Team:Auckland MOD

MOD - University of Auckland iGEM 2018 Team

Welcome to Team MOD 2018

Team MOD is a group of undergrads who undertake genetic engineering projects with commercial applications. The projects are relatively simple, but challenging enough to introduce students to the real world of science and business. Each year, Team MOD enters in the International Genetic Engineering Machine (iGEM) competition. iGEM started in 2003 as a summer project at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology (MIT), and is now a global event involving hundreds of teams. Each year, Team MOD sends students to Boston to present their work. Team MOD is a great opportunity to gain insights into the real world of business and science, extracurricular experience, lab time, connections, friends, and more.

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About Team MOD and iGEM

Here are answers to questions we get asked the most. For more info, contact us (don't be shy, we're a friendly bunch).

One of the best things scientists get out of iGEM is real lab experience, because this is valued by postgrad supervisors and employers. If you're a lab member, you'll get to be trained by expert profressors (e.g. Joanna Putterill) and work with both undergrad and postgrad students. Most business students value presenting to and having discussions with investors and other experienced business managers (however intimidating it can be sometimes). Without a doubt, you will gain valuable connections with people you never thought possible. Of course, everybody likes the potential of being flown to Boston for a week or two to present at iGEM's Giant Jamboree. But with Team MOD, it really is about the journey, not the destination.

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Some members only commit one hour per week to Team MOD, others commit several hours. Think of it like Fight Club: You decide your own level of involvement. The more you put in, the more you will get out. If you only want to contribute to team meetings and investor presentations, that's fine. But you could get involved in wet lab work and community engagement (e.g. a few times a year, we visit high schools and do a simple lab experiment with the students and let them ask about university etc). Sometimes everything can get a little stressful. If exams are around the corner and something in the lab isn't going as planned, you might have to chose between meeting a deadline for iGEM and cramming a few more hours for your exams. Of course, we work as a team to make sure everybody helps those most in need.

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To be a core member of an iGEM team, you have to be an undergrad student and you have to be younger than 24 years old (as of March 31). However, you can still join the team and be recognised as an official Advisor or Consultant. In either case, if you want in, send us an email introducing yourself and we'll look into organising a meeting. In your email, you can tell us about (1) what makes you stand out, (2) your career aspirations, (3) your opinion on selling/consuming GMO foods vs organic foods, (4) any extracurricular activities you've been involved in, and (5) what you would do with genetic engineering if you had access to an authorised lab with all the equipment and expertise you'd need. And try not to sugar-coat anything (honesty sounds more genuine anyway).

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iGEM projects can be about almost anything. Last year, our 2017 iGEM team project focused on introducing tissue-specific frost resistance into crop plants. Before that, our 2016 iGEM team project had the idea to engineer E. coli to secrete enzymes that break down common plastics. This year, our lab members have shown interest in improving aeroponic technology, although we could end up going down a different path. If you're interested in joining and/or you have an idea for a genetics project, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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"iGEM was an awesome opportunity to build practical science skills. I loved being able to contribute to solving a real world problem — working on a project that could make a difference. If you're thinking research might be for you, then this is a fantastic way to start."

Peter Wills, Alumni

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Keen to talk?

If you're interested, have questions, or want to know more, don't hesitate to contact us directly.