian approaches: Christopher Penfold (Wellcome/CRUK Gurdon Institute, UCam), Marc Jones (Computational and Systems Biology, JIC), Iulia Gherman (Biology, UYork), Anastasiya Sybirna (Wellcome/CRUK Gurdon Institute, UCam)

15:30 Closing Remarks