What's iGEM?

iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, is the largest synthetic biology community and the premiere synthetic biology competition for both university and high school level students. iGEM inspires learning and innovation in synthetic biology through education, competition and by maintaining an open library of standard biological parts, the Registry of Standard Biological Parts.

Over 18,000 of the brightest young scientists and engineers have participated in iGEM as students, instructors, or advisors.
iGEM began in January 2003 with a month-long course during MIT’s Independent Activities Period where students designed biological systems to make cells blink. This university design course then grew to a summer competition with 5 teams in 2004. 10 years later, we’ve grown to 245 teams from over 32 countries.
The High School Division was introduced in 2011, allowing high school student teams to experience iGEM in ways that fit the schedules, resources, and structures available to high school teams.

Logo of the iGEM Logo of the iGEM Team Aachen

Team 2016

Photo of the iGEM Team 2016 Copyright: iGEM Team Aachen 2016

The project is still in its planning phase.

Logo iGEM 2016

Team 2015: Upcycling Methanol Into an Universal Carbon Source

Photo of the iGEM Team 2015 Copyright: iGEM Team Aachen 2015

The project

We implement Methanol in biotechnological processes to uncouple them from agricultural products. The combination of Science and Engineering in our team enables us to advance progress in synthetic biology. Our mentors Prof. Blank, Prof. Schwaneberg and Prof. Wiechert complete our team


We establish a new and efficient metabolic pathway to convert methanol to products which are in great demand.


We develop a miniature bioreactor with continuing analytics for our project. It distinguishes itself by being very cost-effective and very easy to implement.

Logo of the iGEM Team Aachen 2015

Team 2014: "Cellock Holmes - A Case of Identity"

Photo of the iGEM Team 2014 Copyright: iGEM Team Aachen 2014

The project

iGEM Team Aachen 2014 developed a modular Biosensor for detection of pathogenic germs and cost-efficient laboratory tools, that can be assembled according to the principle "do it yourself".


  • Gold Medal
  • Best Measurement Project
  • Best Supporting Software (overgrad)
  • Safety Commendation
Logo of the iGEM Team Aachen 2014