iGEM is a worldwide competition that challenges students to solve problems with synthetic biology. iGEM engages students in various areas, including lab work, genetics, mathematical modeling, as well as community outreach and education of others in the field of synthetic biology and its regulations. The Ohio State University iGEM team will be competing in the 2021 competition in Paris with a unique project that will give its members vital experiences in research and development.
The Ohio State iGEM was founded by our PI, Dr. Brian Ahmer, a professor in the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity in 2019, but the project is mainly student led, with the students choosing the project, designing and performing experiments, and organizing outreach. The team empowers students with leadership experiences and communication skills necessary for any professional career. Furthermore, it helps funnel talent into biotech, whereas those students may otherwise may not have considered the pathway.
Since the iGEM team will tackle real-world problems with real-world implications, your contribution can also make a lasting impact on the greatest ecological, medical and societal challenges facing the world.
Our first project year was in 2019, and our projects since have been incredibly successful, with the 2020 project earning a gold medal at the international conference. The projects concerned developing nitrogen-fixing bacteria for crops - a problem relevant to the Midwest - and biocontainment tools and policies - which is for the advancement of the field as a whole - and showcases the diversity in possible topics.
Most importantly, meeting our funding goal will allow us to give students a unique experience, through the form of a stipend, from which they might otherwise be excluded due to their financial limitations, as well as to provide for travel to Paris. We cannot achieve these goals without the generosity of supporters like you.