Team ‘Kent iGEM’ (including undergraduates from EDA) brings home the gold

Undergraduate students from the School of Biosciences, the School of Physical Sciences and the School of Engineering and Digital Arts (namely Moyra Chikomo and Raneem Aljaghboub, both Electronic and Communication Engineering students) participated at the 2015 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Giant Jamboree held in Boston, with the team from Kent being awarded the Gold Medal! Dr Luca Marcelli from EDA acted as a supervisor to the iGEM team with particular reference to expertise in computer modelling.

The undergraduates from Biosciences, working with students from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts and the School of Physical Sciences, were able to combine biological experiments and analysis with computing-based modeling approaches. Initiated by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), iGEM is the world’s premier synthetic biology competition, encouraging students the develop and test innovative solutions to global problems.

Kent iGEM students developed a research project entitled “Envirowire” to investigate the feasibility of generating functional amyloid nanowires, under the guidance of Dr. Wei-Feng Xue and other academic and research staff within the School of Biosciences. Nano-wires formed from proteins by bacteria provide a potential solution in the fabrication of biologically- and clinically-applied circuitry, with benefits including miniaturisation, improved efficiency, biocompatibility and use of renewable sources of energy and materials.

Team Kent iGEM presented their cross-disciplinary research at the Annual Jamboree in Boston alongside over 2,700 participants and 280 teams from Universities all around the world. They were awarded a Gold Medal for their project, alongside teams from world-leading institutions including the universities of Cambridge, Cornell, Heidelberg, Tokyo and Sydney.