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International Genetically Engineered Machine

Coronavirus updates: Please visit our coronavirus page to see the most up-to-date messaging from iGEM Headquarters and read the Frequently Asked Questions.

Build a better world with iGEM

The iGEM Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open community and collaboration. This is done by fostering an open, cooperative community and friendly competition.

iGEM’s main program is the iGEM Competition. The iGEM Competition gives students the opportunity to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by tackling everyday issues facing the world. About iGEM →

Our Impact on the World

Building Solutions to
Local and Global Challenges

By working together, students can do amazing things. Learn how iGEMers around the globe are addressing regional and global challenges both inside and outside the lab.
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Champions of
Synthetic Biology

With 40,000+ members, iGEM's international network of academics and industry professionals are building a better world. Learn about our vibrant community of champions.
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Companies with
Roots in iGEM

iGEM is the largest synthetic biology innovation program and a launchpad for the industry's most successful leaders and companies. IGEM projects serve as proofs of concepts and prototypes, contributing to over 150 startups.
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Setting the Standard
in Synthetic Biology

iGEM programs are supported by a panel of industry experts that guide iGEM and set the industry standard for how synthetic biology is performed. Learn more about iGEM Committees and their work in setting the industry standards.
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News & Announcements



Virtual Giant Jamboree Newsletter #1

October 14, 2020

The Virtual Giant Jamboree is just one month away, and we hope that you are as excited as we are! The Virtual Jamboree event will be open and free for the public and alumni, and individual registration is coming soon! Stay subscribed to our newsletters to continue receiving important future updates about the Competition and the Jamboree.

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Help broadcast the event - Become a Jamboree Commentator!​
  • Call for volunteers open now! Apply by October 25

Information for teams:

  • Schedule Teaser out now
  • Submit your own event for Community Week by October 20
  • Planning to host a Watch Party? Let us know!

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

Blog & Digest

What can iGEMers accomplish over a summer in lockdown?

By Nancy Burgess Christen

You are probably familiar with Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the archetypal cautionary tale for science experiments that are not responsible or good for the world. Did you know that Mary Shelley conceived of the idea when she was 18 years old and forced inside all summer with a small circle of family and friends? Read more

The iGEM 2018 Interlab Study: 1400 iGEMers, 250 teams

By Jake Beal

The iGEM 2018 Interlab study, which was just published in Nature Communications Biology, presents a cheap and easy protocol for estimating cell count and per-cell fluorescence on plate readers. Read more

Telling Your Project's Story to the Judges

By Tessa Alexanian and JC Gray

Almost every one of the iGEM medal criteria begins as follows: “Convince the judges…”

But how? Read more

iGEM Insights: Understanding iGEM Through Data

By Megan Palmer and Marc Santolini

Through iGEM Insights, we aim leverage data from iGEM as a unique open and international testbed to both improve the competition and the practice of synthetic biology (and science and engineering more broadly) beyond the competition. Read more

Black Lives Matter

If you have something you want to discuss with iGEM HQ relating to racism, diversity, or inclusion in iGEM, or you have an idea that you would like us to explore, we welcome you to please submit your thoughts through this anonymous feedback form.

Explore our other websites...

iGEM 2020

Thinking of joining the iGEM Competition this year? Come join in the fun! Visit the 2020 Competition website for information.

iGEM Video Universe (Beta)

Upload, watch videos, subscribe, comment and like iGEM Videos! We will use the iGEM Video Universe (Beta) during the Virtual Giant Jamboree for hosting Project Promotion Videos and Presentation Videos.

Registry of Parts

The iGEM Registry of Standard Biological Parts is a growing collection of genetic parts that can be mixed and matched to build synthetic biology devices and systems.

The iGEM Network

The iGEM Network was built to help iGEMers take what you learned in the competition and expand that to continue to build a better world. Click below to Join the iGEM Network.