iGEM Pakistan brings laurels to country


Clinch second position in a world class science competition
Tariq Saeed


A twelve member team of the brilliant students from leading Universities of Pakistan that visited United States in the first week of November to participate in the iGEM (The International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition in Boston, brought laurels to the country by winning Silver medal in a tough contest among leading International institutions. Almost 400 teams of Students and researchers from 50 countries and prestigious institutes and universities like MIT, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College along with their projects participated in this competition and put in their best to beg the coveted prize. Synthetic Biology is an emerging field in biology, where engineering principles are used in biological system to develop a more efficient biological system.
Supported and collaborated through the Directorate of Science and technology KP, the Team named iGEM Peshawar has the honor to be the only team from Pakistan to have participated in the world class competition. The iGEM Peshawar team for the November 2017 competition consisted of 12 students who had been selected from all over Pakistan. These students belonged to UET Peshawar, University of Peshawar, NUST, Comsat, KUST, IIUI, CECOS.FC College, and GIK Institute. Of them ten belong to different sub field of biology while two are civil and electronic engineers.
“This year, iGEM Peshawar developed a biosensor for detection of Heavy metals in water. Metal contamination of water is an alarming and emerging environmental issue”. A jubilant member of the team IGEM Peshawar Haris Alam who is a brilliant student of Civil Engineering department UET Peshawar told Pakistan Observer. Haris said the iGEM Peshawar was the ever first team to participate in this competition. It may be mentioned that they had also brought honor to country in domain of science and technology by winning bronze medal last year. However, this time they brought more laurels to the country and clinched second position in the International standard competition.
IGEM is a worldwide and premier student competition in synthetic biology held every year in Boston USA where students are given a kit of standard, interchangeable parts in the beginning of summer comprising various genetic parts like Promotor, Reporter Part , Plasmid backbone and terminators. The Students than have to work in their own institutions labs to design a biological system and operate them in a biological system to solve real world problems.

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