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International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) is an international competition dedicated to education and the advancement of synthetic biology. Each year, we assemble an interdisciplinary group of undergraduates with the common goal of creating a better world through science and engineering. The annual competition draws together student teams from around the globe to present their synthetic biology projects that aim to address 21st century grand challenges.

These projects present an unparalleled opportunity for talented students to gain hands-on experience, as well as learn to collaborate and communicate effectively in large team environments. The students lead, design, and build the project themselves, and in doing so, develop the critical analytical and independent problem-solving skills that are difficult to cultivate within the classroom. The project also calls upon a wide array of disciplines, such as microbial engineering, bioinformatics, bioreactor design, and finance, which grant students a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to complete ambitious projects in a real-world environment.

Lastly, we are not just completing a project—we’re building a team. The dedicated students of the iGEM team are working 40+ hours each week, and are developing their project management and teamwork skills all the while. We believe that through the ambitious projects of today, we are building the leaders and scientific innovators of tomorrow.

10 years of iGEM at UC Santa Cruz

iGEM in the News

Pavle Jeremic

Former iGEM captain Pavle Jeremic creates a synthetic biology startup to help end scarcity

Bioengineering alumnus Pavel Jeremic is the founder of Aether Biomachines, which uses machine learning and automation to manufacture industrially useful enzymes.

Read more.

Pavle Jeremic
Two iGEM students in lab with overlayed text: Make an impact on the future of engineering