Our team originated as the result of a collaboration between the student communities associated with nine different colleges registered under the University of Delhi along with Delhi Technological University (formerly DCE) and the Netaji Subhas University of Technology (formerly NSIT).
iGEM (Internationally Genetically Engineered Machine) is one of the most prestigious competitions aimed at enhancing peoples’ understanding of synthetic biology while also developing an open community and collaboration between groups. The team comprises 20 students belonging to diverse educational backgrounds ranging from pure sciences to Bio-engineering and Biotechnology eager to enter into the iGEM community.
We share a common interest in Synthetic biology and aim to utilize the associated techniques for solving the pressing local problems and promote multidisciplinary project-based research at the undergraduate level in Delhi.
The team identified Lung cancer as a widespread disease in the local community and decided to work on its therapeutics.
Ambient air pollution accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year due to stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. Around 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits. Recent prospective cohort studies suggest a 30-50 % increase in lung cancer rates associated with exposure to respirable particles associated with air pollution.
While there are pre-existing therapies and generalized drugs for all cancers like immune checkpoint inhibitors, the effectiveness is still not optimal. Therapies having a direct impact on the tumor microenvironment are the need of the hour. Our technology aims at using bacterial or viral gene expression vectors to upregulate the expression of FHIT, a tumor suppressor gene downregulated in Non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma. Additionally, to increase the efficacy of this intervention, combinatorial treatments with DNA methylation inhibitors and autophagy inhibitors have also been proposed.
We are working on a prototype to combat air pollution-induced lung cancer and consequently develop novel therapeutics for lung cancer. To build holistically upon the same we need a comprehensive playground like iGEM which gives us an opportunity to collaborate, learn and explore with students and experts from all across the globe.
Support us in taking this research proposition to the world and contributing to the journey of fighting cancer and saving lives.