William & Mary team wins 1st Runner-Up position in iGEM competition
Thursday, November 16, 2017
William & Mary’s team was named First Runner-Up in the 2017 iGEM competition, beating out all but one team in a large field in the quest for what has been dubbed the World Cup of Science.
William & Mary was the only North American team to place among the finalists in any division. Top prize in the Undergrad Division this year was the Vilnius-Lithuania team.
iGEM stands for International Genetically Engineered Machine. Each year iGEM hosts the largest synthetic-biology competition in the world, a months-long, student-driven projects involving biology, mathematics, chemistry and engineering.
William & Mary’s team also won two special awards, one for Best Innovation in Measurement and a second for Best Model.
The 2017 iGEM team was led by Ethan Jones ’19. Other members are Sejal Dhawan ’20, Theresa Gibney ’18, Christine Li ’20, John Liu ’19, Alyssa Luz-Ricca ’20, Callan Monette ’19, Xida “Cedar” Ren ’20 and Cici Zheng ’20, biology.
It’s the fourth consecutive year for the university to send a team to the Grand Jamboree in Boston. Margaret Saha, Chancellor Professor of Biology, has been the team’s advisor for all four years.
Saha has said the William & Mary teams have been tough competitors all four years, with the 2015 team bringing home the Grand Prize, known as the World Cup of Science.