WHAT IF STUDENTS RAN THEIR OWN RESEARCH PROJECT?
The Aalto-Helsinki 2023 is a multidisciplinary and international team consisting of 10 students from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. We are excited to participate in the world's largest synthetic biology competition iGEM with our diverse team with background in various fields of biosciences and technology. Our aim is to leverage our multidisciplinary background to develop an innovative and impactful synthetic biology project that advances scientific research and benefits society.
To help us in this, we also have our advisory team which consists of Principal Investigators Heli Viskari, Aalto University lecturer, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, and Markus Linder, Aalto University professor of Biomolecular materials. Additionally, we have supporting project advisors Dr. Ville Paavilainen, Institute of Biotechnology, and Sesilja Aranko, staff scientist at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Aalto University.
Apart from this website, you can follow our journey on our
Plastic pollution and food scarcity are major global challenges. Our project aims to provide a sustainable solution to address these issues by developing a proof-of-concept approach for converting polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into proteins.
PETases are promising biocatalysts for the development of biological PET degradation. Our project aims to use these enzymes along with MHETase to create a sustainable solution to plastic waste management and protein production.
In the first stage of our project, the aim is to enzymatically depolymerize PET into monomers that could be fed to microbes. In the second stage, the goal is to genetically engineer a strain that can utilize the monomers to produce proteins or other value-added molecules.
More details of our project will be published throughout the year, stay tuned for more!