Twelve Pakistani undergraduate students have won a bronze medal in the iGEM World Championship in Boston, United States.
The team consisted of five girls and seven boys from across the country, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Kalat, Swat, Waziristan, Mardan and Peshawar. The project that won the medal was sponsored by Directorate of Science and Technology Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and was supported by Cecos University.
iGEM or the international genetically engineered machines competition is a flagship student competition that started in MIT and has been happening for the last 15 years with 285 teams from across the globe.
The students, making Pakistan’s first team, gathered in Peshawar this summer to use the cutting-edge discipline of synthetic biology to solve one of the most pressing environmental challenges the country is facing.
Dr Faisal Khan, principal Investigator and iGEM Team Supervisor who is also the Director of the Institute of Integrative Bio-sciences at CECOS University, Peshawar prior to the event told The Express Tribune that they have been waiting for this moment to introduce synthetic biology in Pakistan. He added, “We cannot be playing with Windows95 in an age of Android and iOS and we desperately needed this upgrade in life sciences in the country.”
Published in the Express Tribune on 1st November, 2016.