iGEM team awarded silver medal

Nov 02, 2016      By Victoria Grdina

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln iGEM team
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln iGEM team

The Nebraska iGEM team was awarded a silver medal at the International iGEM Competition this past weekend in Boston.

The interdisciplinary team received the medal for its project using engineered bacteria to reduce high nitrate levels in Nebraska waterways caused by fertilizers. The National Academy of Engineering listed management of the nitrogen cycle as one of its 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st century. 

Computer Science and Engineering professor Massimiliano Pierobon introduced the iGEM program to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln after participating in it at Georgia Tech. In addition to Pierobon, the iGEM team consisted of fellow faculty mentors Myra Cohen, Jintao Guo and Wei Nu. The selected student team members included biochemical engineering junior Brynne Schwabauer, computer science sophomore Colton Harper, chemistry junior Danny Dooling, chemical engineering senior Josh Mueller, chemistry sophomore Madison Bierman, and computer science junior Phuong Ninh. 

The project was able to kick off in January thanks to funding and support from UCARE, The National Science Foundation, and the departments of Chemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Computer Science and Engineering. The team also received sponsorships from Nature Technology Corporation, LI-COR, and Monsanto. 

The iGEM team presents at the International Competition in Boston.

In addition to biweekly meetings that began early in the year, the students spent about 40 hours a week this summer researching and conducting wet lab experiments. They continued work on the project this fall by creating a wiki page for the competition, participating in Museum Day at Morrill Hall, and preparing for the iGEM Giant Jamboree presentation.

Congratulations to our students and faculty members! 

Learn more about the iGEM project here: bit.ly/2cXvgdC. 

More details at: http://igem.unl.edu/

The Nebraska iGEM team.