iGEM Competition Team

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Project ends on October 18, at 12:00 AM CDT
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iGEM Competition - Our team, what we do, and why we need you

Oklahoma State University has the only active International Genetically Engineered Machine Team in Oklahoma. This is the second year that Oklahoma State University will send a team to compete in the iGEM Competition Grand Jamboree. Last year we got a Bronze medal, and this year we plan to go further

What is iGEM?

The iGEM competition began in 2003 at MIT with only 5 schools competing. Since then, it has grown into 400+ teams from 45 different countries. Each year, the teams are tasked to find a problem within society and use synthetic biology to design a solution. The teams are comprised of students from a multitude of disciplines spanning from business to engineering to biology to graphic design. Together, they work in research laboratories, develop hardware or modeling systems for their project, participate in community involvement, and create business models on the feasibility of their solutions. At the end of the competition season, all the teams from around the world meet at the Grand Jamboree in Paris, France. At the Grand Jamboree, they present their project and compete for grand prizes and medals for individual accomplishments. The Grand Jamboree is also an important place for students to connect with peers from around the world, network with companies, and interact with faculty at other institutions. The iGEM competition gives undergraduate students the chance to perform research on topics they care about while furthering their academic and professional lives.

What is the Okstate iGEM Team doing?

This year we have chosen to target Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) which is a bacterial pathogen that is highly contagious, resistant to multiple antibiotics, and causes primarily skin infections, but can cause other types of infections. S. aureus can be found on the skin of many healthy people without causing infections. However, it can cause infections in immunocompromised patients. Antibiotic-resistant strains, such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus), are on the rise and can cause serious complications in non-immunocompromised patients as well. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find alternative treatments. 

To combat S. aureus, our team is taking a multipronged approach. Our Wet Lab is developing a bacteriophage; a virus that can be designed to target specific harmful bacteria. This is an alternative to anti-biotics which eliminate both healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Specifically, our plan involves engineering the bacteriophage to carry a unique dye capable of generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can destroy bacteria. This engineered bacteriophage will specifically target S. aureus. Our Dry Lab group is developing an adaptable infrared-emitting device with specific spectrums designed to activate our dyes. Upon binding, our hardware will cast infrared to activate the ROS-producing dye, effectively killing only the targeted bacteria. 

Why should you support the Okstate iGEM Team?

This competition will help showcase the talented students that Oklahoma State University has while allowing real-world experience for undergraduate students across all disciplines. The Grand Jamboree will help expand the connections that each undergraduate has and help shape where they want to go with their careers after college. For this experience to be a possibility for the Okstate iGEM Team, they need your help. While the Okstate iGEM team has the idea for the project and some funds to perform the research, we don't have the funds to register for the competition or send students to the Grand Jamboree. Every donation will help fund the registration and student costs associated with attending the jamboree. With your support, the undergraduate students involved with the Okstate iGEM team can have the experience of a lifetime.  

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Bacteriophage Tails

We are fighting S. aureus bacteria by employing specifically designed bacteriophages! Bacteriophages can have up to 12 tail fibers which help the phage attach to and attack bacteria.


Second Year Competing

Our first year we received a bronze medal. This year we are hungry for more!


Countries Competing

This year, IGEM has teams from over 60 countries competing. The diversity on showcase at the Grand Jamboree is bar none, our team is excited to see and learn from people far and wide.


Startups Created

Throughout IGEM's 20-year lifespan, over 250 startup companies have spawned out of an IGEM project.


IGEM Competition Ticket

This donation would provide an entrance ticket to the Grand Jamboree for one student!


Cost per Person

Travel to Paris and staying in Paris isn't cheap, this is the approximate amount per student for plane tickets, rooming, and transportation.


Competition Fee

This is our team's fee to compete in IGEM's Grand Jamboree

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