SUSTech students win First prize in 2017 iGEM Competition


The International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) held at the Haynes International Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, United States came to an end on November 14 2017, and the SUSTech team was particularly remarkable this year.

313 members from 44 countries from all 5 continents competed against each other, and ultimately the SUSTechers won a first prize, and were also selected for the best hardware and best bio-component award.

Closing scene

On the 2017 iGEM Global Finals stage, a total of 313 teams from world-class universities including Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge and Oxford University came together to compete in a single contest. Chinese universities also participated, among which Peking University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University, University of Science and Technology of China, South University of Science and Technology and more. The competition lasted from November 7 to November 13, during which the SUSTech team exhibited their project and communicated with students from universities all around the world.

The SUSTech team was led by Associate Professor Huang Wei of the Department of Biology, and consisted of 12 undergraduates from the Department of Biology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the School of Environmental Science and Engineering. They were mostly sophomore students and included Huang Rongguo, Jiang Fan, Wang Mengqi, Gouyu Yan, Mo Yue sword, Zhou Xinyu, Xiong Ming Hong, Yu Zhicheng, Yuan Dingdong, Yao Xuran, Liu Feng, Lin Yee Yeon.

Inspecting the projects

One of the projects that the team presented was "Nematodes Skinner Box: A Platform to Study and Act Behavioral and Neural Networks Using Optics and Microfluidics". The project aims to study the connection between new behaviors and neural networks and to innovatively express the light protein in C.elegans neurons and train control and behavior to control nematode preferences.

The SUSTech team has a website dedicated to their project with more information here:

The International Genetically Engineered Mechanical Design Contest (iGEM) is a world-class university science and technology event sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of synthetic biology. It covers biological experiments, web pages display, mathematical modeling, exchange and mutual assistance. The rich and varied format of the competition has a significant effect on students' professional core competence training, consolidating their enthusiasm for scientific research and teamwork skills. Since its first edition in 2003, each iGEM event has not only shown tremendous international influence, but also has become a platform for international undergraduate scientific and technological innovation and exchanges for biology students. SUSTech has been participating every year since 2012, and consistently achieved great results.

Text: Huang Rongpeng

Photo: Jiang Fan Liufeng

Translated by: Jeremy Welburn