iGEM CONCORDIA

Our goal

To demystify genetic engineering through dialogue and mentorship, and create a space for the democratization of knowledge among students and the general public, guided by the annual iGEM team.

 

Help promote synthetic biology among the next generation of scientists by providing hands-on experience in the field.

Who we are

We are a group of 30 undergraduate students representing Concordia University in the 2021 International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM). We seek to grow a diverse community of cross-disciplinary thinkers and creators, moving with positive social and climatic justice through the application of synthetic biology.

Members of the Concordia iGEM team

Our project this year

AstroYeast MicroFarm, is an innovative solution that will allow astronauts to produce nutritious food during long-term space missions. This would expand the scope of long space missions and reduce their supply costs.

The proposed concept would allow reliable space-adapted nutrient and flavour molecule production, and offer a reliable chassis for the production of other useful molecules in space.

To make this happen, we are using evolution to design yeast strains which are tolerant to microgravity stresses. Once adapted, genes for production of nutrients such as vitamin A and flavour molecules can be inserted in the strain and used as a food source in space.

We are also designing and planning to manufacture a bioreactor to culture our modified yeast strain in a controlled environment.

Our succes so far: Concordia students earn $30K prize and move on to the next phase of the Deep Space Food Challenge


Animation of Bioyeast

iGEM Giant Jamboree

The field of synthetic biology is growing exponentially, and related public policy is being developed in real time. Every year we explore this growth through a project we enter in the iGEM Giant Jamboree, an international conference of students, academics and industry leaders, exploring how synthetic biology can solve worldwide challenges.  

In 2020, our AstroBio project was awarded a gold medal, and won 1st place in the Software track of the competition. Last year we successfully built a 3D clinostat which simulates microgravity conditions on Earth for use in the lab.

Why we need your help

You can help undergraduates gain valuable hands-on research experience! Donations will help us:

  • Design and manufacture our bioreactor, to be used in our submission to the Canadian Space Agency Deep Space Food Challenge, as well as to the iGEM 2021 competition;
  • Equip our lab with supplies and help cover the costs of genetic sequencine of our successful strains;
  • Offset registration costs for the iGEM conference, approximately $10,000, allowing team members to connect with an international network of mentors, participate in workshops and secure sponsorship of lab materials and software.

Give today and help our team grow and pave the way for future undergraduate students to gain hands-on research experience in synthetic biology.

Help promote synthetic biology among the next generation of scientists by providing hands-on experience in the field.

Questions?

fundone@concordia.ca
514-848-2424, ext. 3884 or 1-888-777-3330

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