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[2019/01/17] The NYMU Team Secures a Gold Medal again at the 2018 iGEM Competition

2018 iGEM gold medal winning team with the principal and teachers


At the 2018 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, more than 300 leading universities and high schools from all over the world participated in a fierce competition. The iGEM team from National Yang-Ming University took the theme of “Hair To Stay” and participated in the competition at the end of October. The team was unanimously affirmed by the conference to show excellent creativity and achievement. This is not only the ninth time that NYMU has won a gold medal, but the project was also nominated by the jury for the New Application Prize.


The 2018 NYMU iGEM team instructors include, Associate Professor Zhang from the Institute of Biomedical Informatics and The Center for systems and Synthetic Biology, Dr. Chen, Chief of the Department of Dermatology at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Dr. Zhang and Jude Clapper, Director of Scientific Research at the Taipei American School. The 18 team members came from the Faculty of Medicine, the Department of Life Sciences, and the Department of Pharmacy of NYMU, as well as Taipei American School.


NYMU 2018 iGEM team


The theme of the iGEM team this year was "Hair To Stay," and focused on hair loss problems, which are a concern of many people. According to the literature, consumers from all over the world spend nearly $100 billion each year on hair loss care, yet many treatments have serious side effects. At the moment, the biggest problem with human hair loss research is that scientists do not have a good model for investigating how to treat hair follicle atrophy and thus it is difficult to test the therapeutic effects of their drug candidates. The development of new treatment for androgenetic hair loss demands a solution to this problem. Therefore, the team focused on providing a quick and easy platform for testing the effectiveness of hair loss treatment products. Since the literature indicates that over expression of the DKK-1 protein is one of the main factors leading to and rogenetic alopecia (AGA), it should be possible to quickly test product effectiveness by detecting changes in the amount of DKK-1 protein after adding the potential drug candidate. If DKK-1 protein expression is decreased, then this drug becomes a candidate for treating AGA.


The 2018 NYMU iGEM team participated with the theme "Hair To Stay", which focuses on hair loss problems


Since its participation in 2007, the NYMU iGEM team has a record of winning the World Championship at the International Synthetic Biology Competition, being sixth in the world, and obtaining third place in Asia. They also have captured nine gold, two silver, and one bronze medal in the International Synthetic Biology Competition. In recent years, the competition has actively spread the seeds of synthetic biology and this has led to the participation of many outstanding Taiwanese high schools and universities in the synthetic biology competitions, which helps to bring Taiwan to the world stage.