GP-write Canada Meeting
August 13-14th, Montréal, QuébeC
Palais des congrès de Montréal

For the past 3 years, a community of academic and industry scientists, ethicists, lawyers, educators, citizen scientists, artists, policymakers, technologists has been gathering to establish an open international project with the objective of reducing the cost of engineering and testing large genomes. The goals of this project, dubbed Genome Project write (or GP-write), will be achieved through the participation of an international consortium, with 15 countries represented so far.

Founding members of the GP-write consortium have been busy creating charters and developing roadmaps and some of us in Canada have been active participants in this process. However, for Canada to make a significant contribution to the GP-write project, the Canadian Genomics and Synthetic Biology community needs to identify its capacities and establish its priorities.

The meeting agenda has been designed to provide background information on the GP-write project combined with short presentations and breakout sessions to identify areas of overlap between groups and enable open discussion and synergy.

Monday the 13ᵀᴴ

1:00-1:30 – Registration

1:30-1:35 – Welcome
Welcome to the event, quick overview of “ground rules”
(Robert Crawhall, President, Innoxec Innovation Executive Services)

1:35-1:45 – Overview of the meeting
Introduction to the GP-write opportunity, the goals for this meeting
(Vincent Martin, Concordia University)

1:45-2:15 – Overview of the GP-write project
Evolution of GP-write project and progress to date
(Andrew Hessel, CEO of Humane Genomics Inc and co-founder of GP-write)

2:15-2:45 – Overview of technological challenges to GP-write
Description of specific objectives that we aim to solve in the next 10 years
(Bogumil Karas, Western University)

2:45-3:15 – Break

3:15-3:45 – The growing importance of genome writing to industry
(Kevin Madden, Head of Products, Gingko Bioworks)

3:45-4:15 – Writing eukaryotic genomes
(Leslie Mitchell, NYU)

4:15-4:25 – Wrap up and looking to tomorrow
(Robert Crawhall, President, Innoxec Innovation Executive Services)

4:25-4:30 – Last words and homework
(Vincent Martin, Concordia University)

4:30-6:00 – Networking cocktail

Tuesday the 14ᵀᴴ

8:30-9:00 – Registration and continental breakfast

9:00-9:05 – Welcome and setting the stage for the day

9:05-10:30 – Short presentations (Moderator: Bogumil Karas)
How my work can contribute to GP-write. Concise presentation and very short Q&A

  • Aashiq Kachroo (Concordia University)
  • Sébastien Rodrigue (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Scott McComb (National Research Council)
  • Marc Saner (University of Ottawa)
  • Teodor Veres (National Research Council)

10:30-10:50 – Break

10:50-12:15 – Short presentations (Moderator: Bogumil Karas)
How my work can contribute to GP-write. Concise presentation, very short Q&A

  • Steve Hallam (University of British Columbia)
  • Trevor Charles (University of Waterloo)
  • Miodrag Grbic (Western University) 
  • Laura Prochazka (University of Toronto)
  • Charles Boone (University of Toronto)

12:15-1:00 – Break

1:00-1:20 – Synthetic Biology - a Federal Perspective
 (Roman Szumski, Vice-President of Life Sciences, National Research Council of Canada)

1:20-1:25 – Working session on structuring the Canadian GP-write project  
(Robert Crawhall, President, Innoxec Innovation Executive Services)

1:25-2:25 – Breakout session 1

  • Platforms for research leadership
    • DNA synthesis, DNA assembly, DNA delivery, Genome transplantation/activation
    • Automation
    • Organoids
    • Bioinformatics
    • GELS

2:25-2:45 – Break

2:45-4:00 – Breakout session 2

  • Biological platforms for Canada
    • Prokaryotes/viruses
    • Yeast/Fungi
    • Algae/Plants
    • Cells  (mammalian, insect, etc)

4:00-4:15 – Wrap up and next steps
(Robert Crawhall, Vincent Martin and George Brook, Partner, TAG Strategy and Communications)