The Michigan Synthetic Biology Team (MSBT), is a multidisciplinary student group at the University of Michigan that engineers synthetic biological systems as part of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM)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 institutions 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, and combines expertise from many different disciplines ranging from biology to engineering.
MSBT received a gold medal and a major award (“Best new biobrick, natural”) at the 2012 Americas East regional iGEM competition for their project “A Genetic Toggle Switch Using Recombinases”. MSBT also received an Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI) lifetime achievement award at the iGEM 2012 world championship jamboree.
ChE participants in MSBT include undergraduate members Alison Banka (in photo) and Scott Spangler, and advisor Jeremy Minty.
Congratulations to Alison, Scott, and Jeremy!