After an objection to the jury, the team of the University of Groningen have been awarded a gold medal after all for its performance in the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM). Within the framework of this competition, university teams from over twenty nations spent last summer developing innovative genetic devices in living cells.
With its gold medal, the Groningen team ranks itself in the group of 17 best participating teams. The Groningen students were originally awarded a bronze medal, but recalculation demonstrated that they were entitled to a place in the ‘golden’ category of entries, i.e. those that scored the most marks.
This year was the first time that teams from Dutch universities participated in the competition. The Groningen team was awarded the prize for its research into controlled pattern formation by E.coli bacteria. The iGEM Jamboree was held in November at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States of America. Eighty-four teams from universities all over the world gathered together to present their work.
More information: Prof. Oscar Kuipers
The multidisciplinary Groningen team consisted of Mirjam Boonstra, Ruud Detert Oude Weme, Auke van Heel, Martijn Herber, Floor Hugenholtz, Sjoerd van der Meulen, Sander Onur, Tiemen Rozeboom and Annelieke de Wit. They were supervised by Prof. Oscar Kuipers of the Molecular Genetics research group.
The Groningen participation in the iGEM fits the wider Faculty initiative to seriously develop new research fields for synthetic biology at the University of Groningen. To this end, a new Centre for Synthetic Biology has been set up ( http://www.rug.nl/fse-research/csb/index ).
A new team will be formed this winter to participate in summer 2009. Interested students from the University of Groningen/Hanze University Groningen can register now by mailing
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