Profiles

  • 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

  • Keith Yamamoto

    Dr. Keith R. Yamamoto is vice chancellor for science policy and strategy, director of precision medicine, and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF. After earning his PhD from Princeton University, Yamamoto joined the UCSF faculty in 1976. His research has focused on signaling and transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors; he uses mechanistic and systems approaches to pursue these problems in pure molecules, cells and whole organisms. He has led or served on numerous national committees focused on public and scientific policy, public understanding and support of biological research, science education, and diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism; he currently chairs the Coalition for the Life Sciences, co-chairs the NASEM Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science, the Board of Directors of Rapid Science, the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Board of Counselors for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, and the Advisory Board for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has chaired or served on many committees that oversee training and the biomedical workforce, research funding, and the process of peer review and the policies that govern it at NIH. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Nathan Crook

  • Jeff Nivala

    ​I’m Jeff Nivala, a Research Assistant Professor in the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. I work closely with other faculty and students as part of the Molecular Information Systems Lab. My scientific interests are focused on technology development with molecular and synthetic biology. My post-doctoral work was performed in George Church’s lab at Harvard Medical School. I was a graduate student fellow of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) as a PhD student in the UCSC Nanopore Group with Mark Akeson, and a Washington Research Foundation Fellow in David Baker’s lab during my undergraduate work.

  • Gregory Koblentz

    Gregory D. Koblentz is an Associate Professor and Director of the Biodefense Graduate Program at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. The Biodefense Graduate Program is a multidisciplinary research and education program designed to prepare students to work on issues at the nexus of health, science, and security. He also directs the Summer Workshop on Pandemics and Global Health Security at the Schar School and is the Editor-in-Chief of The Pandora Report. Dr. Koblentz is a member of the Scientist Working Group on Biological and Chemical Security at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, DC. He serves as a pro bono advisor for the Open Society Justice Initiative and DARPA, as a consultant for the Stimson Center on their cheminformatics program, and is a member of the Biothreat Advisory Board of Heat Biologics. Dr. Koblentz is the author of Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age (Council on Foreign Relations, 2014) and Living Weapons: Biological Warfare and International Security (Cornell University Press, 2009) and co-author of Mapping Maximum Biological Containment Labs Globally (London: King’s College London, May 2021), Editing Biosecurity: Needs and Strategies for Governing Genome Editing (George Mason University and Stanford University, 2018), and Tracking Nuclear Proliferation: A Guide in Maps and Charts (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1998). His research and teaching focus on understanding the causes and consequences of the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons to state and non-state actors and the impact of emerging technologies on international security. He received a PhD in political science from MIT and a MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School.

  • 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.

  • Kelsey Gray

  • Andrea Garza

    Andrea is a PhD candidate in the Chappell Lab at Rice University. Her research focuses on optimizing gene editing systems to study the genetic regulation and secondary metabolism of the bacteria Streptomyces. Prior to this, she graduated from the University of Houston with a BSc in Honors Biomedical Sciences. Outside of research, Andrea enjoys drawing, sewing, and roller skating. She is also a Mentorship Program Liaison and a Social Co-Chair for the EBRC’s SPA.

  • 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

  • Ilenne Del Valle Kessra

    Ilenne is a postdoctoral researcher in the Eckert lab at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She earned her Ph.D. in the Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology program at Rice University in the Silberg (Biosciences) and Masiello (Earth Sciences) labs. Her research studies plant-microbe-soil interactions using synthetic biology tools for sustainable biofuel production. Ilenne is a member of the EBRC Student and Postdoc Association Board and works as the liaison to the Policy and International Engagement group. She is a strong supporter of empowering STEM women and minorities. She is also passionate about SciArt and public outreach.

  • David Riglar

    David has been a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London since 2019. His lab uses a combination of synthetic biology, imaging and sequencing based approaches to better understand the function of the gut and its microbiota during health and disease. Using this knowledge they are developing innovative technologies, such as living engineered probiotics, to probe and control the mammalian gut environment.

    Prior to starting his lab, David undertook his postdoc in Pamela Silver’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. As a Human Frontier Science Long-term Fellow and NHMRC/ RG Menzies Fellow, David’s work focussed on using synthetic biology approaches to engineer bacteria as tools to probe the mammalian gut environment.

    In 2013, David completed his PhD with Jake Baum and Alan Cowman at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (University of Melbourne) in Melbourne, Australia. His PhD research investigated how the parasites responsible for human malaria disease infect red blood cells using cutting-edge imaging platforms.

    David holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Melbourne.

  • Yue Han

    I am currently a third-year Chemical Engineering PhD student at Georgia Tech and I received my B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2019. My research focuses on computational modeling of metabolic pathways for metabolic engineering. In my free time, my curiosity drives me to explore a wide range of unknown fields, and my most recent interest is in ancient history.

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