Synthetic Biology Society organizes first Mini-Jamboree

Photo courtesy of The Jefferson iGEM team uploaded the overview of the research project, biography of each member and the general timeline of the process for completing the project in the website.

Esther Kim

In January, Jefferson’s Synthetic Biology Society began its first steps for organizing the first school-wide Mini-Jamboree, an annual event inspired by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Jamboree competition for students interested in synthetic biology.

The iGEM Jamboree competition is a worldwide event for students in high school and college, in which a group of multiple students participate in a project that creates a biological instrument. This year, the Jefferson iGEM team will be implementing a miniature version of the Jamboree after winning the One Question Grant competition.

“Students from all grades are welcome to participate,” senior Sahitya Allam, the secretary of Synthetic Biology Society, said. “It would be particularly useful for underclassmen so they may gain a fulfilling research experience that could assist them in upper-level biology classes.”

Jefferson’s Synthetic Biology Society consists of the school’s own iGEM team, in which students from various grade levels will be participating in the Jamboree planning to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this year. The members of the official team will also be aiding the participants of the Mini-Jamboree by lecturing them the rudimentary concepts of laboratory procedure through prep-lab sessions.

The participants of the Mini-Jamboree will be able to gain substantial knowledge and experience on synthetic biology and the process of completing a long-term project, providing them another unique opportunity for scientific research aside from the IBET project every student conducts in freshmen year.

“By developing their projects, we hope that the students will contribute positively to the emerging field of synthetic biology,” Allam said.

The club encourages students interested in fields of biology to participate in the Mini-Jamboree and earn an invaluable experience and expertise in conducting a long-term project, giving them an early exposure of future laboratory environments.

“The iGEM Mini-Jamboree motivates students to utilize the knowledge they have to devise novel applications for issues in our world,” Allam said.