Our Achievements

Gold Medal

Top 10 Undergraduate

Best Education Award

Climate Crisis Track Nomination

Best Integrated HP Nomination

Best Presentation Nomination



  • Competition Deliverables:
    • Wiki: We have made a wiki to explain our project and make it accessible to a larger audience.
    • Project Promotion Video: We have made a project promotion video to give a short glimpse into our project.
    • Presentation Video: This 15 minute video explains all the different aspects of our project, and is used for judging our project by the judges.
    • Judging Form: We have filled the judging form.
    • Judging Session: We will be appearing for the judging sessions in-person at the Grand Jamboree.
  • Attributions: We have filled in the standard attributions page introduced this year to give due credit to all those who supported us and helped us through this journey. The page is linked here.
  • Project Description: The description of our project, the motivation, the problem we’re solving and the solutions are all documented on the Project Description Page on the wiki linked here.
  • Contribution: We have documented all our contributions to the iGEM community in the page linked here for future iGEM teams to benefit from.


  • Engineering: We had multiple rounds of Design-Build-Test-Learn during our wet lab cycle during various processes, and finally succeeded. These have been explained in detail on the Engineering Success page linked here.
  • Human Practices: We have done a lot of different human practices activities, to get valuable inputs for our project which we integrated to make our project better and more successful, outreach activities to engage the community and spread awareness about biofuels and synthetic biology, as well as setting up thought-provoking discussions about biofuels, the problems associated with them and possible solutions. The page is linked here.
  • All bronze medal criteria


  • Excellence in Synthetic Biology
  • All bronze and silver medal criteria

Special Awards

For the three special prizes, we have chosen to work towards excellence in:

Best Integrated Human Practices

  • We talked to all stakeholders that could be involved or impacted by the project JetroEco.
  • We had a lot of valuable interactions with some of the leading scientists in the fields of biofuel production through yeast (Dr. Rodrigo L. Amaro), synthetic biology in Y. lipolytica (Dr. Catherine Madzak), model oleaginous yeasts (Dr. Naseem Gaur, Dr. Annamma Odenath), SAF technology (Dr. Anil Kumar Sinha, Dr. Anand Ghosalkar), scientists from our institute and experts of various fields such as lipids metabolomics, E. coli, yeast, and membrane dynamics (Dr. Siddhesh Kamat, Dr. Gayathri Pananghat, Dr. Thomas Pucadyil, Dr. Saikrishnan Kayarat, Dr. Mridula Nambiar, Dr. Sunish Radhakrishnan and his postdoc Shashank Agarwal) that helped us figure out problems with our project, how we could figure out their solutions, and also suggestions that improved the overall impact that our project is bound to make.
  • We talked to Jatropha farmers from Tamil Nadu, who told us the ground realities of the problems associated with growing the plant which were hidden in the mainstream media when the project in India was in full swing.
  • We interacted with experts in conventional fuel life cycles and economics, including various scientists at Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) and KDM Institute for Petroleum Exploration (KDMIPE) such as geologist Dr. Prashant who told us about the current figures for conventional fuels and the grave concerns regarding their emissions.
  • We organised a panel discussion titled “Are the existing policies enough to achieve the net zero emission goal by 2070?” with scientists and analysts from various fields such as sustainable technology, Jatropha research, biofuels etc. (Dr. Sharachchandra Lele, Dr. Venkatachalam, Sharvari Patki, Dr. Gurudas Nulkar), moderated by our institute economics and developmental studies expert Dr. Bejoy K. Thomas to get their views about what an ideal biofuel policy would look like, what all aspects would need to be considered and how long it can be expected to transition out of the use of fossil fuels.
  • We attended an event of the G20 conference held in India this year, where we got the opportunity to interact with various delegates across countries and distinguished policymakers and scientists such as Brazil biofuel expert and Elsevier President of Research Networks Dr. Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, German policymaker Casper and British policymaker Piers Purdy.
  • We talked to stakeholders in airlines and the aviation industry such as pilot Captain Rawat, who told us about the willingness of airlines to adopt SAFs despite their price, and the biggest hurdle being the low availability of it.
  • In the dry lab aspect too, we talked to experts such as our own professor, Dr. M S Madhusudhan for help regarding FAS integration, efflux pump modelling etc., Dr. Thomas Howard, an expert on Design of Experiment, Dr. Karthik Raman (constrained phase modelling), and his student Lavanya Raajaraam.
  • Overall we have talked to all stakeholders and integrated many of their inputs to ensure our project has a solid positive impact in society. More details about this can be inferred from our iHP page.

Best Model

  • We are the first to predict and model the integration of the Jatropha thioesterases with the naturally existing Fatty Acid Synthase (FAS) complex of the yeast. We ran protein docking simulations to model the possible interactions between the ectopically expressed protein and the complex, and narrowed down the most likely interactions using various methods like docking score, hypotheses from literature, active site analysis and redundancy analysis.
  • We have also created a kinetic model to model the fatty acid pathways using model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as data for Y. lipolytica is scarce. This is novel, but what makes it even better is that we have created a software that can optimise single products upon varying the input parameters, which can be used to bring down the costs and really let our project take off in the real world.
  • For the Best Model special prize we have done unprecedented work. We have designed a hydrocarbon efflux pump in silico based on the already existing general efflux pump in Y. lipolytica. Through introducing mutations and predicting their effect on the specificity of the pump, we were able to increase the specificity of the pump such that it was specific to hydrocarbons and reduced specificity to fatty acids, thus allowing fatty acids to get accumulated inside while constantly removing the hydrocarbons into the medium to allow for a continuous extraction method of obtaining the fuel while preventing toxicity due to hydrocarbons in the cells. We have run molecular dynamics simulations using the supercomputer cluster at our institute to verify the same.
  • As all three of these aspects have shed light on novel aspects never seen before, and the optimisation software is a new concept never explored before by an iGEM team, we nominate ourselves for the Best Model special award.

Best Education

  • Education and outreach is a very important value inculcated at iGEM, and we approached it in every aspect in a holistic and inclusive manner. We conducted various activities for students from all walks of life, be it young budding science enthusiasts, high school and undergraduate students, or the financially and socially underprivileged students. Multiple competitions such as Biomimetics and Art competitions, workshops and informative sessions such as synthetic biology educational videos and sessions were also conducted.
  • However, education does not stop with childhood, we all learn throughout our lives, and with this mission in mind we took our education ventures to the iGEM community and society in general with a wiki session for other iGEM teams, biosafety webinars, participation in the All India iGEM Meet, as well as surveys and a symposium to spread awareness and spark discussions and debates about biofuels, their use and implementation, and the policy changes required to make sure they are a success in India. We collaborated with other iGEM teams and also many of the student run clubs at our institute in these activities to further extend the reach of our efforts.
  • We believe we have done justice to this criterion by spreading awareness and education in almost all parts of society to the best of our capacity, always taking care of inclusivity and having a careful and holistic approach.