Congratulations to UVa's iGEM team for receiving a Gold Medal at the 2019 iGEM Competition, held October 31-Nov 2 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition is an annual research contest in synthetic biology, which is an area of interdisciplinary study at the interface of biology and engineering in which designer molecules and cells are engineered from standardized parts to solve global problems. This year, more than 5000 students from 300+ institutions and 44 countries competed. The Virginia iGEM team presented "Transfoam", a novel biological device to substantially improve plastic recycling. For their design and research, UVa was nominated for Best Environmental Project. This was the 13th consecutive year UVa has participated in the worldwide competition. Prior to starting summer/fall research, students complete BIOL4770 – Synthetic Biology, which is offered each spring.
Representing UVa in Boston were Evan Biedermann, Alec Brewer, Kobe Rogers, Simonne Guenette, Aarati Pokharel, Jermaine Austin, Jainam Modh, Shaalini Desai, Katie Zhang, Hannah Towler, and Benjamin Ascoli. The Virginia iGEM advisors are Profs. Keith Kozminski (Biology) and Jason Papin (Biomedical Engineering).