Applicants, SPA

  • Cirstyn Michel

    I am a rising second year PhD student in the bioengineering department at the University of Washington, coadvised by Eric Klavins and Georg Seelig. My research is mainly focused on integrating automation with synthetic biology workflows to increase throughput and robustness. Before starting my graduate degree, I worked as a research associate for two years at biotechnology startups in the San Francisco Bay area focusing on developing high throughput methods for strain engineering and screening.

  • Hossein Moghimianavval

    I’m a Phd student in mechanical engineering working on creating synthetic cells using cell-free expression (CFE) systems and engineering E. coli. I work on encapsulated CFE systems to reconstitute membrane proteins and probing channel function for synthetic cell activity and communication.

  • Jinyoung Kim

    Jinyoung is currently a PhD candidate in the Ingolia lab at UC Berkeley, where she uses high-throughput measurements of barcoded RNA reporters to study and engineer gene regulation. She is broadly interested in biotech, particularly in gene and cell therapy, microbial therapeutics, and genomics. In her free time, Jinyoung enjoys trying new restaurants, playing board games, and hiking.

  • Alison Hung

    Allison is a PhD candidate in the Arkin Lab at UC Berkeley, where she uses barcoded gain-of-function libraries to study gut microbial adaptation. She is broadly interested in the biotech startup space, and in applying synthetic biology towards innovative solutions. In her free time, Allison enjoys clever wordplay and excellent cuisine.

  • Charlie Johnson

    Charlie is graduate student in the Ellington Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Charlie’s research focuses on engineering transcription factors to act as biological sensors for the rapid validation of engineered enzymes and as diagnostic tools. Before graduate school, they received their B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University with a focus in cellular engineering. Outside of the lab, Charlie likes to play Dungeons & Dragons with their fellow Ph.D. students.

  • Gavriela Carver

    I am currently an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Donia Lab at Princeton University. Here my research centers on ecologically and functionally relevant host-microbe interactions in marine symbioses. Before pursuing a graduate degree at Princeton, I completed my undergraduate work at Cornell University studying plant pathology in the Perry Lab, followed by research in the Badran Lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where I developed tools for bacterial genetic code expansion.

  • Meagan Olsen

  • Beth DiBiase

    I am a first-year Chemical and Biological Engineering graduate student at Northwestern University. I received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from Northeastern University where I conducted research in the lab of Dr. Abigail Koppes and completed 3 co-ops in the biotechnology industry. I am interested in bridging the gap between natural and synthetic vesicles to design more efficient therapeutics and vaccines.

  • Ross Klauer

    My name is Ross Klauer and I am a graduate student at the University of Delaware. Under the co-advisement of Dr. Kevin Solomon and Dr. Mark Blenner, I work to discover the microorganisms and enzymes within the gut of the yellow mealworm which contribute to plastics degradation and engineer these organisms do develop a plastics upcycling process.

  • 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.

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