Project Collaborations Banner Image

Lethbridge High School iGEM

For the 7th consecutive year, we collaborated with the Lethbridge High School iGEM team. We provided mentorship and assistance with wet lab work. Since both of our projects involved working with protein capsids from viruses, we helped each other design our constructs for these components. We also connected the high school team to previous collegiate team members who worked on our tailings pond projects since the current high school project is focused in that area. Collegiate team members Sydnee Calhoun, Chris Isaac, Luke Saville, and Kristi Turton acted as advisors for the high school team providing guidance in all areas of their project.

University of Calgary

To show that V.I.N.C.En.T. has the power to help other iGEM teams, we worked with the University of Calgary iGEM team. They are working on a system to make CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing even easier and more precise. Check out their wiki for a more detailed description of the awesome work they are doing.

To help the Calgary team deliver on their project, we sought out a protein nanocompartment that was capable of encapsulating the Cas9 protein. We found that by fusing Cas9 to the scaffolding protein of the P22 bacteriophage PNC it was possible to load it with Cas9, complexed with a desired guide RNA, and deliver functional concentrations of the gene editing protein to cells [1]. We requested samples of the DNA encoding these constructs from the Weidenheft lab at Montana State University, expressed the protein components in E. coli and delivered these protein samples to the U of C team for them to load with their custom guide RNA and evaluate their applicability in their project. Those tests are currently ongoing, and we are excited for you to hear about the results in Boston!

Florida State University

For the second year, we worked with Florida State University providing mentorship to them on different aspects of their project.


  • [1] Qazi, S., Miettinen, H., Wilkinson, R., McCoy, K., Douglas, T., and Wiedenheft, B. (2016)Programmed self-assembly of an active P22-Cas9 Nanocarrier System. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 13, 1191-1196