The 2017 Cadets2Vets iGEM team entered Boston with few expectations and a slidedeck full of hard work. We left 5 days later with a Bronze Award, a wide network of international contacts, and a fresh look towards goals for our 2018 season. Our team of UW Tacoma, West Point, Charles Wright Academy and Bellarmine students were inspired by the achievements of the other domestic and international teams at the event.
In the age of Start-Ups and Confidentiality agreements, iGEM is based on assembling reproducible research that is shared through collaborations of InterLab studies, then registered into the iGEM directory for any future team to access. This prevents inefficiencies in reproducing projects that have already been completed, to help solve problems through synthetic biology. For example, the Grand Prize was awarded to a Dutch team who developed a kit for dairy farmers to perform genetic testing on the bacteria of their cows' milk. This prevented farmers from dosing the herd with antibiotics that were drug-resistant to the animals. The kit was implemented on the farms in Delft, and the scientific techniques made available to all in the registry.
At RAIN, we are an incubator that fills the void between educational institutions and the early product development of start-ups. We endeavor to educate and inspire the future workforce of Tacoma throughout our labs. Our vision is a legacy of RAIN Alumni that develop projects in our labs that spin-off into future companies that grow our community. We saw this example at the Broad Institute on the MIT campus in Boston and recognize our students can do the same with support.