Diversity promotes intelligence

iGEM-Team 2020: scoring points by uniting knowledge from various disciplines

Since 2017, students have been coming together to form an iGEM team (international genetically engineered machine) and develop their own project to participate in the internationally renowned competition in synthetic biology in Boston. This year, the team is developing "Lac-Man", an effective water filter for removing medicine residues in wastewater.
[Photo: iGEM]

The Stuttgarter Weg (Stuttgart Way) is defined by the guiding idea of networked disciplines and this is an integral part of the University of Stuttgart’s special profile. Cultural diversity and consistent cooperation between complementary disciplines fosters different approaches and perspectives. The students involved in the iGEM team are an excellent example of diversity at the University of Stuttgart.

Introducing the team

The team comprises 14 students.

The team includes several technical biology students, a chemistry student and a student from the field of Software Engineering. Carol Hanna comes from Egypt. The team is represented by two leaders, Christopher and Franzi.

The aim of the project is to unite various disciplines from the field of natural science and to work together to develop an effective filter system. We are developing a filter system that removes medical residues from wastewater. We will submit this project to the largest international competition for synthetic biology. 

Good to know:
iGEM stands for "international genetically engineered machine competition", a world-renowned competition for synthetic biology that has been held annually at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (USA) since 2004. There are numerous other iGEM teams spread across the world, usually comprising of around ten students.

Over a period of seven months, the young scientists develop their own project. The research findings must be submitted in written form. In November, the teams will present their project and their findings personally at the competition in Boston, competing face-to-face with the other teams.

Uniting a diverse range of subject fields is something we have always experienced as extremely positive. Due to the current situation, we have switched to online meetings. This has made it possible for Carol to join us, although she is currently visiting her family in Egypt.

The wide range of subject areas means that we can learn a lot from each other, and this helps our project to develop and grow. Our project combines biology and chemistry to achieve the best results possible.

About the series "Diversity promotes intelligence"

In a series of articles, we will be introducing teams who view diversity as a matter of course. The motivation behind this series, is the University of Stuttgart’s new diversity concept, initiated by the Vice Rector for Early Career research and Diversity.

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