Medal requirements

This page is intended to demonstrate how we have satisfied various medal criteria by organizing links to evidence and explanations of our work.


Name Explanation
Competition deliverables We successfully completed our Wiki, Project Promotion Video, Presentation Video, and Judging Form. We are excited for the Judging Session!
Project attributions We thoroughly filled out the standardized attributions form.
Project description In our description, we have elaborated on the premise of our project, including justification of its importance and an overview of the technical details.
Contribution On our contributions page, we have described software we designed, hardware we built, wet lab protocols we optimized, and more.


Name Explanation
Engineering success After undergoing several iterations of modular cloning, specifically involving testing and learning from a variety of 5' and 3' untranslated regions, we have successfully created CAR and IL-6 fusion protein plasmids with high expression in HEK293 cells and desired functionality. Having started with no transfection efficiency in our initial construction attempts, we have demonstrated our ability to analyze experimental results and improve upon our designs! Additionally, we have developed a Chimeric Antigen Receptor assembly ToolKit (CAR-TK), which underwent two rounds of design to optimize its functionality and user experience; CAR-TK further exemplifies our dedication to the engineering cycle. More details are on our engineering page.
Human practices Our team has thoroughly explored the social and ethical considerations of cachexia research from every angle, as detailed in our human practices page. We developed our understanding of the technical and patient-facing/delivery aspects of our therapy through six in-depth conversations with experts in a variety of fields, such as cachectic patient clinical care, sex-based differences in cachexia, age dependence of macrophage functionality, and genetic circuitry. We further delved into the real-world implications of cachexia as a whole along with our proposed therapy through two podcast episodes. Finally, we presented a poster at a reputable synthetic biology conference, where we practiced defending the importance of cachexia research and received exciting advice from researchers with diverse backgrounds.


Name Explanation
Basic part Our 3xFLAG-IL6-mCherry fusion protein coding sequence is a broadly useful basic part. We successfully designed, constructed, transfected, and purified this protein for the purpose of incubating our CAR-expressing cells with fluorescent IL-6, but because IL-6 is a master regulatory cytokine crucial for many human immune disorders and pathways, this part can be utilized by future teams studying everything from cytokine release syndrome to diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis. More documentation is available on our part registry.
Software We developed software that solves crucial, foundational problems that we experienced during our design and analysis of genetic sequences and their construction. Furthermore, we created software that automates primer design for extracting CAR components from CAR plasmids, in accordance with our proposed CAR-TK assembly standards. Our software page provides more details on our codon optimization, pairwise sequence alignment, and CAR-TK primer design tools.
Education We created a YouTube channel with educational content including podcast episodes featuring cachexia experts, tutorials on tissue culture and bacterial plasmid extraction, and advice on life as a scientific researcher. Our channel is here and more information on its educational content is on our education page.