LASA iGEM to Boston
The LASA iGEM team is a group of passionate high schoolers from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy working at UT’s Ellington Lab on synthetic biology research. Currently, the group is working on a research project to take to iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, a synthetic biology competition held annually in Boston every fall. All funds raised through this Hornraiser project will go towards registration fees, attendance fees, and transportation/lodging expenses.
Our project concerns using bacteria as “reagents,” cellular reagents, in standard molecular biology procedures. Numerous reactions require enzymes as reagents that are often either expensive or difficult to obtain. This can be severely limiting for labs that do not receive much funding, such as high school or community labs. We are currently working on developing bacteria that could serve as replacements to these reagents. By overexpressing enzymes in bacteria and optimizing organisms such as E. coli for reactions, we could eliminate the time-consuming and costly steps of enzyme purification. This would open up many new opportunities for underfunded or resource-deficient labs.
This is not the group's first time participating in iGEM. The LASA team attended iGEM in November of last year and received a bronze medal for their project. The team is aiming to make it to Boston again this year with a bigger and better project! Dr. Ellington, Dr. Mishler and the UT iGEM team, and other individuals at the Ellington Lab have aided the high schoolers with their research in the past and will continue to do so this year as well; however, as the team has little to no affiliation with their high school except in name, the team does not receive any funding from their school and therefore turns to crowdfunding to raise all necessary fees and expenses. With your money, we will be able to pay these fees, allowing us to focus on our project without worrying about finances. Please help us accomplish our goal of raising $8,100.