In October 2011, HKUST hosted the first Asia Regional Jamboree of the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM), an undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2003. Over 40 teams from universities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India and Australia gathered at HKUST and participated in the event.
At the regional jamboree, the HKUST team won the Best Presentation Award. It also became one of the 18 teams going to MIT for the final competition in November. The team, made up of first to third-year undergraduate students from the Schools of Science and Engineering, presented on 'E. trojan – Boosting the Effectiveness of Antibiotics through Quorum-sensing Disruption'. The judges praised HKUST for being creative in its design of online survey to assess public opinion.