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Mak iGEM’s Alex Kyabarongo Shines at Global Jamboree

  • In Sciences
  • 30 Oct 2018 - 6:30pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 1,125
iGEM Makerere Team's Alex Kyabarongo (4th Left) with fellow iGEMmers from around the world on 26th October 2018, Hynes Convention Center, Boston Massachusetts, USA Image: Adam Thomas

Mr. Kyabarongo Alex, a Third Year student of the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), has done Makerere University proud by making a brilliant presentation at the global iGEM Jamboree on 26th October 2018. The global event held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, brings together iGEM Teams from around the world to share research findings on the application of synthetic biology to solve global challenges.

Challenged by the over 600 tonnes of plastic waste disposed of in Uganda and Kampala City in particular on a daily basis, Makerere University’s iGEM team seeks to use a bacteria that naturally decomposes plastic (polyethylene terephthalate) to turn this waste into biofuel and other useful products.

Alex Kyabarongo (R) makes a poster presentation about the iGEM Makerere Team's project

“A biological approach to resolving this problem is favorable because of its practicality and efficiency. Ideonella sakaiensis is a bacteria that naturally decomposes, we have decided to genetically modify E. coli cells to model the plastic degradation process by adding the Lipase and Chlorogenate Esterase genes from Ideonella sakaiensis into E. coli bacterial cells” read part of the presentation made by Mr. Kyabarongo.

Reacting to Alex’s presentation that drew an overwhelming response from his audience, the Team Leader and Instructor Mr. Otim Geoffrey, a Medical Laboratory Technologist at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, and a Masters fellow at Makerere University said;

“We commend Alex Kyabarongo for representing the iGEM Makerere Team in the global iGEM Jamboree and making a wonderful presentation. We are very proud for this and look forward to supporting the sustainability of this initiative at Makerere University.”

Fellow iGEMmers gather around to congratulate Alex (on stage) after his presentation. Image: Adam Thomas

Comments from his audience noted that Alex’s talk at iGEM was great and made the ambition, passion and excitement of the iGEM Makerere Team and University shine through.

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