International Genetically Engineered Machines

Open Science and Accessibility

Overview: iGEM is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology through education and community development. As the iGEM ambassador to North America and member of the Open Science and Accessibility Committee, I have been involved with lowering the barriers of entry into the life sciences field. In particular I helped launch the Translation Initative and the Open Talks campaign, both aimed at making science more accessibile to everyone anywhere locally and globally. I also helped facilitate the transition of over 8000 students to attend the annual iGEM competition in Paris to a remote platform.


GCS relation: This service learning is tackles two problems: how research can be more effient through open-sourcing and how research can be more equitable. To advance scientific discovery, open-sourcing research will be immensely powerful. There are often forces and interests at odds with each other that hinders research progress. A world where open-sourcing research is the go-to of many will be a world where scientific discovery is optimized. Instead of repeating others' findings, more will build off of others' works and embrace open collaboration. This is the vision I am building towards for synthetic biology in iGEM. Furthermore, research is expensive and often only available to the privileged few who have access to well-funded institutions, scientific discovery can be optimize when more people with diverse perspectives and experienced are involved. I am working towards making this inclusiveness happen.

Contact: Dorothy Zhang (Director of Community Engagement)

Organization: International Genetically Engineered Machines

Duration: January 2021 - Present

Total Hours of Completion to date: 150 hrs