Helping to Support the Next Generation of Genomics Researchers

CALGARY, July 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Genome Alberta is pleased to be a major sponsor of the iGEM teams at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge and encourages other research organizations to join us. iGEM is the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition that started off as a local competition at MIT in Boston and has grown to include 245 teams from around the world. University students and faculty advisors give up their summer and cram their fall schedule with time in the lab to design and build biological systems and operate them in living cells. The science of synthetic biology is already responsible for major breakthroughs in health and medicine and is poised to be one of the most significant medical tools to help deliver on the potential for personalized medicine.

Genome Alberta sponsors the Collegiate teams at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, and is a general sponsor for the University of Lethbridge teams involved in the Collegiate, Entrepreneurial, and High School divisions. The Lethbridge High School iGEM team recently won the top "Green Brick", "Best Bio Brick" and "Best Wiki" prizes at the High School Jamboree competition. Alberta Collegiate teams have fared well in past competitions and we're confident they'll do well again this year.

iGEM Students in Alberta also receive significant support through geekStarter. Part of Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures'  Innovates Centre of Research Excellence (iCORE),  geekStarter is a student-focused  program supporting the next generation of Alberta's innovation community. Student teams receive funding and access to experts in workshops to help prepare for their iGEM Regional Jamboree in Toronto in October and then (we hope!) on to the International Jamboree in Boston in November.

iGEM teams don't normally get a lot of extra financial support from their home universities and rely on outside sponsorships for supplies, travels, and to pay some of the students for their role as lab technologists. Some of the Collegiate iGEM team members in turn offer their time and expertise to the High School Division teams. Genome Alberta hopes that the private, public and not-for-profit sector will look for their local iGEM teams and help them out with sponsorships including in-kind support with materials, equipment, and expertise.

Visit the Genome Alberta website at for more information on the Alberta teams or contact us and we will be pleased to help you find a team in your area.

Genome Alberta is a publicly funded not-for-profit corporation that initiates, funds, and manages genomics research and partnerships. We strive to be a leading source of information and administration related to genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and bioethics research in Alberta. Visit us at or check out news for the 'omics generation at

SOURCE: Genome Alberta

For further information:

Mike Spear
Director or Corporate Communications,
Genome Alberta

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