16 November 2009
A University of Cambridge team including members of the Department of Pathology, was awarded the Grand Prize at the iGEM2009 Synthetic Biology competition finals at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
This was against stiff competition from over 100 teams representing top international institutions including MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley. The students (Vivian Mullin, Alan Walbridge, Shuna Gould, Siming Ma, Mike Davies, Megan Stanley and Crispian Wilson), provided a superb description of their work engineering DNA devices for transcriptional tuning and pigment production in environmental biosensors. As well as winning the overall Grand Prize for best project, the Cambridge team was awarded a gold medal, and trophy for the best project in the Environment Track.
The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. Student teams are given a kit of biological parts and they use these parts and new parts of their own design to build biological systems and operate them in living cells. iGEM began in January of 2003 with a month-long course at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology. The students designed biological systems to make cells blink. This design course grew to a summer competition with 5 teams in 2004, 13 teams in 2005 growing to over 100 teams participating in 2009 with more than 1200 participants taking part in the competition
Further information can be found at http://2009.igem.org. Thanks goes to the Department of Pathology for its support over the past five years that has led to success this year.