North America/about


iGEM 2013 North American Regional– Toronto, Canada
Brought to you by The University of Toronto Arts and Sciences, Ontario iGEM (oGEM), and The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI)

Organizing Committee

Graham Cromar (Ontario iGEM, Molecular and Medical Genetics)
Brendan Hussey (Ontario iGEM, Cell & Systems Biology)
Alison Symington (Ontario Genomics Institute)
John Parkinson (Biochemistry & Molecular and Medical Genetics)
David McMillen (Chemical & Physical Sciences)
Sergio Peisajovich (Cell & Systems Biology)
Alan Moses (Cell & Systems Biology)
Boris Steipe (Biochemistry)
Rob Reedijk (Biochemistry)

Social Event Committee

Pantea Razzaghi (Synbiota)
Connor Dickie (Synbiota)
Justin Pahara (Synbiota)
Kevin Chen (Synbiota)
Alejandro Saettone (Synbiota)
Kelly Seagram
Shanly Meronek


The University of Toronto

Established in 1827, the University of Toronto is Canada’s largest university. The University of Toronto is home to 10 Nobel Laureates including Sir Frederick Banting and J.J.R. Macleod who won the Nobel Prize in 1923 for their work with Charles Best in the discovery of the role of insulin in controlling diabetes. The Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto is a modern, research-intensive enterprise within the Faculty of Medicine. The Department was founded in 1907 and has a proud tradition of excellence in research and in teaching. Today, the Department boasts a large faculty (over 50 members and growing) whose research spans the breadth that is biochemistry today. There are a number of foci of research activity in the Department that include the University's Medical Sciences Building, the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children, the Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital, the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mt. Sinai and other sites in the University of Toronto community.


Ontario iGEM

Ontario iGEM (affectionately known as ‘oGEM’) is a federation of Ontario iGEM teams including university teams from Toronto, Waterloo, Queens, Ottawa, McMaster, Guelph and Western. Membership is open to faculty, staff, trainees and students of any Ontario iGEM team. The goals of oGEM are to advance the study of synthetic biology through the promotion of programs that enhance the iGEM experience and to pursue opportunities that support long-term growth and sustainability of the iGEM program in our region. This includes: sharing resources and expertise, fostering education, presenting a united voice, creating a community, contributing to the development of critical mass related to synthetic biology expertise in Canada, and cultivating relationships in science, media, industry and politics that further the cause of synthetic biology education through the support of our iGEM teams.


Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI)

The mission of the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) is to use world-class research to create strategic genomics resources and accelerate Ontario’s development of a globally-competitive life sciences sector. OGI strategically cultivates, funds, and manages large-scale genomics projects and the genomics resources they create, as well as technology development and technology service platform provision associated with these projects. OGI’s primary partners in developing genomics projects are Ontario’s public and private research institutions in the life sciences, which carry out the projects that OGI funds and manages. We receive support from and work closely with Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation and, as with other regional genome centres, Genome Canada. Through the outreach group, OGI organizes conferences in areas of ‘omics’ biology as well as supports student networks and other educational activities.


Synbiota Inc.

Synbiota’s mission is to make science more accessible to the world.
Synbiota’s unique browser based platform is transforming science R&D and science commerce. It enables innovation, and collaboration in the biotechnology R&D sector, Life Sciences industry, and the budding citizen-science movement. By combining cloud-based data storage, project management, and desktop-class development tools, the Synbiota platform simplifies and virtualizes the process for professional and novice scientists to design, collaborate, manage, share, and sell securely using any web-connected device.