iGEM UTokyo (English)

synthetic biology







"iGEM" is the world championship of biological Robocon. It involves programming biology through genes to solve various challenges.


    Basic Information



    Number of Members

    B2: 9, B3: 11, B4: 7

    Participation Grades


    Selection Process Info

    Has selection

    Annual Membership Fee


    Frequency of Activities

    Three times a week (Depends on the participating project)





    Official Email Address utokyo.igem[a]gmail.com
    (Please send an email with [a] as @.)

    A Look at Their Activities

    ・The participants are divided into divisions (usually consisting of around 5 people) for each category and carry out various activities.
    ・Idea generation and research sharing meetings are held online or at a place called LabCafe in the Hongo area.
    ・Experiments are planned to be conducted with the support of the Wakamoto Laboratory on the Komaba Campus.
    ・Activities include not only experiments but also project planning, reading papers for research, website creation workshops, simulations, interviews with stakeholders and researchers, and fundraising.
    ・The current members are mostly aspiring researchers (although iGEM itself is more focused on engineering, so we are strongly recruiting from engineering majors).



    iGEM UTokyo is a team from the University of Tokyo that participates in the iGEM, the world championship of synthetic biology. Every year, a new project is launched, aiming to "create" organisms with interesting abilities or problem-solving abilities by programming microbial genes like logical circuits. Past project examples include "yeast that assists in wound healing" in 2021 and "applying passcodes to microbes with light" in 2022.

    It is a relatively new team with high flexibility, and each member is expected to actively participate in the project and deepen the discussions.

    Did you know that it is now possible to "program" organisms by manipulating their genetic information on a computer? This seemingly impossible field is called synthetic biology, which has been receiving high attention from the business world in recent years, with Bill Gates even saying, "If I were a teenager today, I would be studying biology.


    iGEM UTokyo is a team from the University of Tokyo that participates in the iGEM, a world competition in synthetic biology. Every year, a new project is launched with the aim of "creating" a living organism with interesting abilities or problem-solving abilities by programming the genes of microorganisms like logic circuits. Past projects include "yeast that assists wound healing" in 2021 and "applying a passcode to microorganisms with light" in 2022. The team was relatively recently established and has a high degree of freedom. Each member is expected to actively engage in the project and deepen discussions.

    Composition of Membership

    Number of Members
    The 9 B2 students are mainly active members. (B3 students and above are supporting B1 and B2 students.)
    Grade Composition of Members
    B2: 9
    B3: 11
    B3: 7
    Grade Composition of the Administration Team
    Features of membership
    ・Members are only from the University of Tokyo.
    ・There are a variety of members, including those with deep knowledge of biology, those with experience in external relations, and those skilled in mechanical work.
    ・Most members are in science and engineering, but there are also members from liberal arts.
    ・Many members have an intense intellectual curiosity, and some are involved in research activities outside of iGEM or taking advanced biology courses.
    ・The rate of members joining multiple circles is about 20%.
    ・However, people already in busy clubs are generally discouraged from joining.
    ・There is currently nobody in Undo-kai (sports clubs).

    Structure of Organization

    Second-year members take the primary responsibility of each division, and the upperclassmen support them. Currently, all members are responsible for multiple departments based on their interests, making it possible for them to engage in activities that interest them. In addition, since it is a relatively compact organization, even new members can take a leading role if they have initiative and are proactive.
    How many people leave the circle in a year?
    All members continued participating in the activities in the 2021 and 2022 school years.
    Is there a difference in commitment rate among members?
    There is some difference.
    Is there a member who only comes to the socialising event?
    There are no such members at all.

    Frequency of Activities

    In 2022, we held weekly general meetings and division meetings as needed, and the overall activity was about 2-3 days a week. In addition, we conducted experiments, interviews, outreach, video and web page creation, and educational activities. Since members can choose which division to participate in, the frequency of activities varies depending on the division. The number of activities increases during the summer holiday and before competitions compared to during the school term.

    Annual Schedule

    April: Information session, spring welcome event, and recruitment of new members.
    May-June: Implementation of an educational program for new members. At the same time, conducting experiments for the iGEM submission project, interviews with researchers, and user interviews for business model verification of the proposed product.
    Summer holiday: Conducting experiments, simulations, and interviews.
    September-October: Creating a website and additional experiments.
    November: iGEM World Championship.
    December onwards: Selecting a theme and offseason activities.

    Recruitment Information

    Selection Process
    Has selection
    Eligible Members
    Due to the circumstances of the experimental site, first and second-year students are mainly involved. However, this is not always the case if there are notable reasons.
    Membership application overview
    By filling out and submitting the selection form, the entry is completed.
    Selection is made based on the selection form and interview (which may not be conducted), and the results are notified to the address listed on the form.
    Those who pass will officially join iGEM UTokyo.
    Submit the participation application documents (deadline announcement on the official website). We will recruit approximately 10 members, taking into account the laboratory's capacity.
    Application requirements (mandatory)
    Applicants must have no reservations about communicating with others, have an interest in synthetic biology, and be committed to participating as a UTokyo student.
    Welcome requirements (not mandatory)
    ・Knowledge of biology
    ・Engineering mindset
    ・Leadership (ability to involve others proactively and cooperate to solve problems)
    ・Business competition or internship experience
    ・Interest/experience in creativity
    ・Other notable achievements, whether biological or non-biological
    In particular, iGEM is an engineering contest, so we are actively recruiting people with an engineering mindset. We also welcome applicants who are interested in programming, as we conduct simulations and modeling. In addition, iGEM involves creating videos, websites, and posters for presentations, so we encourage those who are interested in creative work to apply.
    ・We do not require applicants to have experience in biology, as many students recommended for biology may be new to synthetic biology.
    ・Instead, we focus on proactive and enthusiastic communication skills, the ability to devise solutions to problems and express them actively, and the ability to communicate and solve problems with others as a team.
    ・If there are too many applicants who pass the document screening, we will conduct interviews and select a few more members.

    Insiders' thoughts


    ・The only circle at the University of Tokyo where you can experience the unique opportunity to program biology in a lab work setting.
    ・We value diversity in various fields and encourage innovation through free thinking and co-creation.
    ・Recently, synthetic biology, which involves programming biology to solve problems, has gained attention in the business world due to its environmentally friendly aspects and the SDGs movement. Participating in iGEM, the leader in this field, will provide you with a new perspective.
    ・We offer a wide range of experiences, including experiments, programming, web creation, fundraising, negotiations with companies, reading research papers, and English communication.


    ・A high level of commitment is required. It's tough when someone cannot actively participate in discussions.
    ・Courtesy is necessary, but Japanese humility is not required. It is important not to fear proactive participation, presenting ideas, and problem-solving abilities.
    ・Full commitment during the summer.
    ・It is generally an unknown field for everyone. It is tough without an attitude of actively incorporating new things.
    ・Since information flows at a certain frequency, it is important to check the Slack app properly.
    ・Currently, there are many members from biological backgrounds, so we are looking for applicants from non-biological backgrounds to ensure diversity.
    ・Since English is used for reading papers and at conferences, it is beneficial to be familiar with English.

    Recruitment Schedule

    4/8 17:00~18:00
    4/11 19:00~20:00

    Please fill in this form to receive the zoom URL.

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