On October 26th, four MSBT team members traveled to Paris, France to attend the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. At the three-day event, they met teams from all over the world, including Korea, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Portugal and so many more and talked to these teams about their synthetic biology projects and scientific innovations. Team members also presented their project to both a conference hall that was filled with attendees as well as a separate private judging session. They won a gold medal for our project on Encapsulin-Facilitated Antimicrobial Peptide Production!

Their project aimed to study antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and their promise as an alternative to antibiotics. AMPs have already shown great potential, but their large-scale production presents many issues due to their size, complexity, and cost. The team looked to develop a more accessible and feasible way to mass-produce AMPs through biosynthesis in prokaryotic hosts; however, because AMPs are inherently toxic to the bacterial cells they planned to produce them in, they attempted to sequester the AMPs in encapsulin nanocompartments, which acted as a protein cage.

Visit MSBT's Wiki page for more information about their project, results, and team initiatives!


MSBT extends their gratitude to departments who helped make their competition attendance possible, including the MCDB department.