Applicants, SPA

  • Sayandeep Gupta

    I am probably best described as a bibliophilic biologist. I love to read science non-fictions and communicate the findings on popular public platforms. My doctoral research was focussed on studying single protein and RNA molecules by biochemical and biophysical means, whereas, my current job involves engineering gene synthesis for heterologous expression of human proteome and their interaction with designed binders. Together they must have made me an expert in central dogma!

  • Hansen Tjo

    I am a rising 3rd year PhD Candidate in Chemical & Biological Engineering at Princeton University. Advised by Assistant Professor Jonathan Conway, my research focuses on engineering the extremely thermophilic, non-model bacteria Caldicellulosiruptor bescii for producing biofuels. Outside the lab, I am active involved in strengthening links between science and policy: I am current VP of Princeton Citizen Scientists, where I have organized two annual Washington D.C. trips for student-led advocacy on energy and space issues to members of Congress; I am also a founding member of the Princeton Bioethics Exchange, which fosters discussions between graduate students, post-docs, and faculty on contentious ethics and policy implications of modern biotechnology, in partnership with the Princeton Faith & Work Initiative.

  • Alexander Refsnes-Andrassy

    Currently focus is correlated between interdisciplinary challenges within use of therapeutic & diagnostic approaches involving cell proliferation and migration VS genetics and gene expressions to find best methods on how to apply new measures in the aquaculture industry. Whereas the objective is to work to identify parasitic pathogen pathways and responses between salmonids VS sea lice.

  • Ghita Guessous

    As a Physics PhD. student, I have been interested in developing quantitative models that enrich our understanding of complex biological systems. This has been a gateway into investigating the multiple ways in which bacterial capabilities can be altered and tuned for achieving specific purposes and more recently into bio-manufacturing.

  • Margaret Cook

    Maggie Cook is a PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in Molecular Engineering at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on developing cell free systems for metabolic engineering. She received her Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering and a minor in biochemistry from Arizona State University, where she led the university’s iGEM team.

  • Hinako Kawabe

  • Nicholas Kaplan

    I am a first-year graduate student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in Jorge Marchand’s group at the University of Washington, studying the implementation of xenonucleic acids (XNAs) into synthetic biology. I also spent 5 years in J. Andrew Jones’s lab at Miami University where I received my B.S. and M.S. degrees, working on the bioproduction of psychoactive compounds.

  • Gage Owens

  • Simrita Deol

    I am an MD PhD candidate with a background in general and computational biology. I currently work on engineering immune cells to express synthetic cytokines, which enable them to kill tumor cells with enhanced efficacy. I also focus on engineering immune cells to limit production of synthetic cytokines to solid tumors, limiting cytokine mediated toxicity while maximizing immune system activation against tumors. I plan to use my dual degree to lend a clinical perspective to the study and development of immunotherapies.

  • Joshua Glazier

    I’m a PhD student in Mark Mimee’s Microbiome Engineering Lab at UChicago. My main research interests are in synthetic biology, and more specifically applying synbio techniques to bacteria and harnessing their immense potential as sensors, tiny live cell factories, and potential biotherapeutics. Previously I worked at Gladstone Institutes at UCSF on novel antiviral strategies that involved engineering therapeutic interfering particles to outcompete harmful pathogenic strains.

  • Peren Coskun

  • Davy Deng

  • Jacob Martin

    I develop computational models of metabolism to aid and accelerate metabolic engineering. I use large-scale ODE models, along with machine learning and bioinformatics tools, to capture data in dynamic cell-free systems and use this understanding to guide experimental design and understanding.

  • Alexandria Palaferri Schieber

    I performed my undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, majoring in Cognitive Science with a minor in Education. During this time, I became fascinated with infectious disease by work I did in the Vance lab. For my thesis work, I am studying the effect of social interaction during infection. I am inspired by the findings of Dr. Ayres’ of the cooperative defenses and host- environment interactions during infection, including diet, temperature and social interaction.

  • Daniel Haller

    I graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University, where I worked in yeast metabolic engineering in Dr. Nathan Crook’s lab. I am now a graduate student in Dr. Jeff Tabor’s lab as part of the Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology graduate program at Rice University. I am interested in integrating systems and synthetic biology approaches to understand and engineer complex multicellular behavior in bacteria.

  • Dalton George

    Dalton George is a postdoctoral researcher at Arizona State University with a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) and the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering (SBHSE). His background is in science, technology, and society studies and he primarily utilizes sociological methods in his research work. Research topics primarily focus on governance challenges associated with emerging biotechnologies and synthetic biology.

  • Mitchell Syberg-Olsen

    I am a graduate student in the Systems, Synthetic & Physical Biology program at Rice University. My focus is on advancing foundational technologies to increase the pace and scale of synthetic biology projects. I am working towards this goal under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Tabor where we are developing a novel method for enzymatic DNA synthesis.

  • Timothy Vu

    I am currently a PhD student from Northwestern University studying Biomedical Engineering. I received my BS in Biomedical Engineering from UC Irvine and my MS in Bioengineering from Rice University. My research interest encompasses utilizing synthetic biology tools to create better therapeutic nanoparticles for immunotherapy. I’m also broadly interested in microfluidics for organ-on-chips and point-of-care diagnostics, aging, autoimmune disease, gastrointestinal diseases, and psychedelic medicine.

  • Samuel Gowland

    I grew up just outside of Atlanta, GA and have spent the past ten years pursuing my research interests in synthetic biology, culminating in earning my PhD at Northwestern University. I am now focused on bringing on continuing to pursue impactful research while also bringing what I’ve learned back home. Ultimately, I hope to contribute to building up Atlanta as a regional bioeconomy hub with world-class opportunities for synthetic biology education and biomanufacturing.

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