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TAS Wins iGEM Prize

Taipei American School Wins Grand Prize at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Giant Jamboree in Boston!
TAS Wins iGEM Prize

After earning second runner-up at last year's High School Jamboree there were high expectations for this year's iGEM team from Taipei American School. The team of 11 students exceeded those expectations and won the Grand Prize at the Giant Jamboree held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston MA, from September 24-28, 2015.
In addition to winning the High School Track of the iGEM competition, the TAS iGEM team received an award for Best Wiki (their website) and a gold medal for the completion of competition requirements that progressively increased in difficulty. They received nominations for Best Model, Best Educational and Public Engagement, Best Poster, Best Presentation, and Best New Composite Part.
The iGEM Giant Jamboree is the premiere world championship for synthetic biologists. Each year, iGEM teams design and engineer a synthetic biological machine to tackle today’s toughest problems. The iGEM Giant Jamboree consisted of 259 teams from around the world that competed for top placement. TAS competed against 40 of those teams in the high school track.
The TAS iGEM team began preparing for the jamboree months before. They designed their Synthetic Biology project in January, 2015 and worked through the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year, summer, and start of 2015-2016 school year. During the process, the team had to fully document the experimental, research, and application portions of their project. The team also had to complete a "Policy and Practices" portion, where they learned about the societal impact of their biologically designed machines. In September, 2015, they traveled to Boston to present their project at the iGEM Giant Jamboree.
At the iGEM Giant Jamboree, teams are judged on three things: a wiki, a poster presentation session, and an oral defense of their project. TAS’s project looked at preventing tissue damage from chronic inflammation by inhibiting Granzyme B activity in the extracellular matrix.
The TAS iGEM team performed very well. Their advisor and upper school scientific research teacher, Mr. Jude Clapper, reflected, “One judge said that they were better than many college and even graduate school teams. They also praised them on their understanding of genetic engineering and synthetic biology which is a testament to all of the biology teachers in the science department.”

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