Team:LMU-TUM Munich/Team

The TUM and LMU Munich team 2016

This year, we were an especially diverse team since it was formed by bringing together students from both of Munich’s most prominent universities: The Ludwig-Maximilians-University and the Technical University of Munich decided to seek out students eager to participate in this year’s iGEM competition. Thus, our two Instructors, who work at the Chair of Biological Chemistry at the WZW (TUM), selected ten students from TUM and six students from LMU. The outcome was a perfectly matched team of members with experience in molecular biology, mechanical engineering, and even electronics. We were lucky in how much we were in sync working in the lab and how well we complemented each other in our individual skill sets in order to carry the project, and we truly enjoyed the time spent together.
Thanks to the support of Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra and his team at the Chair of Biological Chemistry, we were able to accomplish our experiments and biological tasks in his well-equipped laboratory.
Naturally, we didn’t miss the opportunity to take photos of all team members performing their preferred activities in the lab.

As befits our project, we acquired 3D scans of all team members (little hint: try to zoom in ;))

Student Members

Clemens Ries

Field of Study:
Biology

Semester:
Master 3rd semester

University:
Technische Universität München

If in doubt about anything relating to cloning, Clemens was the best person to approach. With his extensive experience in molecular biology due to multiple jobs as a student assistant at various research centers, he was key to keeping our project on track. Trustworthy, honest, and ready to help describe him perfectly. Among his best skills is clarity: he is capable of explaining concisely and understandably. One word he is heard saying frequently is hervorragend!, which in German is akin to "brilliant!" or "outstanding!", so you get an idea of the positive energy he transmits.

Enes Uğur

Field of Study:
Biochemistry

Semester:
Master 3rd semester

University:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Our kill-switch guy. With regard to cloning safety mechanisms, there is no one who can beat him. Aka our team's "philosopher", he is knowledgeable in a great many areas within and reaching beyond science; he will always come up with a balanced and profound opinion. He was always ready to conduct transformations in the evening. Aside from scientific responsibilites, he committed to the panel discussion and large share of the organization. Enes is compassionate and communicative, and he likes to converse in a peaceful and clear manner. As a student, he is involved in research and student activities.

Christoph Gruber

Field of Study:
Molecular Biotechnology
/ Management (TUM-NAWI)

Semester:
Master 4th semester / Master 2nd semester

University:
Technische Universität München

Christoph definitely has a lot of enthusiam and he was always up to improving our project in any way possible. He was consistently excogitating ideas regarding any project or challenge that might arise. Multi-tasker and business man, fuel for motivation and entrepreneurship are the words to describe him. With his constructive and critical mind, he constantly kept an eye on every aspect of the project, from cloning to human practices. When it comes to trustworthiness, he is as reliable as the next day's sunset.

Madeleine Premm

Field of Study:
Biology

Semester:
Bachelor 5th semester

University:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

She has no restraints when it comes to annoying people (e.g. calling 10,000x times/h) in order to get what WE need. Full of joie de vivre. In organizing and precision, she is the best. Be it organizing the trips or planning an experiment or an event, her plans went ahead with little chance of it going awry. With her humor and sarcasm, she always infused the lab with the perfect level of chill.

Javier Luna-Mazari

Field of Study:
Molecular Biotechnology

Semester:
Bachelor 4th semester

University:
Technische Universität München

Javi is our little stylish Latin boy. A second-semester bachelor student at the time we started our project, it was not always easy for him to stay on track, but with his curious and open mind, he never hesitated to ask for help and at the same time to offer his assistance for everyday lab duties. By the way, there are no better SDS gels than those handmade by Javier. Seriously, he's very gentle and helpful and would decline a favor asked of him. It feels like he speaks a thousand languages fluently, which is quite handy when you're in Paris chatting with the Uber driver. One more outstanding thing about him – which might stem from his Mexican roots – is that he's always chill and never in a bad mood, reminding us of taking life less seriously.

Elena Fajardo-Ruiz

Field of Study:
Biology

Semester:
Bachelor 5th semester

University:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

¡Olé! Despite the few ;) kilometers to the Canary Islands, Elena fortunately made her way to Munich to share all her Biology superpowers with the team. With her enthusiastic and tough personality, she didn't hesitate when it came to taking responsibility of challenging parts of the project, such as keeping cells alive in oxygen deprivation. We also benefited from her diplomatic expertise in representing the team wherever it was needed. When in the lab you could not convince Elena of cloning anything unless she knew what was "in there". Further lessons we learned – daily must-haves: polo shirt and espresso!

