We're pleased to announce that all of the manuscripts that were presented at the 2018 BioTreks conference were accepted for publication!  We'll be completing copy edits on the manuscripts over the summer and formatting for publication in the October 2018 issue of the journal.  Authors will be receiving galley proofs of your papers in early October for final review prior to publication.

We're particularly grateful to the judges who dedicated significant time and effort to thoughtfully reviewing, commenting on, and evaluating each of these manuscripts.  This years judges were Adil Zuber, Carl Gelhaus, Dave Yuan, Magda Pop, Mark Trice, Richard Conroy, Salwa Shan, Sava Knezic, and Thomas Brown.

We'd also like to recognize the following authors who made substantial contributions to the review process  by offering constructive and insightful comments on the manuscripts of other teams during the online conference.  Each of these individuals have been awarded a Peer Review badge for their contributions:  VareeshmattiasbzuffSoniaNityaAryasomayajula2Sana_McmurrayPranavi_ThotaKelly_XuMichellewu

Finally, we're excited to report that a large number of papers earned medals in each of the categories, thanks to the hard work of the authors and mentors!  The awarded medals are listed below. 

Biosafety and Ethics

Safety and ethics should be the team’s number one priority when conceiving and designing synthetic biology experiments.  Students are encouraged to consider both the risks of performing the experiments in the laboratory and the potential impact any engineered organisms might have on the environment and society. This medal recognizes teams for carefully considering each of these issues and documenting their decisions in their paper.

Conference Participation

Providing and responding to constructive feedback via peer-to-peer exchanges is an important part of the scientific process. This award will recognize teams whose members actively participate in the BioTreks conference and BioConverse environment by completing their personal profiles, viewing the online tutorials, and engaging in constructive and meaningful discussions with other community members.  This medal is awarded to groups whose member have earned the highest average number of badges in the BioConverse environment.

Problem Solving

Experiments often don’t work correctly the first or second time through. This medal is given to teams that show a high degree of perseverance and ingenuity in identifying, diagnosing, and addressing problems that they encounter in their research.

Scientific Rigor

In science it’s important to correctly interpret your results without reading too much into them or forcing them to fit your original hypothesis. This medal recognizes teams for providing concise and well reasoned interpretations of their experimental outcomes, regardless of whether the experiments produced the expected results.


This medal is given to teams that envision new and creative applications of synthetic biology or experimental methods to solve an important scientific, environmental, or social issue.


A major objective for the BioTreks conference and journal is to help others understand and apply synthetic biology research in their own schools. This medal acknowledges the teams that do an outstanding job in communicating their knowledge and techniques to their peers.


Researchers succeed when they work together. This medal is given to teams which effectively work with others in the scientific community to facilitate their research.

Visual Communications

Tables, graphs, and diagrams are often the most effective vehicle for communicating scientific data and concepts. This medal will be given to teams that excels at using tables and figures to augment its presentation.