Team Members

Marc Ammerlaan

Marc Ammerlaan is a lecturer in the Program in Biology. He has been an adviser to Michigan's iGEM team since 2010.

Nick Emery

Nick Emery is a student at the University of Michigan studying Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering. Working towards cheaper, easier detection of protein biomarkers to improve disease diagnostics in developing countries and resource scarce settings. Also working in the lab of Dr. Allen Liu in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Michigan.

Vijay Vobbilisetty

Vijay is a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. This is his first time on the Michigan Synthetic Biology Team, and he also works in a lab that studies the genetic precursors of aortic aneurysms.

Irina Kopyeva

Irina is a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Life Sciences. She loves to whitewater kayak and being outdoors in general!

Alex Girgis

Alex, a rising sophomore from Grand Rapids, is majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a biochemical concentration. Ultimately he will pursue a career in medicine. He considers himself “not bad” at Argentine Tango.

Rachel Sun

Rachel is a student of Cellular & Developmental Biology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Combining the ordered and methodical thought processes of engineering and my own fascination with biological processes, I am an active member of the Michigan Synthetic Biology Team which competes anually in the iGEM competition.

Aaron Renberg

Aaron Renberg is an enthusiastic rising junior and OptiMize Social Innovation Challenge Summer Fellow. He has previous research experience interning at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and at Children’s National Medical Center’s genetic medicine department in Washington, D.C. In addition to MSBT, he is currently working in a medical research lab in the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research at U of M. When a micropipet isn’t in his hand, it is usually replaced by a hockey stick or a fencing foil.

Siddharth Madapoosi

Siddharth is a rising sophomore from Ann Arbor majoring in Microbiology and intends to pursue a career in epidemiology in the future. He enjoys traveling and is excited to be a part of MSBT this year!

Akira Nishii

Akira Nishii is a sophomore studying chemical engineering and biochemistry at the University of Michigan. He strives to become a physician-scientist (MD/PhD) in the "near" future. Along with MSBT, he plans to conduct research on cancer immunotherapy of brain tumors (glioma) under Dr. Maria Castro and Dr. Pedro Lowenstein of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Zach Bernstein

Zach Bernstein is a rising sophomore studying Neuroscience in the Honors Program at the University of Michigan. Zach has had a variety of different work and academic experiences in business and sciences. He intends on minoring in The Ross School of Business and enjoys playing basketball and hiking.

Dany Lewin

Dany is originally from Mexico. She transferred to the University of Michigan a year ago, and she is now a junior majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. This is her first year on the Michigan Synthetic Biology Team and is super excited to go to Boston!

Cristina Castillo

Cristina is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan in Cell and Molecular Biology. She has been part of MSBT for three years now and currently she is an advisor for the team. As a research assistant in a physiology lab on campus, she studies effects of hypoxia in cancer. She plans to continue her career as a scientist doing a MD/PhD program.

Robin Pierce

Robin, a senior at the University of Michigan, is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and looking to seek a Master's as well.

Pearl Tu

Pearl is a Master student in Public Health, majoring in Nutritional Sciences. She first joined iGEM as Human Practice leader with The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012, and this year, 2016, she is back to iGEM as Human Practice advisor. While products of Synthetic Biology are appearing in food processing, she is interested in seeing how the gap between general public and profession in Synthetic Biology has been addressed in the last 4 years!

Caleb Kaczmarek

Caleb is a sophomore in the University of Michigan's Cellular and Molecular Bioogy and Biomedical Engineering program. As a member of Dr. Qiong Yang's lab in the Biophysics Department, he helps in research focused on kinases and embryonic development.

Alex Hadd

Alex is a second year undergraduate at the University of Michigan studying biomedical engineering. He is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and the Michigan Synthetic Biology Team. He works in the Yang Lab in the Department of Biophysics as a research assistant, studying biological oscillators and self organizational processes during embryo development. His other academics interests include synthetic biology, biomaterials, and intellectual property law.