Team:William and Mary/Team



Kalen Clifton

Kalen is a junior studying biology and applied mathematics. The interdisciplinary nature of our project appeals to her desire to blend her interests. Kalen believes the intersection of disciplines is a great source for innovation. She became interested in science and research at a young age. One of her childhood memories is of constructing a zoo for her dolls to attend, even doing the research to write placards for each animal exhibit. Her continued interest in constructing and designing things has driven her to pursue a career in bioengineering. Eventually she sees herself researching evolutionarily optimized biological structures so that their design can be replicated when engineering biological and non-biological structures. Outside of the lab, Kalen spends her time tutoring elementary students, watching movies, and playing volleyball.

Ethan Jones

Ethan is a sophomore pursuing a B.S. in Biology and Computational & Applied Mathematics & Statistics. For as long as he can remember he’s always wanted to be a scientist both because of his love of learning and because of his desire to change the world. Ethan was especially excited to work on iGEM this summer because synthetic biology is a relatively young field and there is a lot that we don't know yet. Additionally, synthetic biology is a field that has a lot of potential to change the future of medicine and the world at large. In his spare time Ethan enjoys perusing local culture forums to consume and create various image and text based communications, as well as learning highly specific useless facts and playing tennis.

Likhitha Kolla

Likhitha is a junior pursuing Biology and Chemistry. She joined the team to work with students who approach a scientific challenge differently from the way she might so that she can develop a well rounded view of the gray area in STEM and think like a mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, biologist, and chemist all at once. Likhitha wants to continue her synthetic biology journey into medical research, which is why the overlap between synthetic biology and biomedicine motivates her to push existing boundaries to build circuits that could for example design microbes that assist cell-based immunotherapy.

Joe Maniaci

Joe is a junior majoring in Computational & Applied Mathematics & Statistics. Last year he was a member of the 2015 W&M iGEM team. As we have a young team this year, Joe oversees the day-to-day wetlab operations and keeps things running smoothly. He is excited for the future prospects of iGEM as an institution that embodies both creativity and scientific rigor at William & Mary.

John Marken

John is a senior majoring in Applied Mathematics. He is interested in the fundamental laws and principles governing biological systems and how they give rise to the emergence of complexity. Last year he was a member of the W&M iGEM team, performing the mathematical modeling and data analysis for the project, and this year he is the team's designated student leader. After iGEM, he plans on applying to PhD programs in Systems and Synthetic Biology.

John Mitchell

John is a sophomore at the College of William & Mary where he is studying physics and mathematics. This year he is on the iGEM team where he is doing mathematical modeling and simulations. John hopes that his work in iGEM will provide him with experience in a variety of STEM disciplines. After William & Mary, he hopes to pursue a doctorate in theoretical physics.

Callan Monette

Callan is a sophomore hoping to major in Neuroscience and Computational & Applied Mathematics & Statistics. She’s been in love with all things biology since elementary school, and her recent expedition into the synthetic biology field through iGEM has been incredibly exciting! As a part of the W&M iGEM team Callan has been able to gain valuable research experience while learning how to think about molecular biology in terms of complex systems and circuits. In the future, she has her heart set on working in the medical field in some way, whether it's practicing medicine or participating in biomedical research; she is particularly interested in neurobiology and neurological disorders. In addition to the iGEM team, Callan is also a part of W&M Dhamaal Bhangra, a dance team that specializes in the energetic bhangra dance native to northern India! She also enjoys swimming/diving, tutoring small children, and wandering through the Williamsburg farmers market in search of cute dogs.

Adam Reiss

Adam is a junior at the College of William and Mary, studying biology and the mathematical modeling of biological systems. Adam has been involved in computational research since the beginning of his sophomore year, and has moved into synthetic biology research with the 2016 William and Mary iGEM team. Having been interested in medicine from an early age, Adam has been involved with several volunteer fire departments as an Emergency Medical Technician for the past four years. He intends on going to medical school upon graduation, and is looking forward to his next few years of research.

Christine Gao

Christine is a senior majoring in Biology and Computational Applied Mathematics & Statistics. She was a member of the 2014 W&M iGEM team, and rejoined this year because she enjoyed the creativity and engineering aspect of iGEM. Besides synthetic biology, her main interest is in immunology, and she hopes to conduct research on tumor-immune interactions beyond W&M.


Dr. Margaret Saha

Dr. Saha is a developmental neurobiologist and the primary adviser of the W&M iGEM Team. Her unwavering support was instrumental in the founding of the team in 2014, and in the team's continued progress. She drinks 15 cups of coffee per day, much to the concern of some of her students. She insists it's alright.

Dr. Greg Smith

Dr. Smith is a computational biologist and the secondary adviser for the W&M iGEM Team. He provided invaluable advice and guidance on the mathematical modeling in the 2015 project, and did the same for our 2016 efforts.

Andy Halleran

Andy Halleran is a PhD student in Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology and was co-captain of the 2015 William and Mary iGEM Team. This year he served as a student advisor for the project.