The MathWorks Sponsors iGEM Competition for Synthetic Biology at MIT : MATLAB and SimBiology Help Accelerate Design of Synthetic Biological Systems

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The MathWorks today announced its lead sponsorship of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) 2008 student competition, held annually by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This year the competition brought together 84 undergraduate teams representing more than 1,000 students from 21 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. to design and assemble synthetic biological systems using advanced genetic components and technologies.

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We are pleased to support important student competitions, such as iGEM, which enable students and faculty to push the boundaries of science

As a lead sponsor, The MathWorks is equipping teams with its software tools, including MATLAB and SimBiology, which provide advanced capabilities for modeling, simulating, analyzing, and visualizing complex biological networks. Additionally, The MathWorks is offering students in-person and online training sessions to help them become proficient with the tools. The teams also have been matched with experienced MathWorks staff who serve as mentors and technical advisors.

"We are pleased to support important student competitions, such as iGEM, which enable students and faculty to push the boundaries of science," said Kristen Zannella, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry marketing manager at The MathWorks. "Synthetic biology is an area of rapid innovation and exciting new applications, and iGEM helps create a mindset of approaching complex biological problems with different solutions that use a mix of scientific and engineering capabilities."

As an incentive for students to master the modeling segment of the competition, The MathWorks instituted in 2008 an award for the team that most effectively uses modeling within its project. Also new this year is a special track for software tools that recognizes teams for developing cutting-edge tools that help engineer biological systems based on standard parts. Winners of the competition will be announced during the iGEM Jamboree at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on November 8-9, 2008.

About The MathWorks

The MathWorks is the world's leading developer of technical computing and Model-Based Design software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. With an extensive product set based on MATLAB and Simulink, The MathWorks provides software and services to solve challenging problems and accelerate innovation in automotive, aerospace, communications, financial services, biotechnology, electronics, instrumentation, process, and other industries.

The MathWorks was founded in 1984 and employs more than 2,000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts. For additional information, visit

About iGEM

The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate synthetic biology competition. iGEM began in January of 2003.

In the competition, student teams are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Working at their own schools over the summer, they use these parts and new parts of their own design to build biological systems and operate them in living cells. Teams will present their projects at the iGEM Championship Jamboree on November 8-9, 2008.

For more information, please visit

© 2008 The MathWorks, Inc. MATLAB and Simulink are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc. See for a list of additional trademarks. Other product or brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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