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Columbia University

Columbia-Cooper-NYC Alma Mater.jpg

Columbia University is a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many professional fields. As part of the Ivy League and because of its location in New York City, it attracts a diverse faculty and student body from all over the world. With many research opportunities available for students, several undergraduates from Columbia University have partnered with students at The Cooper Union to work on a synthetic biology competition (iGEM) over the summer of 2012. Under the help and supervision of Scott A. Banta, an associate professor in the department of Chemical Engineering in The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the undergraduates were able to work in his lab over the summer and receive funding for their project.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art


The majority of the members of this team are "ChemE" undergraduates at the Cooper Union. Cooper, located in East Village, Manhattan, is a small college (less than 300 students per grade), highly selective (acceptance rates are near 8%), and contains 3 schools: Art, Architecture, and Engineering. Within the engineering school are five majors: Chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical (these four are ABET-accredited B.E.'s), and B.S.E. (meant for those who wish to practice in a field related to engineering, like patent law or medicine). Since Peter Cooper founded the college in 1859, all undergraduates have and continue to receive a full-tuition scholarship upon attending. Adjunct professor David Orbach, who teaches biology courses at Cooper, set up both this year's and last year's iGEM team. Technician Dionne Lutz operates a lab at Cooper called the "Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering" and provided both her expertise and the lab for our team's use.