Julian Hofmann

Field of Study:
Biochemistry

Semester:
Bachelor 5th semester

University:
Technische Universität München

He may look a little serious at first, but Julian has a lot of Interesting things to tell. He has a broad spectrum of subjects and topics in which he is knowledgeable because of his curiosity. Caution: If you don't stop him from talking, he won't. In school, he would have sported the nickname "dictionary". And he earns it. This was a great advantage while participating in our team. If in doubt about the working principle of a molecular biology experiment, he can explain the scientific background. He helped the team with many aspects of the project, from wiki and html through cloning, video editing and taking care of the outreach part.

Manuel Trauner

Field of Study:
Biochemie

Semester:
Master 3rd semester

University:
Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München

Manuel is our authentic Bavarian guy when it comes to his accent, character and dedication. He likes to fight against the Windows/MAC empire by convincing you of the benefits of Linux. He is also modest and a super nice guy; though he knows a lot, he never shows off. In the team, he was busy with the interlab project as well as in the production and analysis of proteins, where he discovered some cools skills he didn't know he had.

Vivien Lechner

Field of Study:
Chemistry

Semester:
Master 1st semester

University:
Technische Universität München

Still waters run deep! Vivien is really pleasant company as she is super nice and modest. She has impressive capabilities in chemistry and did some amazing work with 3D modeling in Maya. She is kind, talented and easy-going. When Vivien gets an assignment, there is no further need in supervising her a lot: she is so self-reliant and accurate she is certain to get the job done. She is also very good with the English language, having grown up in the USA and gathered professional editing experience through her student job.

Jan Böhning

Field of Study:
Biochemistry

Semester:
Master 3rd semester

University:
LMU

A biochemist from the bottom of his heart with a passion for structural biology. Broad knowledge and experience in working with proteins made him a reliable contact person in the lab – but beware of sarcasm, which is the language he knows best. He doesn't take things too seriously, but nevertheless always has a critical view on results and beyond. He always came up with great ideas and well-conceived opinions. As the giant that he is, it's not always simple for him in the lab with the little benches and the low-hanging emergency shower handles, let alone the photographer who would have loved cutting him a little shorter to fit the frame. But Jan knows to compensate this with his new Mac.

Luisa Krumwiede

Field of Study:
Molecular Biotechnology

Semester:
Bachelor 5th semester

University:
Technische Universität München

Luisa is doubtless the life and soul at the lab. With her vivid personality, she is always prepared to tell a good joke or make you smile with a story. Perseverance is her best attribute. Luisa was most of the time invested in taking care of our fragile cells in the cell culture lab. Like a mother, she took charge of all experiments necessary to keep them alive and thriving. Her scientific engagements since her high school times have afforded her a lot of experience in cell culture.

Niklas Armbrust

Field of Study:
Molecular Biotechnology

Semester:
Bachelor 5th semester

University:
Technische Universität München

Niklas – or better: the Proteinator – was born for protein biochemistry. His heart beats for the lab, and it makes you smile when he's happy about experiments that worked out well. His lab learning curve was the most impressive of all since he never hesitated to tackle the scary and expensive Äkta or fermenter machines. Staying until midnight or coming into the lab at the weekend was entirely normal for him as a night owl, but watch out when facing him before 9 a.m. – it's just not his time for being awake already.

Moritz Münst

Field of Study:
Informatics / "Robotics, Cognition, Intelligence"

Semester:
Master 7th semester

University:
Technische Universität München

Moritz was in charge of the complicated formulas, big numbers, and algorithms. Oh boy, he does that right! We would never understand it in a thousand years. He also supported the team in programming the printer in order to make it a bioprinter. He has a kind personality and likes to reflect much as well as to joke.

Michael Schön

Field of Study:
Engineering Science

Semester:
Bachelor 3rd semester

University:
Technische Universität München

We were desperatly searching for a real engineer to make a bioprinter out of our off-the-shelf one. And there he was! As if he was made for the job, he fixed everything, from the design of our own syringe pump to the repair of our beloved coffee can, and for sure a lot more that is not quite clear to us biologists. On the other hand, he also professed a keen interest in the biological part, being excited about things as simple as holding a pipette. Much to our amusement, he was fond of saying, "I have no idea, I'm only the mechanician."

