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Queen's University
 

Biology

Queen’ Genetically Engineered Machine (QGEM) team recently received a bronze medal for their inventive work in synthetic biology.

This is the first year Queen’s has participated in the iGEM competition and received a bronze medal. Queen’s Genetically Engineered Machine (QGEM) had a project that was based on a possible treatment for atherosclerosis.  The team’s project was to engineer bacteria that could target drug delivery to atherosclerotic plaques.

What is iGEM?
iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition is an international competition in synthetic biology. The aim of this competition is to answer a basic question "Can simple biological systems be built from standard, interchangeable parts and operated in living cells? Or is biology just too complicated to be engineered in this way?" During the summer teams from all over the world, primarily consisting of undergraduate students in biology, biochemistry, engineering, computer sciences and mathematics work on their projects.   In the fall all teams attend and present their findings at the iGEM jamboree hosted by MIT in Cambridge MA. The projects are of a wide variety ranging from medical applications, for example genetically modified bacteria used to combat cancer cells to environmental and manufacturing projects, for example engineering bacteria that will glow when they detect arsenic in drinking water. Teams build these living machines and submit genetic modules termed “bio bricks” which have a characterized function and can be use a standard part in engineering other organisms. These bio brick are akin to LEGO pieces in building a LEGO structure. This year’s competition had over 1,200 participants consisted of 112 teams from all over the world.
 
Team background:
The Queen's Genetically Engineered Machine Team is multi-disciplinary and consists of undergraduate students from Biology, Life Sciences, Biochemical Engineering, and Engineering Chemistry, along with an equally varied lineup of faculty advisors.

  Team members: Parthiv Amin, Mike Freeman,James MacLeod (Biology), Bogdan Momciu B, Chris Palmer, Bryant Shum, Kate Turner, Chris Yan, and Harry  Zhou.
Faculty Advisors: Drs. Ian Chin-Sang (Biology), Peter Greer, Nancy Martin, David LeBrun, Waheed Sangra, and Virginia Walker (Biology).

Link to Queen’s News Center
Link to the Queen’s iGEM wiki

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