Press Kit


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iGEM Boilerplate

The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. Student teams are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Working at their own schools over the summer, they use these parts and new parts of their own design to build biological systems and operate them in living cells. This project design and competition format is an exceptionally motivating and effective teaching method.

iGEM began in January of 2003 with a month-long course during MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP). The students designed biological systems to make cells blink. This design course grew to a summer competition with 5 teams in 2004, 13 teams in 2005 - the first year that the competition grew internationally, 32 teams in 2006, and 54 teams in 2007. Projects ranged from banana and wintergreen smelling bacteria, to an arsenic biosensor, to Bactoblood, and buoyant bacteria.

This year, eighty-four teams with over 1000 participants from twenty-one countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the US participated in the competition. They specified, designed, built, and tested simple biological systems made from standard, interchangeable biological parts. Teams will present their projects at the iGEM Championship Jamboree on November 8-9, 2008.

Fore more information please visit

Download the iGEM logo here. Note that the iGEM logo is copyrighted by iGEM and provided here for iGEM participants to help them promote iGEM and their iGEM team.

iGEM Contact Information

Please direct all press questions to:

Randy AT igem DOT org
Randy Rettberg, Director
Meagan AT igem DOT org
Meagan Lizarazo, Assistant Director