Congratulations to iGEM Competitors



IHIF is so proud to have been a sponsor of a high school team competing in this year’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.  The student team from the McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, in Indianapolis (a Lawrence township school) competed last week at the international Jamboree in Boston.  The students had a great experience and learned so much about synthetic biology and experimental design.  Their project involved the development of a bioreactive cream for the detection of melanoma.  For more on the project, please visit their site –


According to the World Health Organization, 132,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer each year and 48,000 deaths occur from this diagnosis. The development of a yeast based early detection system has the potential to save thousands of lives. Team MCIT Indianapolis is working on a topical cream that will detect the early onset of malignant melanoma. The biosensor system will be developed within a Saccharomyces cerevisiae chassis, using a plasmid containing Firefly Luciferase and Renilla coding that will enable fluorescence in the presence of precancerous cells.  The bioengineered yeast will express the receptor protein FGFR-1 on its surface allowing the device to detect increased levels of Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF2) commonly expressed by precancerous melanocytes. Detection of bFGF will initiate the production of Firefly Luciferase and Renilla proteins, which will cause the yeast to fluoresce showing the patient where potential malignant melanoma cells may be located.

If you would like to be a sponsor or provide support for next year’s team, please let us know!



One Response to “Congratulations to iGEM Competitors”

  1. Carletta Sullivan Says:

    This was a great experience for high school science students

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