Congratulations to UVa's iGEM team for receiving Gold level certification in the 2019 iGEM Competition, held October 31-November 4 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition is an annual research contest in Synthetic Biology, an area of study at the interface of biology and engineering, in which designer cells are computationally modeled and engineered to solve global problems. This year students from over 350 institutions and six continents competed in the biggest iGEM competition ever. The Virginia iGEM team presented “Transfoam," a novel biological solution for transforming styrene waste into biodegradable plastic. In the competition, UVa was nominated for Best Environmental Project. This was the 13th consecutive year UVa participated in the worldwide competition. Prior to starting summer/fall research, students complete BIOL4770 Synthetic Biology, which is offered each spring. Representing UVa in Boston, as shown in the above photo, were Shaalini Desai (Cognitive Science), Simonne Guenette (Biology), Aarati Pokharel (Biology), Katie Zhang (Women, Gender, & Sexuality), Hannah Towler (Biomedical Engineering), Alec Brewer (Biomedical Engineering), Jainam Modh (Biomedical Engineering), Kobe Rogers (Chemistry), Ben Ascoli (Computer Science), Evan Biedermann (Biomedical Engineering), and Jermain Austin (Biology). The Virginia iGEM advisors are Profs. Keith Kozminski (Biology) and Jason Papin (Biomedical Engineering). Click here to learn more about iGEM at UVa.