iGEM Louisville is a small team of high schoolers from duPont Manual High School trying to get into the world of synthetic biology. iGEM is an international project-based competition where teams tackle problems in their communities with a synthetic biology approach. iGEM Louisville hopes to mitigate per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution by engineering bacteria to fluoresce in the presence of PFAS to provide a very cheap and accessible method to screen for any PFAS contamination. Their hopes are to be as ambitious as possible with their research and make substantial progress in understanding and combating PFAS contamination. In the future, they hope to expand the team to work together with students around Kentucky and beyond to collaboratively learn more about the technology of the future and push the limits of our understanding of the world.
With donations and support, the team was able to present their work at the international Grand Jamboree in Paris. On Nov 6, 2023, the iGEM team officially received a silver medal. In the process, the team members have all grown as scientists, community members, and leaders.
Internationally Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) educates the workforce and the leaders of the Synthetic Biology industry. The iGEM Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open, collaborative, and cooperative community.
International competition for college and high school students focused on using synthetic biology to develop unique products and solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems.
Annual international competition with over 300 teams worldwide
Inaugurated 2003 out of MIT
Louisville iGEM is one of 10 high school teams in the US
The iGEM Louisville team of high school students want to engineer E. Coli to detect PFAS in water.
Student-led – independent and self-organized learning
Science focus, but also requires community outreach and communication with stake holders, in addition to thinking through safety and ethical ramifications of the technology