Our popular undergraduate course — Build A Genome (BAG) just opens its 2012 spring session. We welcome 15 students from Johns Hopkins University, 22 students from Loyola University Maryland, and 2 Chinese scholars who traveled across the world from Tianjin University. Dr. Wenzheng Zhang and Wei Liu, representing Dr. Yingjin Yuan of the Department of Chemical Engineering, will be taking the course at JHU and then will return to Tianjin University to set up and help teach “Build-A-Genome China” in the fall of 2012. It is hoped that Build-A-Genome China will become a part of the regular curriculum for Chemical Engineering students, all of whom will there by be directly contributing to the International Sc2.0 project. This will be the first international appearance of the Build-A-Genome course, facilitated by a web-enabled international database portal to the BioStudio / Build-A-Genome Database, developed by Dr. Giovanni Stracquadanio of JHU.
The new development of Build A Genome is an important component of a recent collaboration agreement on Synthetic Biology research and education between Johns Hopkins University and Tianjin University. Vice Provost for International Programs Pamela Cranston signed the agreement on behalf of Johns Hopkins University together with the President of Tianjin University, Dr. Jiajun Li in November, 2011.