Applicants, SPA

  • Andrew Short

    Dedicated researcher interested in using biotech to improve the conditions of life. I’m fascinated with the detailed molecular mechanisms that make life possible, understanding how they go wrong to cause disease, and innovating creative solutions to fix them. I love meeting the people involved in this space and helping make connections, because I find that most everyone shares my motivations and wants to help to improve our amazing world. I’m especially keen on helping the Atlanta biotech and life sciences scene reach its full (incredible) potential.

  • Riley Fricke

    I am a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley. After getting my BS in chemistry from UCLA I began my graduate studies at Yale, then transferred to UC Berkeley when my advisor, Alanna Schepartz, transferred schools. I intend to graduate in 2023 and then work in biotech at some point.

  • Kierra Franklin

    I am currently a 2nd year graduate student in the Haynes Lab at Emory University! My passion lies in using synthetic biology and biotechnology to engineer new treatment solutions for disease. After finishing my Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, I continued honing my skills in protein biochemistry, cell engineering and molecular biology through working on life-science applications in the biotechnology industry. My work at Codexis empowered my decision to continue my training at the graduate level where I am excited to study biomedical engineering!

  • Hsun-Hui Chang

  • Maxime Boneza

    I am currently a third year PhD Candidate in the Biochemistry Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB) program at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities. Before I joined the BMBB program, I graduated from Southwestern University, in Georgetown Texas, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 2016. I then spent 3 years as a Lab Technician for Eco-Services in Houston Texas, which is a subsidiary of PQ Corporation specializing in sulfuric acid manufacturing.

  • Michaela Jones

    I am a 4th year graduate student in the Kunjapur Lab at the University of Delaware. I have worked in synthetic biology for the past 7 years as an undergraduate in the DeLisa Lab at Cornell University. I am really excited about biosynthesizing non-standard amino acids and introducing new chemistries to biology and ensuring appropriate biocontainment for the cool synthetic biology innovations.

  • Kevin Fitzgerald

    After receiving a B.S. in Biological Engineering at Purdue University in 2020, I began my PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University. I am currently working under Dr. Keith Tyo to develop methods of utilizing cost-negative feedstocks by mitigating contamination in industrial-scale fermentations. Outside of lab, I enjoy making music and long walks on the beach.

  • Sanjeeva kumar Murali

    I am currently 2nd year PhD student in the department of chemical and biological engineering at Iowa State University. My research work is focused on building next generation synbiotics for gut microbiome engineering, mentored by Dr. Thomas Mansell. Prior to this, I completed my master’s in biotechnology from IIT Guwahati and Bachelor’s from SASTRA university. My research interest lies in engineering microbes for sustainable development and biotherapeutic application.

  • Kevin Lorch

  • Christina M. Davis

    Christina is a graduate student in the Ben Shen Lab at UF Scripps Biomedical Research in Jupiter, Florida. She utilizes synthetic biology for natural product discovery by leveraging the group’s large microbial strain collection to identify and engineer biosynthetic gene clusters encoding for valuable natural products. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked in Michael Goodson’s Lab at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), as well as participating in iGEM. She graduated from Wright State University with her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2021.

  • Edward Kalkreuter

    Edward is a postdoctoral fellow in the Ben Shen lab at UF Scripps. His research focuses on developing and utilizing synthetic biology approaches for natural product discovery and biosynthetic engineering, with an emphasis on biosynthetic gene cluster regulation. Prior to his postdoctoral position, he obtained his Ph.D. in the Gavin Williams lab at North Carolina State University where he engineered polyketide synthases and constructed transcription factor-based biosensors.

  • Behnam Rahimi

  • Aparajitha Srinivasan

    I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Bioenergy institute working on engineering microbial hosts for sustainable production of biofuels and bioproducts

  • Ming Hung Yen

  • Maya Hey

    Maya Hey is a postdoctoral researcher with the NSF-funded Future Organisms project (co-PIs: Jane Calvert and Erika Szymanski) as part of an international team investigating the emergent subfield of synthetic genomics. She brings a humanities and social science perspective to the life sciences, calling upon feminist, intersectional, and multispecies approaches to map out human responsibilities in a more-than-human world. She holds degrees in communications (PhD), food anthropology (MA), and dietetics (BS).

  • Brett Palmero

  • Justin Hayes

    I am a Ph.D. student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. In my research, I combine synthetic biology and gut-on-a-chip platforms to investigate questions related to the gut microbiome. In my free time, I enjoy skiing, traveling, and hanging out with family and friends.

  • Sierra Brooks

    I am a 3rd year Chemical Engineering PhD candidate in the Alper Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, currently on tenure as an NSF GRFP fellow. After being inspired by both biologic and materials science research in my time in the Love and Langer labs as an undergraduate at MIT, I chose to pursue research coupling synthetic biology with engineered materials for my PhD aimed towards at broad range of applications ranging from bioproduction to therapeutic delivery. When I’m not working long hours in the lab, I enjoy playing and composing music as well as exploring the most exciting hikes and breweries Austin has to offer.

  • Hellen Huang

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