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28 Apr 2023

Science Students Won Gold Medal in Prestigious International iGEM Competition

    iGEM – be the Afflatus to Tackle Global Challenges!

    iGEM – be the Afflatus to Tackle Global Challenges!

    A team led by HKU Science students won a gold medal in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition Grand Jamboree 2022.

    The iGEM competition requires teams to use synthetic biology to develop projects and solutions to current world problems, and the team's project, called 'AMPed,' focuses on using microalgae to produce a specific antimicrobial peptide, Cecropin B, to address the problem of antibiotic resistance. 

    The overuse of antibiotics has caused antibiotic resistance, and Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs) are a more effective and efficient solution to fight against these pathogens. AMPs have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and do not cause resistance due to their low specificity. Microalgae are an ideal chassis to optimise the production of AMPs due to their low susceptibility to AMPs and the ability to sustain themselves.

    The team's success in areas such as wet lab work, science communication, and education earned them a gold medal, making it their third in HKU iGEM history. 


    Team Captains: 

    School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science: Vicera Christian Nelson TEJEDOR and Rita Xin Yue LIM

    Team members:

    School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science: Jegadishwar Ananda NATARAJAN, Clara Yuen Yi PUN, Louis Pak Hei YU, Kirndeep KAUR, Eugenia King Hin FONG, Sarah KHAN, Faye Feifei LONG, Kazi Sunanas UTSHA, 

    Department of Physics, Faculty of Science: Vismaya Rajeev PILLAI

    Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science: Sathya Geetha BALAJI

    School of Biomedical Sciences, LKS Faculty of Medicine: Sneha BALASUBRAMANIAN, Tanvi FALODIYA

    Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Angel Ka Hang NG


    Team supervisor: 

    Dr Juan Diego GAITÁN-ESPITIA of the School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science

    Dr Edmund Tse of Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

    Dr Amy Tan of the Faculty of Engineering