USBC Students Hold Fundraiser Jul 28, 2016
Recently the USBC (University Synthetic Biology Club) at UNBC received funds raised through direct donations and funding through Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation. “We’re closing the gap on what is required”, said coordinator Lon Kerr. “We’re about half way there,” he said.
Earlier this year the students, who are raising money to attend an iGEM 2016 world class competition in Boston later this year, joined forces with Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation in their efforts to prove their theory which revolves around unlimited clean water. They recognized that in some areas of the world clean drinking water is not always available. Synthetic biology is a growing interdisciplinary field based around the application of programming life. Developments in this field have led to benefits in healthcare, environmental and industrial fields. Through the use of synthetic biology, their hope is to approach the issue of clean drinking water in northern BC. Their project specifically centres around water as an invaluable resource and understanding that water becomes contaminated with leachate, heavy metals, and industrial run off that can pose a major health concern. They plan to prove that reprogramming Escherichia coli to produce siderophores that will remove heavy metals from water.
Many individuals and corporate sponsors such as Integris Credit Union and Imperial Metals have pitched in to help this group meet their goal of $30,000 US to compete. Recently over $18,000 was presented to the group which helps them register and order their supplies, and will help with immediate travel costs to get them on their way. They are still actively raising additional funds for the additional costs to have their 10 member team represent UNBC, Prince George, and Canada in Boston in October. On Friday, August 12th they will be having a pub night at the Westwood Pub where proceeds will go directly to this cause. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or in advance by contacting Lon at (250) 552-5039. Tickets are limited so advance purchase is recommended.
Anyone wishing to provide an outright donation to their project is encouraged to contact Lon or the Spirit of the North office at (250) 565-2515. All donations will receive a charitable receipt and will be acknowledged in part as supporting their project. A full copy of their proposal can also be obtained at that time.
We hope you see the healthcare value in clean drinking water and will support this educational initiative as well.