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UF Student Research Team Wins Silver Medal at International Competition

The 2019 UF iGEM Team recently won a silver medal at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition, held in Boston from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

The iGEM Competition brings together students from around the world to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by tackling everyday issues facing the world. This year’s competition saw more than 300 teams from over 40 countries compete against each other to design, build, test and measure a system of their own design.

For their project, the UF iGEM Team used the Synthetic Cellular Recorders Integrating Biological Events (SCRIBE) System to quantify the concentration of heavy metals in tap water in Florida that may go improperly assessed.

“This award gives UF the opportunity to be recognized for research on an international level,” team member and student Nikila Ojili said. “Over 3,500 students from the world attended the conference at Boston, and we learned so much about the kind of work people are doing. It’s an eye-opening experience with respect to the rapid advancement of synthetic biology. I highly advise students to participate!”

The team of students that worked on this project include: Nicole Kantor, Samantha Golden, Anil Patel, Shivani Doshi, Julie Mallinger, Alexandra Gaskins, Nikila Ojili, Jessica Zheng and Zach Zeller. They were mentored by Assistant Professor Dr. Christopher Reisch of the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science.

Congratulations to the team — for more information on UF iGEM and their work, click here.