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2024 Projects

 In each section, you can view the visual abstract and project description along with links to the team’s presentation and the full project report.

Experimental Projects

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Tulane University Synthetic Biology Club

Multiplexing is a powerful tool to target multiple gene mutations using CRISPR Cas12a. However, complementary base pairing is prone to spontaneous homologous recombination, resulting in incomplete CRISPRase. We’ve studied the flexibility of the crRNA scaffold to reduce the likelihood of recombination, identified functional mutated crRNA regions, and initiated further verification and analysis.



We designed a field-adaptable and deployable biosensor based on recombinant E. Coli, for detecting the harmful toxic polyaromatic hydrocarbon phenanthrene. This will be a rapid, cheap, and user-friendly alternative detection approach to conventional methods like Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography.



OASYS is a novel and objective FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) - based microfluidic device that can quantify and analyze biomarkers, such as microRNAs and proteins, in human peripheral blood serum to aid diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

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Clonebots Deletion

Gene knockout is crucial for research aiming to understand gene function and has countless applications in all fields of biology. The gene knockout system we have developed for E. coli is based on a single construct, pDel. pDel contains an inducible expression system controlling CRISPR-Cas12a activity that efficiently and accurately disrupts targeted genes before clearing itself from the cell.


MIT-MAHE is biodegrading triclocarban (TCC), an antimicrobial in personal care products. Due to its chemical stability, it is not degraded in wastewater treatment plants, resulting in accumulation. We plan to insert Ochrobactrum TCC-2's TccA gene which can degrade TCC into a chassis which can inherently degrade the toxic byproducts. We will study the implementation in a real life setting.

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Computational Projects

USP EEL Brazil
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Cannabidiol is a valuable medical compound known for its numerous therapeutic benefits. However, in Brazil, its acquisition is shrouded in bureaucratic complexities, primarily stemming from its association with Cannabis sativa. Therefore, this study aims to produce cannabidiolic acid, the direct precursor to CBD, using biosynthesis and recombinant gene technology with Saccharomyces cerevisiae.



We aim to create a living diagnostic system for the early screening of CRC by developing and optimizing a miRNA detection system using a toehold multiarmed RNA switch called LIRA. Our design also considers the continuous expression of aeBlue chromoprotein throughout the digestion process as a visual marker of CRC in feces. We also incorporated kill switches to ensure biocontainment.

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Edinburgh Biomakers

AcrIIA5 offers natural control, enhanced by AI-driven AlphaFold Prediction optimizing its inhibitory potential. Our study unveils structural insights and mutation patterns, crucial for precise genome editing control. Leveraging AlphaFold, we identify potent AcrIIA5 variants, promising tailored anti-CRISPR therapies.

CPU China


Our study uses GaMD and DFT to elucidate the entire catalytic process of NCS, from dopamine capture to reaction completion. This approach not only provides insights into the enzyme's tunnel design, which is critical for substrate binding and reaction efficiency, but also aligns well with experimental data, offering new directions for biocatalyst development.

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Proposal Projects



Our project aims to transform atmospheric carbon emissions into bioplastics through the genetic engineering and modification of the fermentation pathway of Cupriavidus necator. Following modification of the bacterium, not only will carbon capture be enhanced, but polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a biodegradable polymer, can be extracted from C. necator and transformed into viable bioplastic materials.

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Our project innovates early Alzheimer's diagnosis with a paper-based aptasensor, leveraging gold nanoparticles and quantum dots to detect Aβ42 and p-tau181 biomarkers in blood. This non-invasive alternative to cerebrospinal fluid testing redefines detection, offering a sustainable and accessible approach for timely treatments, enhancing patient outcomes.


Synthetics Rwanda

Microplastics are growing problem, due to frequent usage of plastics for human benefit. Current detection methods of these microplastics are time consuming, inaccurate, and expensive. We propose a solution that combines a PETase enzyme, which binds to PET plastics, with a GFP protein that glows to signal the presence of microplastics.

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Med BioCrafters
Med-Biocrafters poster - Godwin Tusabe_e


This project introduces a transformative solution—an integration of mRNA detection for Plasmodium falciparum and real-time drug resistance monitoring within a single lateral flow device, using antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs).



Arsenic causes many life-threatening diseases in human. Millions of people are exposed to arsenic contamination at unsafe levels worldwide, with current detection methods being costly and limited. We proposed a synthetic gene network in E. coli for affordable, safe arsenic detection using colored compounds. We validated our system with mathematical modelling and suggested potential optimisations.

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Tec Cem
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Diabetes affects 62M people in the Americas, it is expected to reach 109M by 2040. During 2021, 12.4 M people died from this disease in Mexico. Diabetic Nephropathy affects 1 in 3 patients. NephroProt innovates point-of-care diagnostics, enhancing early detection and reducing healthcare burdens. A system for detecting NGAL and serotransferrin in urine.

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