UW team wins iGEM grand prize

The Department of Chemistry congratulates Chemistry graduate student Justin Siegel and undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry majors Casey Ager, Juhye An, Sydney Gordon, Elaine Lai, Seth Sagulo, Liz Stanley, Sarah Wolf, and Lei Zhang for a remarkable accomplishment. These students and 14 others were members of the UW team that won the Grand Prize in the sixth annual International Genetically Engineered Machine World Championship Competition (iGEM). This is the first time a team from the United States has won the award. Members of the UW community are invited to a celebration of their accomplishment on Monday, December 12, at 4:00 pm in the atrium of the Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and Engineering Building.

This year, 160 teams from around the world competed in regional competitions. The 65 most competitive teams worldwide convened at MIT to present their synthetic biology projects.  Awards were presented and the four top teams (from Imperial College London, MIT, ZJU-China, and the University of Washington) were named as finalists.  An international panel of judges awarded the University of Washington the grand prize.

The University of Washington project is an example of undergraduate students engineering solutions to real-world problems. The students developed a novel protein with promise for the treatment of gluten intolerance (Celiac disease), to be taken as an oral therapeutic similar to the lactaid pill.  Additionally, they produced diesel fuel from sugar by engineering a novel biological system.  These projects demonstrate how synthetic biology can be used to solve many of the world’s problems, and that significant progress can be made by a group of undergraduate students with little formal training in just one summer.  More information can be found at http://2011.igem.org/Team:Washington. For more info about iGEM, visit http://www.igem.org

The Annual UW Undergraduate Research Program

Seven undergraduate researchers working with Chemistry Department faculty recently participated in The Annual UW Undergraduate Research Program that was held on Friday, May 20, 2011. The Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is a chance for undergraduates to present what they have learned through their research experiences to a larger audience. The Symposium also provides a forum for students, faculty, and the community to discuss cutting edge research topics and to examine the connection between research and education. The Symposium includes poster and presentation sessions by students from all academic disciplines and all three UW campuses, plus invited guests.


2010 Graduation

Many of our Chemistry and Biochemistry Bachelor degree and PhD recipients joined us for a celebration of their accomplishments on Friday, June 11, 2010.  Over 300 bachelor degrees and 40 PhD degrees were completed during the academic year 2009-10.  The event was held in the HUB Ballroom with over 1000 students and their guests in attendance.  The keynote address was given by Dr. Susan Solomon, a noted PhD Chemist and a leader in the field of Atmospheric Sciences.  In 2007 Dr. Solomon served as co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  In 2008 the IPCC and Al Gore Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize.