Teams/Opening Weekend

The first ever iGEM Opening Weekend Festival is now over

Thank you to all attendees and contributors for helping us make iGEM History!

Missed the Festival? Session videos are now ready to view on YouTube and Bilibili!

Opening Weekend Festival

Friday May 15 - Sunday May 17, 2020

We're kicking off iGEM 2020 with a bang! Tune in during Opening Weekend for exclusive sessions with iGEM Headquarters, Committees, After iGEM, and more! Attend webinars, panels, workshops, and Q&As designed to help your team make the most of your iGEM experience this year. Meet other teams from all around the world, form bonds and forge pathways towards a truly collaborative iGEM season. 


Wiring the Past & Future: A Transition for Engineering Biology

Keynote + Panel Discussion

Keynote Speakers:

Pamela Silver, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School

Drew Endy, Ph.D.
Associate Chair of Bioengineering, Stanford University
iGEM Co-Founder

Tom Knight, Ph. D.
Co-Founder, Gingko Bioworks
iGEM Co-Founder

Moderated by: Megan J Palmer, Ph.D. (Stanford University, Director of Human Practices at iGEM)

75 mins | Friday, 1:00 PM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

Welcome to iGEM 2020: An Exceptional Year

iGEM Headquarters

Official Welcome to a new style of an iGEM season and the first ever Opening Weekend Festival

15 mins | Friday, 10:00AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

Meet HQ - Navigating the Competition

iGEM Headquarters

Traci, the Director of the Competition, will walk teams through the major changes for the 2020 Competition and highlight material on the Competition website.

20 mins | Friday, 10:20AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

COVID-19 Projects in iGEM 2020

iGEM Safety & Security Committee

COVID-19 is a local problem everywhere in the world. Synthetic biology may play an important role in developing tools for detection, response and recovery. iGEM teams may want to play their part! Find out how iGEM will help keep you, your colleagues, and communities safe while enabling you to work on a COVID-19 related project. We will be exploring our new COVID-19 rules, how Safety and Security will work under lockdown, and providing an early opportunity for teams to think about risks from their projects and how to manage them. All teams are recommended to attend this session.

30 mins | Friday, 8:15 AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

Fostering Open Collaboration Between iGEM Teams

Just One Giant Lab (JOGL)

In this time of global crisis, the need for a collective response at the planetary scale has never been so relevant. The usual paths for innovation and research don’t really accommodate this objective as being the first to bring a solution is not as important as making one that can be manufactured and distributed equally everywhere in the world. Working together on open source solutions in fact has never been so important than today. In this perspective, the iGEM community has more capacity than most existing actors to imagine, develop and implement open source and low cost biotech solutions to help fight the Covid19 crisis and climate change. For that reason, the iGEM Foundation has decided to partner with Just One Giant Lab (JOGL), a non-profit organisation developing the open science and innovation platform The session will introduce iGEMers to the use of JOGL and will be interactive.

45 mins | Saturday, 9:00AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

GMOs in Agriculture - The Nobel Laureates’ Campaign

After iGEM Communications

The use of GMOs in agriculture has been a hotly debated topic in recent years. In this presentation, Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard J. Roberts will discuss the importance of GMO use in agriculture. He will be joined by the iGEM VP of Safety, Piers Millett, to discuss the importance of biosafety in developing any GMOs.

60 mins | Saturday, 10:00AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

Planning and Designing Your Project

iGEM Measurement Committee

Your team is registered for the iGEM Jamboree and you’ve decided on a project. Have you thought carefully about the design of the project? What does the two-phase project option offer to you? Have you considered how to use modeling and measurement? And how are you planning to assemble your genetic circuits? The Measurement Committee has members all around the world that are ready to help your team. Tune in to this presentation for some useful information on planning and designing your project, as well as for us to learn how we can help you.

60 mins | Saturday, 12:00 PM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

Judging in iGEM 2020

iGEM Executive Judging Committee

The Executive Judging Committee (EJC) has made some exciting changes to the medal criteria so that all iGEM teams can participate and achieve medals with or without lab access this year. Join a panel of our EJC members as they talk about these changes, and take questions and feedback from teams.

45 mins | Sunday, 10:15 AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

Doing Human Practices during a Global Pandemic

iGEM Human Practices Committee

Using synthetic biology to address real-world problems requires thoughtful engagement with the world. We expect that physical distancing and public safety measures will prevent many 2020 iGEM teams from spending much time in the lab this season, but you can thoughtfully engage with the world even if you can’t travel or meet people face-to-face. In this presentation, members of the Human Practices Committee will share some of our ideas and reflections about how to do Human Practices in this very strange time.

45 mins | Sunday, 11:15 AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

GenScript - Molecular Cloud


Join us and learn to use the free bioinformatics toolbox offered by GenScript and MolecularCloud.

20 mins | Friday, 9:00 AM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

Cloud-based software for efficient virtual collaboration


Virtual collaboration is critical for synthetic biology given today’s current circumstances. At Benchling, we want to make collaboration more effective for all iGEM teams and bring awareness to free, intuitive software tools which accomplish this. Join us for this workshop where we’ll give a live demonstration of how you can integrate these tools into your workflows and discuss collaboration models with other iGEM teams across the globe.

45 mins | Friday, 4:00 PM EDT | YouTube | Bilibili

View the event schedule:

See details and stream links for sessions

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Please note that sessions may be recorded and/or live-streamed online.