About iGEM

iGEM stands for International Genetically Engineered Machine, and is an annual ~9 month long science and engineering organization and competition for Undergraduates, Overgraduates and a few Highschool teams.


iGEM serves a dual role of promoting synthetic biology among students, as well as creating a conference for the presentation of novel technologies in the field of synthetic biology. As of 2018, iGEM consisted of 340 teams with 5790 total participants, not including staff, sponsors and visitors, spanning 42 different countries.

Virginia iGEM has been one of these teams from 2007 to present day; we have won gold medals, multiple best-of-competition nominations and prizes, and we get better and better every year.

What is Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic Biology a the field at the intersection of engineering and genetics. Synthetic Biologists create organisms that perform specific functions, usually with the goal of solving some problem that no other technology can solve. Synthetic biology has been used in the pharmeceuticals, biomanufacturing, biofuels and bioremediation disciplines; research, companies and products born out of the iGEM competition are becoming increasingly valuable and essential to biology as a whole.