News

Sydney University iGEM 2017 Team Takes Gold


18 December 2017

The giant jamboree for the international genetically engineered machine (iGEM) competition was held Nov 9-13 in Boston, USA. The University of Sydney team performed with distinction, earning a gold medal for their project (meaning all scientific, outreach, and 'human practices' elements were successful). In addition, they were nominated for the best poster prize, indicating a position in the top 10% of posters out of 337 teams.

The USyd iGEM 2017 team tackled a real-world problem using synthetic biology tools.

Specifically, they addressed the issue of the unaffordability of insulin in many countries by designing and manufacturing a novel, thermostable, and theoretically 'unpatentable' insulin protein, thus the team's name DISCO: Designing Insulin to be Single-Chain and Open-source.

Their new gene (known as "Winsulin") is now deposited in the iGEM Parts Registry, and is freely available to anyone who wants to manufacture a generic insulin medicine.

The DISCO team was based in Nick Coleman's lab in SoLES, with supervisory support from Jacqui Matthews (SoLES), Ed Hancock (Maths) and Andrew Hoy (Physiology).

For more information, see http://2017.igem.org/Team:Sydney_Australia.