Applicants, SPA

  • Abbey Robinson

    Abbey graduated from the University of Missouri in 2018 with her B.S. in Biological Sciences. During her undergraduate years, she worked as a researcher in Dr. Troy Zars’ lab studying thermogenetic tools in Drosophila. In 2019, Abbey joined the Adamala lab as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota studying communication, coacervation, and organellogenesis in synthetic cells. Her interests include tool development, astrobiology, and biotechnology.

  • Bennett Wolf

    Bennett Wolf is a graduate student in the Church lab at Harvard University. His research focuses on the use and generation of engineered iPS cells to create novel regenerative medicine and long-lasting biologic therapies. He also works as a Venture Creation Lead for Nucleate Bio Boston.

  • Kaitlin Dailey

    I am a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Eppley Institute for Cancer Research, with joint appointments in the labs of Dr. Michael (Tony) Hollingsworth and Dr. Ken Bayles. I have chosen post-doctorate studies at UNMC to further my training in pancreatic cancer models and bacterial genetics. I earned a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from North Dakota State University. During these studies, I became fascinated with the many advantages oncolytic bacterial have over traditional therapeutics. As a result, I pursued specific training in genetic engineering and anaerobic bacteria.

  • Widianti Sugianto

    My name is Widianti, an aspiring synthetic biologist and a chemical engineering graduate student at University of Washington. My research focuses on harnessing synthetic biology as a tool for biocatalysis and bioproduction application. Outside lab, I love spending time cooking and travelling for food.

  • Andrew Holston

    I am a graduate student at the Knight Campus at the University of Oregon. My research interests include protein engineering, multiplex functional assays, deep mutational scanning, and synthetic biology. I love living in the Pacific Northwest, and taking advantage of the beautiful hikes and outdoor activities in the area.

  • Hari Sundar Pyda

    I am an Integrated Masters students studying chemical engineering, minoring in Pharmaceutical Technology, at Institute of Chemical Technology- IndianOil Odisha campus, Bhubaneswar. The limitless potential of modifying and enhancing bacteria netwroks and strains to remediate pollution and manufacture drugs and sustainable chemicals is the utopia I am dreaming about. I am passionate in Synthetic Biology, Bioprocessing and Metabolic engineering. I have trained in MS, protein analysis and Proteomics under Prof. Sanjeeva Srivastava, IIT Bombay and am currently working under him to develop a Covid protein database.

  • Catherine Majors

  • Joshua Atkinson

    I use protein engineering and synthetic biology approaches to study and control bioenergetic processes in bacteria. Specifically, I focus on engineering electron transport and energy conservation in bacterial metabolism to construct bioelectronic sensors and control metabolic processes. I did my Ph.D. in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology at Rice University in the lab of Jonathan Silberg building protein switches from electron transfer proteins. Currently I am a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in the El-Naggar lab at the University of Southern California focusing on electrically coupling the metabolism of multicellular communities.

  • Charilaos Giannitsis

  • Angelica McKay Whiteman

  • Mayra Ameneiros

    My name is Mayra Ameneiros and I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    I have a Bachelor’s Degree and an MSc. in Biochemistry. I have 13 years of experience in different Biochemistry areas (Molecular Biology, Hematology, Immunology, Clinical Biochemistry) in both the private and public sectors.
    I have six years of experience in scientific research and as a Professor at Buenos Aires University. I am currently doing a Regional Postgraduate degree in International Security, Disarmament and, Non-proliferation of WMD.
    I have two Professional Certifications from IFBA (International Federation of Biosafety Associations) one in Biorisk Management and the other one in Biosecurity. I am also a Mentor at the IFBA Global Mentorship Program 2020/2021. I also have experience in developing training materials and translating them into Spanish, I worked along with Sandia National Laboratories, Canada´s Ministry of Health, and other relevant institutions. I am a member of the Biosafety Committee and the Biorisk Management Committee at IRAM which is the “Argentine Normalization and Certification Institute”. I am also a member of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Subcommittee at the Argentinean Association of Microbiology (AAM). I am part of the APP3 (Action Package Prevent 3) group on Biosafety and Biosecurity from the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), I am a member of The International Working Group on Strengthening the Culture of Biosafety & Biosecurity and lastly, I am a member of the Safety and Security Committee at IGEM.
    I am Argentina Coordinator and Member of the Mentorship Council for the Next Generation Global Health Security Network, working on Health security and the concept of One health.

  • Michael Nute

    I am currently a postdoc in the Treangen lab at Rice working on algorithms for analyzing microbial communities. I’m currently applying this to the host microbiome in C. Difficile patients as part of an NLM fellowship, co-advised by Dr. Tor Savidge at Baylor College of Medicine. I am interested longer term in engineering microbial communities for chemical processes and in techniques to assess properties like community stability, function, etc… I did my Ph.D. in Statistics at UIUC in 2019 where I worked on computational phylogenetics and its applications to microbial ecology and was advised by Dr. Tandy Warnow, co-advised by Dr. Rebecca Stumpf.

  • August Staubus

  • Juya Jeon

  • Alicja Brozek

    I am a first year PhD student from Imperial College London modelling the gene network underlying stem cell differentiation and robustness in C. elegans. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy horseback riding, climbing and dancing.

  • Cynthia Ni

    Cynthia Ni is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Prather Lab at MIT. She engineers biosensor-based strategies to use food waste as a biosynthetic substrate. Sustainability and waste minimization have motivated her research and personal pursuits since her undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia. In her free time, she plays ultimate frisbee, hikes and backpacks, ferments vegetables and beer, and does ceramics.

  • Fankang Meng

    My name is Fankang Meng, and I am now a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London. I am now the founder of two synthetic biology-related companies: Regenesis and Bio-Tampon. I was also the team leader, advisor, instructor and PI of many iGEM teams from 2015-2021. My dream is to engineer living organisms to solve problems humans face and apply synthetic biology to help us become a multi-planet civilization.

  • Kshitij Rai

    I am a graduate student in Caleb Bashor’s lab at Rice University, in the Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology (SSPB) program. I’m broadly interested in synthetic biology, but have a particular interest in the development of platforms for high throughput analysis and screening of genetic parts and circuits. I have a background in electrical engineering and biochemical engineering, as a result of which I have an active interest in the computational and hardware side of things as well, ranging from microscopes and microfluidic chip fabrication to 3D printers and large bioreactors. I’m also a gamer and enjoy playing FIFA on the weekends and watching live soccer matches.

  • Georg KA Wachter

    Hi there, I currently live in London, having moved here from Austria 5 years ago. I did my BSc in Biochemistry and wrote my thesis in mathematical biology. I then did my Masters in Systems and Synthetic Biology, and am now in my first PhD year. Throughout my BSc and Masters I participated in lots of SynBio competitions, including BIOMOD (DNA nanotech competition at UCSF), iGEM and a start-up competition at Imperial. I am also on the steering committee of SynBioUK ( and the vice president of SynBIC (synthetic biology society at Imperial College London). When I’m not engineering biology I love to surf, play lacrosse or climb. Looking forward to joining the community!

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