The 2024 BioCrew

Thanks for your interest in joining the BioCrew! If you missed our information sessions, a recording is available here that will help to answer many questions. You can also read below or reach out to us at with any other questions.


What is iGEM?

The International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition brings together students from around the world in a global competition for teams of high school, college, and overgrad students. There are over 300 teams from 6 continents, and each team solves a real-world problem or makes a discovery by using genetic engineering.

Being in iGEM has changed my perspective of the world around me. Now, I can use both my passion for science and my community to change my city and the world for the better.
—Mercedes Thompson
Baltimore BioCrew 2016 and 2017
graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic High School and Stanford University


In the Chesapeake Bay and Hudson River, fertilizer runoff is one of the primary pollutants. Fertilizer runoff contains phosphate, which is very dangerous to the environment in high concentrations because it causes a dangerous growth of algae, forming algal blooms. These blooms produce dangerous toxins and decrease the oxygen present in the environment, resulting in dead zones. Unfortunately, plants do not uptake enough of this phosphorus in the environment and plants cannot easily use the phosphorus in its inorganic and poorly soluble as the mineral compounds cadmium phosphate and calcium phosphate. In light of this, our team decided to engineer the uptake of phosphate in Rhizobacteria to increase the uptake of phosphate and increase the conversion of inorganic to organic phosphorus. Our project will use plants to capture the phosphorus before it can get to the Bay or Hudson River and we will build floating wetlands to combat the phosphorus already in the water. Check out the team’s wiki and project promotion video!

The 2022 Crew: PCBusters