IGEM是國際基因工程機器大賽（International Genetically Engineering Machine）的縮寫。這個世界級的合成生物學大賽由麻省理工學院於2004年首創，旨在培養合成生物學人才，促進各國大學生在該領域的學習、交流與合作。每年，大賽主辦方提供給各參賽隊伍一份DNA標準樣本庫，各隊自行選題，並通過設計和模型分析，將所需樣本導入現有的生物體系，合成全新的生物工程系統（即“基因工程機器”）。
By Cai Zhuoran
I have been fond of observing all kinds of creatures in nature since I was a child, from small mantises and butterflies to big dogs and wolves. Also, my favourite TV programs were nature documentaries on the BBC, such as Life and Blue Planet series. And I always pulled my parents to watch with me, gradually I had an elementary understanding of biological knowledge. Also, I still remembered that I bought a trap net and several cages to catch little animals like butterflies in a beautiful summer, then took them home for observation and found out what kinds of species they were through the encyclopedia. Besides that, my interest in biological science comes mostly from my father, who is a neurosurgeon. When I was a little girl, the mannequins and various medical books in his office became my toys. Sometimes he explained them to me, although I could hardly understand anything at that time, just felt his vivid speech was lovely. When I got older, I knew that my father still insisted on studying under tough conditions, and was eventually admitted to the most prestigious medical college in our province. It was he who ignited my enthusiasm for biology and made me believe again that efforts will pay off.
I’m eager to study further professional knowledge of biological science in the UK. Also, I want to choose the relevant programs like Genetic Engineering, Zoology, Molecular Biology or Biomedical Science. Currently, I am studying high school at Columbia International College from 2019 to 2020. Before that, I studied at Shenzhen Foreign Language School in China. I participated in the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (IGEM) in 2018. As the team leader, I took all members to visit almost ten universities and organizations to persuade their managers to support our project. We kept being rejected, but we did it finally and succeeded to complete the finals and the poster displaying in Boston, which has dramatically improved my leadership and understanding of scientific research. Until now, I still remembered the excitement of entering the laboratory for the first time when participating in the competition. Perhaps someone gets bored over time, but I am enjoying doing what I love. Besides that, I was also the president of the biological experiment society of our school. Under the guidance of my teachers, I usually organized to carry out biological experiments, through which, I had a clearer understanding of the biological field.
In 2017, I attended the International Summer Camp in Vancouver, Canada. I spent two weeks with young people from all over the world at the University of British Columbia, which gave me not only a deeper understanding of multiculturalism, but also realized that there were still many deficiencies if I want to be an international talent. I know European countries have more rigorous academic systems, more developed scientific research strengths and more abundant educational resources. Britain, in particular, owns many world-famous universities. Thus I hope to broaden my horizons through my study in the UK. To be added, I like listening to music, especially Rock. Britain is extremely attractive to me as the most glorious territory of Rock music. My favourite bands are Led Zeppelin, Queen, and so on, and I often draw these bands into my paintings. It has always been my dream to watch a live British rock concert.
In summary, I make a clear plan for me. I hope to learn more theoretical about biological science and then participate in the scientific research projects of professors or universities, to improve my scientific literacy and scientific research ability. After graduation, I want to apply for master’s and doctor’s degree to study biological science more deeply, and make preparation for being a university professor or a scientific researcher in the long term.
Thanks for your active consideration.