The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is a worldwide synthetic biology competition held annually in Boston, in which attempt to build simple biological systems from standard, interchangeable parts and operate them in living cells. This year, the UGA iGEM Team took Gold:
The gold medal in 2015 is the culmination of focused efforts by UGA students and instructors. Prior to its success this fall, the UGA iGEM team won a silver medal at the 2013 North American Regional Jamboree and took bronze at the 2014 Giant Jamboree.
The 2015 UGA iGEM team included 16 undergraduates from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering, led by Rebecca Buchanan, studying biochemistry and molecular biology. Undergraduates attending the jamboree were Hirel Patel, chemistry; Steven Kodish, biomedical engineering; and John Buchanan, biology, as well as instructors Narendran Sekar, a doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, and Zhe Lyu, a postdoctoral research associate in microbiology.
"I have had the privilege of being part of the iGEM team for two years now and leading the team this year with the close guidance of our post-doctorate adviser Zhe Lyu," said Buchanan, who is from Carrollton and will graduate in May with dual degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology and cellular biology. "Being a part of the team has provided me with a unique undergraduate experience and valuable tools and insights into the methods and practices of synthetic biology.
Pretty amazing stuff from some of our extraordinary students, and their dedicated instructors and advisors. This is a group that has learned how to 'put it all together' to create something new in a competitive atmosphere. Well done, iGEM Team!