Explore our past projects

Sine 2009, when our team was formed, UBC iGEM has been working hard to push the boundaries of synthetic biology

2023: PILOT

The 2023 team developed a modular intein-based cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) platform that uses a strain of Vibrio natriegens to improve protein production/purification efficiency and energy usage.

Silver Medal

2022: Synaestivum

The 2022 team engineered a strain of heat-resistant wheat to tackle global increases in temperature. A proof of concept protoplast system demonstrated the successful integration of our genes of interest.

Gold Medal

2021: DetecTME

The 2021 team engineered a non-pathogenic, tumour-colonizing Salmonella strain to report anti-tumour immune activity within the tumour microenviornment. The expression of a reporter molecule would be recovered from the patient’s urine.

Nominated for Best Diagnostics Project, Gold Medal

2020: VPRE

The 2020 team built a machine learning pipeline to predict the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 to inform vaccine target selection for COVID-19.

Plenary speech at Harvard’s National Collegiate Research Conference and Stanford Research

2019: Paralyte-STX

The 2019 team built a transcription-based biosensor to detect levels of saxitoxin, a toxin responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans. The resulting high-throughput screening would be used as an on-site device for detection of the toxin in bodies of water.

2018: COOptimize

The 2018 team used bacterial co-cultures to produce Naringenin and Kaempferol, biochemicals with anti-cancer properties. Distributing biosynthesis between two strains would both lighten the metabolic load and maximize energetic efficiency of the cell.

Bronze Medal

2017: aGROW

The 2017 team used CRISPR/Cas9 to remove the gene responsible for plant death and agricultural loss in Agrobacteria tumefaciens. Their transgenic bacteria would conjugate with A. tumefaciens, rendering it harmless and either preventing or correcting damage caused by it.

Nominated for Best Environment Project, Nominated for Best Model, Silver Medal

2016: Crescentium

Plant biomass has potential as a renewable energy source, but the metabolic strain of its degradation by a single strain is too large to accomplish this. The 2016 team developed a microbial community that would both degrade and valorize the biomass.

Nominated for Best Manufacturing Project, Gold Medal

2015: Probeeotics

Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder destroys whole bee colonies, where neonicotinoid pesticides poison plat-feeders like bees. The 2015 team engineered honeybee intestinal bacteria to degrade imidacloprid, a widely-used neonicotinoid.

Nominated for Best Environmental Project,Nominated for Best Poster, Gold Medal

2014: Darwin’s Metals

Mineral separation in copper mining is in increasing demand but uses chemically taxing measures. The 2014 iGEM team used octapeptides in bacteria to selectively bind chalocopyrite, a copper mineral that separates it from the rest of the minerals.

Gold Medal