A team of 13 students at Department of Biotechnology, IIT Roorkee has won Gold Medal at the International iGEM 2020 competition and it was also among the top 5 Indian teams that won the funding support from Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India for participation.
iGEM having HQ in Massachusetts, USA is the most extensive Synthetic Biology innovation program and a launchpad for the industry’s various successful leaders and companies. iGEM 2020 witnessed the participation of 249 teams from 36 countries.
The team worked on the project titled ‘Pyomancer: Novel Antimicrobial Drugs against MDR Infections’ to tackle WHO’s topmost priority problem of Antimicrobial Resistance and approached it from a multidisciplinary perspective. This project focussed on designing new Antimicrobials, called Seekercins, to kill drug-resistant bacteria with a mechanism inspired by other natural molecules.
“Synthetic Biology finds applications in medicine and several other areas. I would like to congratulate the winning team for winning the Gold Medal at this international competition and bringing laurels to our Institute and country” said Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee.
The Team Leader, Sanjeevani Marcha, a final year student, said: “We believe that through our concept and protein design, we can focus on the priority pathogens and urge the pharmaceutical companies to change the ways antibiotics are conventionally developed. By working on the biological systems with an engineering approach, we could think beyond traditional methods in life sciences and implement creative approach from an open mindset.”
Prof Ranjana Pathania
Prof Naveen K Navani
The team members of the winning undergraduate team are:
- Sanjeevani Marcha (4th year)
- Muskaan Bhambri (4th year)
- Harkirat Singh Arora (4th year)
- Yash Aggarwal (3rd year)
- Pradum Kumar (3rd year)
- Kushagra Rustagi (3rd year)
- Nitish Verma (3rd year)
- Siddharth Suhas Fitwe (2nd year)
- Tishee Natani (2nd year)
- Kartikey Kansal (2nd year)
- Lakshya Jain (2nd year)
- Mihir Sachdeva (2nd year)
- Kanishk Sugotra (2nd year)
- Dr Siva Ram (Post Doc)
- Somok Bhowmik (PhD)