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UNC iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) awarded Bronze Medal at iGEM Grand Jamboree Competition

From November 2nd to 5th, 2023, five UNC undergraduates traveled to Paris, France to attend the iGEM Grand Jamboree, the world’s largest synthetic biology competition. More than 400 international teams participated, presenting projects that addressed various challenges, from climate change to cancer therapeutics. UNC iGEM, a BME-affiliated student organization, showcased their project, PyoPower, which is a self-powered sense-and-treat pyocyanin electrochemical biosensor for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria in our everyday environment that can result in blood infections or other infection-related complications seen from pneumonia or after surgery.

Guided by Koji Sode, professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, and led by Joint BME undergraduate student Corinne Drabenstott, the team dedicated the past year to progressing their project from ideation to presentation, conducting wet lab experiments, creating mathematical models, producing promotional videos, collaborating with regional iGEM teams and building the wiki website. The team’s efforts were rewarded with a Bronze medal, a notable achievement for a first-year iGEM team. This recognition underscores their dedication, innovation, and the promising future of their work in synthetic biology.


Are you an undergraduate student at UNC? Are you interested in being a part of the 2024 UNC iGEM team? Complete this form to stay in the loop with updates on interest meetings and applications opening next semester. For additional information, follow the organization on Instagram @unc.igem or reach out with any questions to


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