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UCL iGEM 2016 | BioSynthAge


Introduction of our team members, instructors and advisors

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Michelle Ammann

Just finished my second year of a BSc in Biochemical Engineering and Business Management and am enjoying life in London. Really into entrepreneurship and everything creative but also enjoy the occasional visit to the lab. I have a talent of pushing people's buttons and using that to my own entertainment. Love yoga, pilates, matcha lattes and GMO cheeseballs. Master of iGEM rules and Deadlines and life in general. #hashtag

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Amandeep Varia

Being one of the youngest members of the iGEM team, I’m the perfect guinea pig for our healthy ageing project! Currently in my second year of a Biochemical engineering MEng degree and I love looking for new challenges, being inspired by synthetic biology and popcorn filled movie nights. I wanted a summer packed full of fun, blood, sweat and tears and and iGEM fits the job perfectly!

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Abbie Rogan

I am a 4th year Biochemistry (MSci) student obsessed with antibodies, ageing and antibiotic resistance. Synthetic biology for me is a creative science and can be most powerful when combined with other fields like architecture, art or computer science. In iGEM I experiment in the lab and tell the world about it whether that is documenting our progress on social media or giving talks to students and the public. Aside from this I enjoy meeting and interacting with new people - whether that’s other iGEM teams or the public. Thus I hope to be able to bring the two together through organising events to engage everyone with synthetic biology! I am the early riser of the team and love waking up to sunrises. When not iGEM-ing you will see me dancing (or trying to), exploring new places and working as a student ambassador at UCL or shamelessly selling subscriptions to The Economist.

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Dale Stibbs

I’m a second year Biochemical Engineering student. My interest in synthetic biology stems from is it’s vast range of applications to solve real world problems. Hoping to spend the summer experimenting in the lab and striving towards HTML competency.

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Jakub Domaradski

Third year Biochemical Engineering student. My interest in synthetic biology stems from its unlimited potential for improvement. I hope to bring my lab experience into our iGEM team, along with some modelling and automation knowledge. Since I am keen on industrial bioprocessing, I am also going to work on the industrial aspects of our project, such as scale-up.
As for my non-biotech related interest, they range, among others, from economics to jazz music and cooking.

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Neythen Treolar

Just finished second year Natural Sciences, studying Physics and Molecular and Cell Biology. Synthetic biology appeals to me as a way to build complex systems from the bottom up and extend the function of natural organisms for our benefit. I have an interest in technology and hope to bring my self taught programming skills into our project.

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Yuqiao Liu

I come from Beijing. I love Science but my passion in science is presented in terms of philosophy. It is an amazing opportunity to be involved in iGEM within the UCL team as I'm working with people from different backgrounds. Orchestra, Opera, ballet and photography are my non-academic life and I enjoy cooking as well. Things change fast at my age.

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Hana Janebdar

Finishing up my Masters in Biochemical Engineering, I’m keen to delve into the synbio startup world! I love all things ageing and will be working on the entrepreneurial aspects of our project this year. My biggest weakness is keeping a straight face with this crazy team! When I’m not busy with iGEM, I like to spend my time thinking up reasons for not going to the gym.

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Kamil Zmijewski

I just finished my second year of the cell and molecular biology stream within the Biomedical Sciences BSc degree program at UCL. I am intrigued by the multilevel complexity of living systems and how the understanding of their characteristics translates to the possibility to prolong human life and improve its quality. Consequently, my primary interest lies in the scientific basis of our project. I plan to pursue a science-based career and I hope that it will be, taking into account challenges associated with this type of work, a rewarding path with hopefully relevant consequences.

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Chinyere Ihuegbu

Aging is an inevitable part of life, ask Dorian Gray…. My name is Chinyere Ihuegbu (Chichi). I am finishing up my Masters in Biosciences. I enjoy research in life sciences,and interesting and engaging activities. In my spare time, I could be found learning the violin. I addition to science, I also enjoy working with kids and promoting education.

Student Consultants

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Jesus Miguens Blanco

I am an MRes Synthetic Biology student, so joining the UCL iGEM team made sense, do not worry, there is not much sense left in my life. Among my uncountable passions are colourful socks, good spoons and maps. iGEM is one of them too, as it is the best chance to show, beyond a bunch of proud freaks, what Synthetic Biology is about, and at the same time participate in an ambitious and responsible project. Our amazing project is about aging and wellbeing, or how to stop the first and extend the later. Aging is a fascinating topic for me since my younger years; I used to punch the wall of my bedroom as a kid because I did not tolerate death as an unavoidable thing. Maybe my approach has changed but not the energy. As a kid and even today I would never give a glance to a map of the world that does not include Utopia.

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Enrique de Zamacona Meza

Full time MRes Synthetic Biology student and entrepreneur. Science and Technology are part of my life passions, alongside arts, films, martial arts, learning languages and travelling (There are too many, I know). Also, I truly believe that synthetic biology is dramatically changing how people will live their lives, and this particular project is proof of that. By tackling the downwards of senescence at molecular level, this team is setting the pace for new thing to come in iGEM, just as biosensors did in the early competitions. I never heard about iGEM until my final year of undergrad, and by that time I couldn’t join my school’s team. Now, I am proud of being part of the UCL iGEM team as an advisor and help this team in this project and I have to say that this team are amazing.

Yash Mishra

Doctoral Advisors

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Kasia Kozdon

I am currently undertaking the second year of my PhD in Interdisciplinary Biosciences. As a member of The Intelligent Systems Group at the UCL Department of Computer Science, I am working at the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence. I am also a doctoral advisor to the UCL iGEM 2016 team.

Luba Prout

I am in my second year of the BBSRC London Interdisciplinary Doctoral programme at the Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL, working on the characterisation of a natural enzyme fusion as well as novel enzyme engineering. I am a bit of an iGEM veteran, having competed in the competition as a Birkbeck team leader in 2015, and now acting as a doctoral adviser to the UCL iGEM 2016 team. Synthetic Biology is an exciting field to be in.

Michael Sibley

Victoria Wood

Lara Fernandez

Ivano Colao

Team Supervisors

Dr Darren Nesbeth

Dr Vitor Pinheiro

Prof John Ward

Dr Chris Barnes

Dr Alexandros Kiparissides


Below is a video introducing the team members of this years UCL iGEM team!