The UCSF iGEM team this year is truly a joint effort of several institutions, educators and students from various backgrounds.
The team itself is comprised of seven students, six of which graduated this past June from High School. Because UCSF has no undergraduate program, we needed to cross over our institutional boundaries to find our students. As such, we had a decision to make: what kind of students did we want for our team? As a program whose major aim is educating and introducing younger minds to the field of synthetic biology, we thought we had a unique opportunity to extend the iGEM mission even further--to students not even yet set in studying biology.
The Science and Health Education Partnership at UCSF put Wendell in touch with George Cachianes and Julie Reis, both of whom teach a two-year Biotechnology program at Lincoln High (part of the San Francisco Unified School District). Five of our students came from Lincoln High: Alex N., Eric C., Jimmy H., Lauren J., Robert O. Eric M., our other recent high school grad, came from Palo Alto High. We were also communicating with the folks at Berkeley, and recruited Michael C., already an iGEM alum, to join our team.