Originally started at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology, iGEM is now an independent non-profit organization that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work as a team on a novel synthetic biology project. Teams from various international institutions come together once a year to present their home institution’s project and compete for prizes.
For example, in 2014, the GSU’s iGEM team expressed and purified mambalgin – a component of the venom from the Black Mamba snake. This protein is a powerful analgesic and can also be used to create anti-venom without having the risk of working directly with these venomous snakes. This project earned the Bronze medal at the 2014 iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston, and First Prize in the poster competition. For more information, please see the iGEM 2014 project page.
Undergraduates can participate in iGEM through the Synthetic Biology Club, or by registering for BIOL 4905 and earning course credit for their work.