Education WG

  • Janet Standeven

    An educator with 28 years of classroom experience in Core Sciences, Social Sciences and Biotechnology. Founded the Lambert iGEM program in 2012. In 2022 Lambert’s team was named the Grand Prize Winner of the iGEM Jamboree. The iGEM competition is the leading collegiate competition in the field of synthetic biology. She is a 2022 recipient of a NIH SEPA grant with Dr. Bhamla of Georgia Institute of Technology. In collaboration with members of the Bhamla lab she leads students in research and development of synthetic biology projects that also include hardware and software components. Ongoing projects include the ElectroPen, a 23 cent electroporator and other frugal devices for extraction of DNA and quantification of data.
    Ms. Standeven received a BA in Anthropology and Social Studies Teaching Certificate from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Chemical Life Science from the University of Maryland in 2013. During her master’s studies she was a recipient of a G.I.F.T. fellowship with the Styczynski Group at Georgia Institute of Technology and subsequently received RET, support with the Styczynski group from 2014-2018. She is a recipient of numerous teaching awards and recognitions including Teacher of the Year in 2011 for Riverwatch Middle School, 2018 for Lambert High School, Forsyth County School STAR teacher in 2019 and 2023, in addition to being recognized as Biotechnology Teacher of the Year in Georgia for 2016. She was an attendee at the White House Bioeconomy Summit in 2019. She currently participates on the Human Practices committee for the iGEM foundation and serves as a Master Teacher for GABIO’s Rural Teacher Training Initiative.

  • Cameron Kim

    Cameron Kim is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and member of the Duke Center for Advanced Genomic Technologies. He received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Stanford where he studied protein and RNA-based control systems within alternative splicing devices for mammalian synthetic biology applications. Since coming to Duke in 2020, Dr. Kim has been researching ethics-guided design frameworks for emergent biotechnologies, including gene and cell-based therapies, to improve the classroom experience for biomedical engineering students through team and project-based learning. He serves as the research advisor for the Duke International Genetically Engineered Machine undergraduate research group to promote authentic research experiences and mentor the next generation of bioengineers. Currently, Dr. Kim and his undergraduate team of 15 students are initiating a project on developing high-throughput screening of novel protein secretion signals to stimulate chimeric antigen receptor T cells for signal amplification. He also serves as the Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering. In recognition of his teaching, he received the Bass Connections Leadership Award and the Klein Family Distinguished Teaching award in 2023. Overall, his work aims to advance the field of biomedical engineering through innovative education and research, with a focus on improving society through emergent biotechnologies.

  • Cătălin Voiniciuc

    y research in Vancouver (Canada), Jülich (Germany) and Versailles (France) identified novel plant genes controlling the structure of extracellular matrix polysaccharides. After moving to Düsseldorf in May 2016, I applied yeast Synthetic Biology (SynBio) to reconstruct plant polysaccharides. From January 2019 to February 2022, I led an independent research group at IPB Halle to gain further mechanistic insight into the synthesis of matrix polysaccharides. In March 2022, I joined the University of Florida to lead its Plant SynBio efforts and further the Designer Glycans mission.

  • Kaitlin Dailey

    I am a Research Instructor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Eppley Institute for Cancer Research, hosted by the labs of Dr. Michael (Tony) Hollingsworth (cancer biology, immunology) and Dr. Ken Bayles (bacterial genetics, microbiology). During my doctoral studies, I became fascinated with the many advantages oncolytic bacteria have over traditional therapeutics. As a result, I pursued specific training in genetic engineering and anaerobic bacteria. I performed ground-breaking studies, accomplishing the first CRISPR-mediated modification of Clostridium novyi-NT and established methodologies that have added to the field of biologic therapeutics. I chose post-doctorate studies at UNMC to further my training in immunology, cancer models, bacterial genetics, and microbiology. My long-term career goal is to establish a diverse and equitable academic research lab focused on genetically engineering single celled organisms for pharmaceutical and biofuel development. Additionally, I ascribe to the teacher/scholar model and intend to use my expertise to generate graduate and undergraduate courses as well as to mentor students in a laboratory setting – while fostering inclusive environments in both circumstances.

  • Theodore Anton

    I am a popular science and nonfiction author. My most recent book was Planet of Microbes (University of Chicago Press, 2017). I’m writing a book called Programmable Planet: The Synthetic Biology Revolution to be published by Columbia University Press in fall, 2022.

  • Alexandra “Lex” Patterson

    Lex is currently a 3rd year bioengineering Ph.D. student at Georgia tech researching cell-free diagnostics. In the past, she has worked to establish large scale educational outreach events to encourage students to pursue careers in engineering. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis and pickleball.

  • Ross Jones

    Ross is a postdoctoral fellow in Peter Zandstra’s lab at the University of British Colombia, where he is using synthetic biology to program pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into immune cells. He completed his PhD in Biological Engineering under Ron Weiss and Domitilla Del Vecchio at MIT, where he developed genetic circuits that impart robust, context-independent control of gene expression in mammalian cells. Ross did his undergraduate in Bioengineering at the University of Washington, and remains an avid Husky fan to this day – go Dawgs!

  • Marilene Pavan

    Currently working as Scientist at LanzaTech Inc., I am a professional with 12+ years of experience in the fields of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and biomanufacturing. Expertise also include: partnerships (prospection and management), people management and mentorship, fundraising, business development, writing of grants, patents, and scientific articles, project management, budget management, scientific consulting, planning of scientific conferences, speaker.

