Queen's iGEM team wins bronze in international competition
Queen's Genetically Engineered Machine (QGEM) team recently received a bronze medal for their inventive work in synthetic biology—a new science that focuses on re-designing and re-building natural biological systems synthetically from the ground up.
QGEM explored a new synthetic biology approach for treating atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. They aimed to engineer bacteria that could target and deliver drugs to the site of atherosclerotic plaques.
QGEM team members include undergraduate students Parthiv Amin (BioChemical Engineering), Mike Freeman (BioChemical Engineering), James MacLeod (Biology), Bogdan Momciu (Life Sciences), Chris Palmer (Engineering Chemistry), Bryant Shum (Life Science), Kate Turner (BioChemical Engineering), Chris Yan (Life Sciences), and Harry Zhou (Biochemistry). Faculty advisors include Ian Chin-Sang (Biology), Peter Greer (BioChemistry), Nancy Martin (Microbiology and Immunology), David LeBrun (Pathology and Molecular Medicine), Ronald Neufeld (Chemical Engineering), Waheed Sangrar (Pathology and Molecular Medicine), and Virginia Walker (Biology).
Over 1,200 participants on 112 teams from around the world met at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for this year’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) conference. Teams received a kit of biological parts and worked over the summer at their own schools to design and build biological systems and operate them in living cells.
Projects ranged from a wide variety of medical applications, such as genetically modified bacteria used to combat cancer cells, to environmental and manufacturing projects, such as engineering bacteria that will glow when they detect arsenic in drinking water.
For more information on the iGEM team and their project, visit http://2009.igem.org/Team:Queens.