The best way to join iGEM Penn State is to take part in our introductory sessions held on campus during the Spring.
What is iGEM? The International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Competition is an annual undergraduate research competition hosted by MIT. The project aim is to develop Synthetic Biology through the creation of a growing registry of parts. Each part in the registry is an analyzed strain of DNA with several specific restriction sites at each end of the fragment. These strains can be anything from promoters to genes, allowing easy assembly and reassembly of parts into genetic circuits. The 2006 jamboree consisted of 37 teams from 12 countries presenting their findings.
PSU iGEM The Penn State team traditionally consists of several undergraduate student members working full time over the summer, and continuing part time into the fall term. Summer stipends can be obtained for students joining the team. Some background in microbiology/molecular biology is helpful, but all that is required is enthusiasm, motivation, and excitement at developing this new field. Students use the literature and laboratory work together to genetically engineer new biological "parts and systems". The team was formed in 2005, and won the Best New Part award that year. In 2006, Penn State again fared well, taking home Runner-up Best New Device award for work on a novel control of bacterial motility.