Students of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) have successfully won gold medals in an iGEM competition for a project called FRaPPe (a FRET-based Ranker for Proteins and Peptides) targeting dengue fever. It is estimated that 3,80,000 people worldwide are infected each year in dengue, and it has now displaced 129 countries and endangered more than 500,000 people.
The IISER team from Berhampur created a modular reporting system for viral components and host components that were fused under the fluorescent tag and assembled in a mammalian expression system. FRaPPe could eventually become a drug screening module to provide therapeutic intervention strategies for not only dengue but many other viral infections.
Along with this project idea, the students were registered in the competition of the iGEM (International Genetic Engineering Machine) Foundation which is an independent, non-profit organization that has advanced synthetic biology and is advancing the field through education, competition and industry cooperation.
iGEM’s annual student competition is a launch pad for one of the largest synthetic biology innovation programs and companies. The competition empowers thousands of locals to solve unique world problems through biotechnology for a safe and responsible solution.
Due to this year’s special occasion, the iGEM giant jamboree was held on the virtual platform with more than 6,000 participants from 249 teams from 36 countries. An expert panel of judges from around the world evaluates the teamwork, responsibilities, entrepreneurship, partnerships, safety of the participants.
IISER Berhampur’s well-organized action plan, design and execution team won them gold medals by recognizing the contribution of Indians to the global platform. Moving from project design to computing in spite of inability in the research lab due to epidemics helped the team to continue their work. The team is preparing to publish their findings soon
The team congratulates Prof. KVR Chari (Director, IISER Berhampur) and all the staff, faculty and students of the IISER Brotherhood. It was a six-month journey with the project, which was led by Dr. R. Selvi Bharatbhikru and Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee (Assistant Professor of IISER, Berhampur).
Image Source : Google