University of Heidelberg

iGEM Team Heidelberg 2009


About 110 teams participated from November 6 to 9, 2009, in the iGEM championship jamboree at MIT in Boston. Heidelberg was awarded the second place in the overall judgement, only Cambridge was better. Further the team of Professor Roland Eils secured the prizes for the best new technical standard and the best internet documentation. Read a concise project abstract below and find the detailed project on the Heidelberg-Wiki.

Spybricks - a starter kit for synthetic biology in mammalian cells

Mammalian synthetic biology has a huge potential, but it is in need of new standards and a systematic construction of comprehensive part libraries. Promoters are the fundamental elements of every synthetic biological system. We have developed and successfully applied two novel, in silico guided methods for the rational construction of synthetic promoters which respond only to predefined transcription factors. Thus, we have been able to create a library of promoters of different strength and inducibility. To characterize the promoters, we have developed standardized protocols for comparable measurements of promoter strength by either transient or stable transfection. These synthetic promoters can be used as “spybricks” which enable the construction of assays for simultaneously monitoring several pathways in a cell. However, the potential of synthetic promoters goes far beyond this application: e.g. in virotherapy, these promoters could be used for selective gene expression in target cells.


13 avant-garde students have been dedicated over the summer to the development of "SpyBricks". 

Heidelberg iGem-Team 2009
Contact: E-Mail (Last update: 15/06/2018)