  • Aditya Kunjapur

    Dr. Aditya Kunjapur began as an Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware in December 2018. His lab focuses on expanding the repertoire of microbial chemistry with an emphasis on enabling new chemical functional groups in living contexts. Dr. Kunjapur received his doctoral degree from MIT in 2015, where he trained under Dr. Kristala Prather and enabled aldehyde biosynthesis in E. coli. Afterwards, he performed postdoctoral research under the supervision of Dr. George Church at Harvard Medical School, where he designed platforms to improve the fidelity of non-standard amino acid incorporation into proteins. Dr. Kunjapur was previously Co-Chair of the Synberc Student and Postdoc Association, the precursor to the EBRC. In 2019, Dr. Kunjapur was awarded an Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative Fellowship.

  • Emily Aurand

    Emily Aurand

    Dr. Emily Aurand is the Director of Roadmapping and Education at EBRC. Emily serves as the executive editor of EBRC’s technical research roadmaps, and has led the production and release of five EBRC technical roadmaps to-date, all of which are available through Emily also serves as the EBRC Industry Internship Program director and leads the EBRsee outreach and education project, spearheading the recent collaboration with the Tumble Science Podcast for Kids to create “Life Lab” a five episode podcast series about engineering biology for school-aged kids and their families. Emily supervises and mentors the EBRC science policy postdocs and research assistant and supports the Student & Postdoc Association. Emily also leads EBRC science policy communications, contributes and reports on funding and grant support, and oversees and manages the EBRC websites.

    Prior to coming to EBRC, Emily was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. At NSF her work in the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) included evaluation and assessment of the Synthetic Biology and Biomanufacturing portfolios, collaboration on the strategic reorganization of CBET programmatic concentrations, and development and implementation of novel funding initiatives, in addition to serving as a subject matter expert (a biologist amongst engineers). During her AAAS fellowship, Emily also served as a co-chair of the Fellows’ Science Diplomacy Affinity Group, which explores how science and technology cooperation can be used as a tool for diplomacy.

    Emily received a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado. She continued her academic training in Trieste, Italy with a neuroengineering post-doctoral fellowship at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA). Her scientific research experience spans the fields of developmental neurobiology, biomaterial development, and neural tissue engineering and biocompatibility.

    Emily is a United States Figure Skating Double Gold Medalist and the proud Auntie to adorable toddler Jack. In her free time, she likes to relax by practicing yoga, dancing in her kitchen while she cooks, and snuggling with her elderly cats (who make frequent appearances in EBRC virtual events). When she’s not traveling to convene with EBRC members and stakeholders, Emily lives and works in Colorado.

  • Danielle Tullman-Ercek

  • Terry Johnson

  • Mark Styczynski

    Mark received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2007. He also did postdoctoral work at the Broad Institute from 2007-2009. At Georgia Tech, Mark’s work spans synthetic and systems biology, and often includes work at the intersection of those two fields. His main Engineering Biology focus is on the development of low-cost, low-resource diagnostics.

  • Vincent Noireaux

    Vincent Noireaux got his B.Sc. in applied physics at the University of Tours (France) in 1994. In 1995 he moved to Paris for physics graduate school at the University Paris 11 (Orsay). He did his PhD at the Curie Institute (Paris, 1996-2000) in biological physics in the laboratory of Jacques Prost on the motion of the bacterium Listeria. He studied the actin cytoskeleton mechanisms involved in cell motility and learned the biology related to this project in the laboratory of Daniel Louvard. In 2000 he joined the laboratory of Albert Libchaber at the Rockefeller University in New York City where he spent five years as a postdoc. He used cell-free expression systems to construct elementary gene networks and synthetic cell systems. In 2005, he moved to the University of Minnesota where he is pursuing his work in synthetic biology using cell-free expression. His research consists of constructing and characterizing biochemical systems by executing synthetic DNA programs in vitro, from simple regulatory elements to synthetic cells.

  • Julius Lucks

    Julius B. Lucks is Associate Chair and Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University. Research in the Lucks Lab asks fundamental questions about the molecules of life. They are particularly fascinated by how RNA, DNA’s close chemical cousin, acts as a mini molecular computer inside cells, allowing it to continuously monitor the status of itself and its environment. They then translate newly discovered fundamental knowledge into new ways to engineer biological systems for the health of ourselves and the planet, with recent applications to sustainable biomanufacturing and low cost water quality diagnostics.

    For his research, Professor Lucks has been recognized with a number of awards including a DARPA Young Faculty Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, an ONR Young Investigator Award, an NIH New Innovator Award, an NSF CAREER award, the ACS Synthetic Biology Young Investigator Award, and most recently a Camille-Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award. Professor Lucks is also heavily invested in helping to train the next generation of scientists and engineers through his co-founding of the Cold Spring Harbor Synthetic Biology Summer Course and his roles as a founding board member of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium. Please visit or on twitter @luckslab for more information.

  • Joshua Leonard

  • Natalie Kuldell

    Dr. Natalie Kuldell leads BioBuilder, a nonprofit organization that inspires the next generation of innovators with authentic science and engineering. BioBuilder’s synthetic biology curriculum breeds excitement by helping students and teachers design and then build
    biotechnologies that solve real problems throughout the US and around the world. A BioBuilder textbook was published by O’Reilly Media. In 2017, BioBuilder opened a community lab in Kendall Square’s LabCentral.

    Dr. Kuldell studied Chemistry as an undergraduate at Cornell, completed her doctoral and post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School, and taught at Wellesley College before joining the Department of Biological Engineering faculty at MIT in 2003. She is the 2020 recipient of the Margret and H.A. Rey Curiosity Award.

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