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Student Biolab Zurich / iDEC

Dear Biology students,

We at Student Biolab Zurich are planning a project on protein engineering using directed evolution to participate in an international student competition (iDEC).

Last year we created Evolution Suisse, the first Swiss team to compete at iDEC. Our project was to engineer pathogen resistance in plants by disrupting an interaction between pathogenic protein and a plant’s immune system. Our evolution produced promising protein candidates, which we managed to validate in plants to confirm that immunity was indeed restored. The project was well received: the team has won half of all possible awards and the first place overall at iDEC.

Building on this success, we’re assembling a new team for the next year. The topic is PACE: Phage-Assisted Continuous Evolution. One of the most potent evolution methods to-date, it is notoriously hard to set up and until recently no one outside of the original lab has been able to reproduce it. The first lab to do so turns out to be here, in Zurich!

We have secured access to PACE setup and lab’s support. Evolution Suisse 2024 team will brainstorm a project that uses PACE as a means for evolving a biomolecule of their choosing, design and conduct experiments and then present their results at iDEC 2024 next autumn. It’s a unique opportunity, so we’re looking for competent and motivated people to join the team!

More organizational details can be found at studentbiolab.ch/directed-evolution. If you have any questions, or if you’re interested but are unsure how to fit it into your study program, please don’t hesitate and reach out to idec2024@studentbiolab.ch.

Best regards,

Evolution Suisse 2024 organising team

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