Students of the Faculty of Biology, are the gold medalists of The International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) 2016

Students of the Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań are the gold medalists of The International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) 2016, the nominees in the „Best Part Collection” category and the winners of the prestigious first prize in the category of the „Best Manufacturing Project”.

Adrian Lejman, Daria Niewiadomska, Julia Zielińska, Maja Szymańska, Marcin Osuch, the students of the Faculty of Biology and the members of The Synthetic Biology Section of The Scientific Circle of Naturalists, AMU in Poznań took part in the famous International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) 2016 in Boston, USA (http://2016.igem.org/Results). The Section PI is Dr. Przemysław Nuc from The Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. The competition is very prestigious and the applicants can be the students presenting a genetic construct built by themselves, working accordingly to the plans, innovatory and useful. This year 300 student teams from 40 countries participated in iGEM. Our students’ E.co-factory project (http://2016.igem.org/Team:UAM_Poznan) presented a tightly, only inducer regulated and very efficient protein overexpression system in Escherichia coli. The system consists of 4 sets of promoters induced by sugars: arabinose, rhamnose, xylose and melibiose. Any gene of interest can be driven by a promoter set to obtain its efficient expression induced by a specific sugar. A deep knowledge of gene expression allowed for additional molecular tricks that were unique on a global scale and guaranteed the very efficient gene expression tool.

This year, like in previous year, the students participated in conferences before the finals so as to gain experience in presenting the results obtained. In March 2016, they won the first and second prizes for posters on a jubilee Conference of The Scientific Circle of Naturalists at AMU. In July 2016, they took part in the international meeting of the teams participating in iGEM 2016 competition that was held in Paris. At the beginning of September 2016, they presented the results on EMBO Young Scientists’ Forum in Lisbon, where Julia Zielińska was awarded the second prize for the best poster. Noteworthy, our students won the first prize in the category of the „Best Manufacturing Project” competing with students working on projects in NASA Ames Research Center, USA and at The University of British Columbia, Canada. We cordially congratulate the students and the PI!

The students’ research were supported financially by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education programme “Best of the Best 2016”. The research laboratory equipment was supported by the KNOW RNA Research Centre in Poznań faculty project.

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