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Broad Run iGEM team wins international awards

The Broad Run iGEM team took home an overall silver medal at the Giant Jamboree competition. Courtesy Photo/Adriel Sumathipala
Broad Run High School's iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) took home several awards at the "Giant Jamboree" Sept. 24-28 in Boston's Hynes Convention Center.

"Broad Run is the top High School iGEM team in the United States and was selected as one of the 5 top teams in the world," Nina Arendtsz, a Broad Run team instructor.

The judging process was divided into five categories: overall project concept, a poster, a presentation, a wiki and submission of engineered genetic material back to iGEM.

The Broad Run team's project was creating a special genetically engineered yeast variant to sustainably and cheaply treat Armstrong World Industries' water supply. Armstrong World Industries is an international construction materials manufacturer, who sponsored the team. Broad Run was also sponsored by local businesses Telos Corporation and Swan Legend Venture Capital."

The team won awards for best poster and best presentation. They were also nominated for best project and best wiki and got an overall Silver Medal for achieving all of the judging criteria.

The 10 teammates were Marissa Sumathipala, Adriel Sumathipala, Fionn Desmond, Alexandra Scott and Nick Rozak. The team’s instructors are Nina Arendtsz and Nicole Kezmarsky. The team’s advisers were Lisa Schiefele and Thomas Burkett.

The squad was founded and lead by captains Adriel and Marissa Sumathipala.

Rock Ridge also participated in the challenge, with a project aimed at generating a living vaccine through genetic modification to extinguish Lyme disease in Loudoun County and worldwide.

Rock Ridge earned an overall Bronze Medal and a summer internship was offered to student Christopher Vidal at a company that produces custom DNA libraries. Their team consisted of nineteen teammates: Snesha Misra, Vidal, Pavan Sastri, Gwyneth Schloer, Shrunal Pothagoni, Uday Sidhu, Harshita Pathipati, Jakob Jasin, Sreya Palnati, Pramod Grama, Elsa Katarina Acosta, Vignesh Valaboju, Gurveer Dulai, Sharen Singh, Ramya Kuruba, Aidan Jessup, Megana Kasavaraju and Tejasri Kilari. The team was instructed by Mario Saavedra.

This story has been updated with several corrections.


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