KULeuven iGEM


The competition

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is a synthetic biology competition aimed at university teams from all over the world. The competition was founded in 2003 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is organised annually in Boston, USA. Working over the summer at their local laboratories, participating teams aim to  engineer biological systems and operate them in living cells. Besides research, the teams are encouraged to involve their local communities in the possibilities of synthetic biology by organising workshops and events.

Each iGEM year starts in September and is concluded in November of the next year, at the Giant Jamboree in Boston. During this 5-day event, the 300+ participating university teams present their project competing for prizes and medals.

What is synthetic biology?

Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary field involving the application of engineering principles to biology. It is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, and the re-design of existing biological systems for useful purposes.

Discover the possibilities of synthetic biology by learning about the current and previous KU Leuven iGEM teams below. 

The project

With Ocyano, the 2019 KU Leuven team is exploring the use of cyanobacteria as a means of photosynthetic biomanufacturing. Global resource depletion poses a threat to our society, creating a strong demand for durable and sustainable solutions within the industry. Inspired by The Sustainable Development Goals, a collection of 17 goals set by the UN towards a more sustainable future by 2030, the team has decided to focus their efforts on Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production: “Doing more and better with less.”.

Read the full project description on the team's Wiki here.

2017 - HEKcite

The 2017 team genetically modified Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK) cell  to create a steady rhythm using three ion channels. The pace of their biosensor was influenced by varying concentrations of biological effectors, aimed to establish a new way of therapeutic drug monitoring. For this novel idea, the team won the “Best New Application” award.

Learn more about their project on the team's iGEM Wiki.

2015 - Spot E.Shape

KU Leuven’s iGEM team of 2015 chose to engage in a project on the regulatory mechanisms of motif formation. They engineered bacteria that were able to communicate and influence each other’s behavior resulting in the assembly of predictable visible patterns. The team won a gold medal and the "Interlab Study Award”

Learn more about their project on the team's iGEM Wiki.

Contact details

e: info@igemleuven.be
m: +32 478 06 49 15

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