Imagine you turn the switch on and the cancer is gone…

Cancer is the second most common cause of death killing about 8.2 million people annually, which equals the total population of New York City. The global increase of cancer cases and the lack of highly specific therapies for various types of cancer states a clear message:
New approaches have to be found, which allow a level of precision in cancer treatment that has been long-awaited.

Our approach aims at achieving high spatiotemporal control of apoptosis in tumor cells by applying an optogenetic double-killswitch. This system combines clean removal of cancer cells through apoptosis with the accuracy of light-controlled optogenetics. We utilize two optogenetic proteins, to create the desperately needed holy grail of cancer therapy.
This is the goal of OPTOPTOSIS.

Our Achievements


Register And Attend

  • Our team was successfully registered and had the greatest summer ever


  • We created our own Wiki with clear attribution of each aspect of our project


  • The judging form and safety form was completed with great care
  • We are very excited to present our poster and project talk at the Giant Jamboree
  • We attributed and acknowledged all of the work done for our project on our Wiki page
  • We documented and created Part pages for our Parts and submitted the DNA samples of our new Parts to the Registry


  • We are proud of our new standard Biobrick Part and submitted BBa_K1936000 to the iGEM Registry



  • We had great collaborations with other teams and are really happy about our common success

Validated Part / Validated Contribution

  • We characterized BBa_K1936001
  • This part was submitted to the iGEM registry and is experimentally validated

Human Practices

  • Of course, we shared our project and knowledge with the public and talked about the ethical aspects. We had a lot of fun at our different human practice activities.


Integrated Human Practices

Proof of concept

  • We are really happy that we are able to show a functional proof of concept of our project with one of our newly created BioBricks

Demonstrate your work

  • We were able to show our functional proof of concept under real world conditions with experiments in human cancer cell culture


Special Prices

We have done some really good work so we applied for these Special Prices:

Results and engineered constructs of OPTOPTOSIS

Our red switch operates as desired

  • we were able to show that our apoptosis protein is expressed
  • our testing cells are still alive

Our blue switch operates as desired when constitutively expressed

  • we were able to show that our construct is expressed
  • we assume that our construct binds to the outer mitochondrial membrane but are still testing it

The double transfection of our two constructs worked as desired

  • we were able to detect gene expression of both constructs in transfected cells
  • we were able to determine the expression of the red- switch
  • we have seen indications of induced apoptosis but will further validate it