center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


UCSF-UCB iGEM Team Wins Best Presentation Award and Gold Medal!

November 3, 2014

The Giant Jamboree of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition just wrapped up in Boston where our UCSF-UCB team competed against 220 teams from around the world. Despite being one of the youngest teams at the competition, our group received international recognition with the Best Presentation Award (undergraduate) as well as a Gold Medal for their achievements.


The 2014 iGEM project was called Sense & Secrete-abillity and sought to investigate collective behaviors in cells. Cells in a local population have a wide range of responses to a given stimulus. This noisiness may be due to differences in extracelluar environment or intracellular molecular makeup. Yet these cells often need to coordinate and respond in a concerted way. Their project worked to understand the complex intercellular interactions that must happen to produce such a specific community phenotype. To achieve this, the students built a synthetic framework that uses cellular communities to model collective behaviors emergent from individual autonomous rules. Find out more about their project on their website!


Watch their award winning presentation on YouTube!
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It1u5LX5fdo&sns=em
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ43bIF5RPg&sns=em
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUTZRpTiBLY&sns=em 
Presentation of Award: http://youtu.be/mFKS5S-vens



The UCSF iGEM program has been in place since 2007, now seeing its 50th student through. It was formed as a unique partnership between UCSF (the lab of Wendell Lim) and the San Francisco Unified School District (ALHS biotechnology teacher George Cachianes). This year's team was comprised of 5 recent graduates from Abraham Lincoln High School, 2 iGEM alumni, 2 UC Berkeley undergraduates, and 1 exchange student from Peking.