NYUAD 2019 iGem Team Wins Silver

Students come up with non-invasive way to test for diseases in airports

November 11, 2019 - NYU Abu Dhabi students successfully showcased Volatect at the annual iGEM Giant Jamboree, the synthetic biology industry’s largest innovation event hosted by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation. Their project received a silver medal and nomination for best diagnostics device. The Giant Jamboree is the culminating event of iGEM’s annual, worldwide, synthetic biology competition for students to use genetic engineering to solve local problems all around the world. 

The students' idea was to develop a device that could be installed in airports to quickly and effectively test for pathogens in travelers who are entering a country on a permanent residency visa. They wanted to develop an immediate test that could be carried out at the airport, within a very short period of time, to eliminate the need for lengthy medical testing.

The project is interdisciplinary, involving students from science, engineering, economics, and arts and humanities; and there is also an outreach component. In connection with the iGEM competition, NYUAD invited high school students to attend a one-day iGEM workshop on campus earlier this semester to discuss the project.

Each year, iGEM brings together more than 6,000 participants from across the globe to explore and create unique applications of synthetic biology with the mission to bring positive contributions to their communities and society at large. Beyond the technology, participants are evaluated on teamwork, responsibility, entrepreneurship, sharing, and safety.

Our NYUAD iGEM team has been awarded medals and nominated for top awards on a yearly basis, and that is a remarkable achievement for our students. These achievements are a great representation of our institution’s mission to encourage our students to integrate multidisciplinary skills as well as our student’s abilities in utilizing these skills to achieve these highly-recognized awards.

Ibrahim Chehade, Instructor of Biology

Congratulations to the Students

Felicia Lankai Annan-Mills
Grace Gu
Ray Hsu
Maher Asfour
Jimoh Yusuf Omotayo
Roba Olana
Ingie Baho
Romeno Wenogk Fernando
Uljad Berdica
Yujeong Oh
Mariam Elsahhar
Guillermo Schlamp
Tatiana Houhou
Tuleen Sihabi
Yeji Kwon
Haneen Fathy
Kristos Baffour
Sion Hau