Peter Benedikt von Niebelschütz

Field of Study:
Media Informatics

Semester:
Master 1st semester

University:
LMU

Peter came late to the party. He doesn't have the faintest idea about synthethic biology, but was willing to help the team out with the wiki.

Hallie Knight Hughes

Hallie LMU TUM.jpg

Field of Study:
Life Science Economics

Semester:
Master 4th semester

University:
TUM

Hallie was our Human Practices girl. Throughout the project, she carried out most of the interview work and emailed whomever necessary to get valuable data about past iGEMers and their development in business. She is that kind of social balance you want to have in every project. Who knows so many languages so perfectly anyway? Unfortunately we could enjoy her lovileness and congenialness far not enough, but at least very intensly during the Giant Jamboree.



Primary Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra


Chair:
Biological Chemistry (WZW, TUM)

Since 1998, Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra has been Full Professor at the Technische Universität München, where he heads the Institute of Biological Chemistry. He is internationally renowned for his comprehensive experience and his pioneering contributions in the fields of molecular biotechnology and protein engineering. In addition to his scientific excellence, he strives to apply and economically utilize academic results, and he has founded two start-ups to date. After successful iGEM participations (TU_Munich 2012, TU_Munich 2013) in 2012 and 2013, Professor Skerra again scientifically advised our iGEM team and generously offered laboratory space at his Chair.


Secondary Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Kirsten Jung

Chair:
Chair of Microbio-logy at LMU

Prof. Dr. Kirsten Jung is the Coordinator of the DFG key pro-gram SPP 1617. Furthermore, she is spokeswoman of the graduate college GRK 2062 “Molecular Principles of Synthetic Biology” and member of the board of the Excellency cluster CiPSM “Center of Integrated Protein Science Munich”. With her long-standing research experience, she is also mentor at the Faculty of Biology LMUMentoring.

Prof. Dr. Gil Gregor Westmeyer

Institute/Group:
Professor for Molec-ular Imaging – IBMI/ IDG – Helmholtz Center Munich

Prof. Dr. Westmeyer studied medicine and philosophy in Munich and con-ducted his doctoral work on the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease in Professor Christian Haass’ laboratory in Munich before receiving part of his clinical education at Harvard Medical School. Professor Westmeyer leads a Helmholtz Young Investigators group on molecular imaging at Helmholtz Center Munich. He accompanied our iGEM team scientifically and offered laboratory space in his group.


Instructors

Andreas Reichert

Position:
PhD student at the Chair of Biological Chemistry TUM WZW.

Field of Study:
Molecular Biotechnology (graduated)

Together with Volker, Andreas advised all experiments as well as taught us different methods of molecular biology and how to use the equipment at the Chair. We greatly profited from his mentoring, learning many new aspects in terms of scientific background and proper handling of instruments and disposables.

Volker Morath

Position:
PhD student at the Chair of Biological Chemistry TUM WZW.

Field of Study:
Biology (graduated)

Former Participations:
Freiburg 2010, TU_Munich 2012, TU_Munich 2013

After participating three times in iGEM, once in Freiburg, twice in Munich, Volker – whom we affectionately called "Molkers Vorrat" – once again supervised this year's iGEM team. From his previous participations, he has gained lots of useful experience in order to keep us on the right track.

Philipp Pfingstag

Position:
Research associate and PhD candidate at the Dr. Theo Schöller Chair in Technology and Innovation Management (Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel).

Field of Study:
Synthetic biology

Philipp was in charge of human practices and team outreach.

Dong-Jiunn Jeffery Truong

Field of Study:
Molecular Biotechnology

Position:
PhD student at the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Former participation in:
TU_Munich 2012, TU_Munich 2013

After participating in iGEM in 2012 and 2013, Jeffery was sure it would not be his last time participating. He has keen interest in actuation techniques (optogenetics, magnetogenetics, sonogenetics) and rewiring cellular signaling, which made him the perfect fit to advise our team on the biological engineering part of the project. Besides his enormous wisdom, he is one of the most uncomplicated and down-to-earth people we were ever acquainted with.

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LMU & TUM Munich

Technische Universität MünchenLudwig-Maximilians-Universität München

United team from Munich's universities

Contact us:

Address

iGEM Team TU-Munich
Emil-Erlenmeyer-Forum 5
85354 Freising, Germany