Gold for first York iGEM team

Posted on 21 October 2013

The first York team to enter the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition has won gold for their project. Working over the summer, the team of fourteen undergraduates researched and developed methods to manipulate microbes to more efficiently produce electricity by making gold nano-particles from waste water.

Eight of the York team members took part in the European regional Jamboree in competition with sixty other teams, presenting their work in front of the other competitiors, facing difficult questions and fierce competition.  Team York won a gold medal, indicating that their project accomplished everything required by the iGEM rules: an exciting, novel idea; characterising and submitting high quality parts to the iGEM Parts Registry; innovative activities that reached out to the general public to explain what Synthetic Biology is; and successfully collaborations with 4 other iGEM teams throughout the year. 

Head of Department, Professor Debbie Smith said "This is fantastic news and a great achievement for all concerned!". Team co-ordinator, Dr James Chong said "Being part of the iGEM team has been great fun.  Team York have done brilliantly winning a gold medal at iGEM on their very first outing. This is a brilliant illustration of what our hard-working and motivated undergraduates can achieve in a very short time." 

Supported by Prof. Maggie Smith, Dr Gavin Thomas and Dr James Edwards, with input from a host of other academic staff across the University and financial support from the Univerisity's Alumni Fund, Rapid Response Fund, Student Internship Bureau and Department of Biology as well as commercial sponsors. More details on the iGEM York team and project can be found at and