Team:Arizona State/Team

The ASU Team

Brady Dennison

Brady Dennison is a third year biomedical engineering and microbiology student. He has been working as an undergraduate researcher at the Haynes lab for the last year and a half. His future goal is to incorporate more engineering principles into the microbiology field, and has had an awesome time doing so throughout the iGEM project. Outside of the lab (on the rare occasion) he loves to play piano, improve his woodworking skills, and go biking.

Brittany Flores

Brittany is a 3rd/4th year Molecular Bioscience & Biotechnology and Medicinal Biochemistry student at Arizona State University. She has worked in cancer immunology gene therapy and diagnostics in addition to cutting edge protein and DNA nanotechnology and crystallography lab, while working with Dr. Haynes since February 2016. She has also began a possible thesis project with Dr. Anderson at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Her main goal is to attain her pHD and MD in neurosurgery in addition to conducting clinical research to advance immunology and cancer research. Brittany works with ASU teams building race cars, Arduino and Mars Rover Competition, enjoys playing the guitar and singing in a band, and participating in recreational archery competitions!

Ernesto Luna

Ernesto is a fourth year student at ASU studying medicinal biochemistry. Ever since watching Jurassic Park as a child, Ernesto has been interested in genome editing technologies. Nowadays, he’s caught up with learning all about the many forms of intercellular communication. Ernesto aspires to become a physician, but before that, wishes to contribute to the field of synthetic biology. When not running an induction, you can find Ernesto at the student recreation center playing soccer or on his couch binge watching a show.

Rob Schultz

Rob is a junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering at ASU. He is a member of the rugby team on campus and a leader in the Respect Movement. Rob grew up on the lake in Prior Lake, Minnesota where he used to dream of being a scientist one day. Now, he's excited that iGEM has given him his first opportunity to contribute to a project!

Jiaqi Wu

Jiaqi is a junior studying computer science and biological sciences at Arizona State University. She’s been an undergraduate researcher in The Haynes Lab for two years, and works as a part-time web developer at a Tempe startup. Jiaqi is particularly interested in the applications of computer science and software in biology, and hopes to work towards uniting the fields in the future. Outside the lab, she enjoys traveling, creating art and music, and attending hackathons.

Jimmy Xu

Jimmy is a junior at Arizona State University studying chemical engineering and molecular biology. Jimmy has worked at the Haynes Lab since Summer 2014 and also works in the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology as a research assistant. Jimmy is passionate about novel drug development and delivery and dreams of one day researching for the National Institutes for Health. Outside of his work, he loves playing basketball, pencil sketching, and boba milk tea.

Graduate Mentors

Cassandra Barrett

Cassandra is a second year PhD student at ASU in the Biological Design Program. Besides working with iGEM students, she spends her time in the Haynes' lab working on controlling chromatin dynamics in cancer cells. She is interested in mammalian synthetic biology, the relationship between epigenetics and neurodegeneration, and the use of synthetic biology in food. Outside of the lab, she enjoys writing poetry, roller derby, and participating in terrain races with her labmates.

Rene Daer

René is a sixth year graduate student in the Haynes Lab at ASU. At the bench, René is developing and testing protein tools to engineer human chromatin. One day, this work may lead to therapies that address disease at the chromatin level, rather than at the symptom level. Outside of the lab, she plays basketball, is a lifelong amateur guitarist, and enjoys an alarming amount of cheese. She's excited to mentor the ASU iGEM team because she loves sharing the joy of exploring new data with young researchers.

Faculty Advisor

Primary PI: Dr. Karmella Haynes

Karmella Haynes earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at Washington University, St. Louis. Her postdoctoral training focused on designing bacterial DNA for mathematical applications (Davidson College) and engineering synthetic proteins to control human cell fates (Harvard Medical School).

Dr. Emma Frow

Emma Frow joined Arizona State University in February 2015 as an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, and the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes. Emma received her BA in Natural Sciences (Neuroscience) and her PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. She spent two years working as a subeditor for Nature in London, and then re-trained in the social sciences, gaining an MSc in Science & Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. She completed postdoctoral research at the ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum at the University of Edinburgh and at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, before returning to Edinburgh in 2012 as an Assistant Professor in Science, Technology & Innovation Studies. Her research focuses on standards and governance in contemporary life sciences, with a particular focus on synthetic biology. She is currently working with colleagues in Edinburgh on a project called ‘Engineering Life’ (funded by the European Research Council), exploring the movement of ideas, promises and practices from engineering into the life sciences. She also serves as co-chair of Policy & Practices for the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

Dr. Jeremy Mills

Jeremy Mills is an Assistant Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and The Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics in The Biodesign Institute. He obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Vanderbilt University where he studied free radical atom transfer reactions with Prof. Ned Porter. He then carried out graduate studies focused on protein engineering with natural and unnatural amino acids at The Scripps Research Institute under the guidance of Prof. Peter Schultz. He comes to ASU from the University of Washington where he carried out postdoctoral studies in the field of computational protein design with Prof. David Baker. Research in the Mills group focuses on the use of computational protein design methods to engineer proteins in which non-canonical amino acids carry out important functions.

Dr. David Nielsen

Dr. David Nielsen joined Arizona State University in August 2009 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. Prior to joining ASU Dr. Nielsen was a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously, Dr. Nielsen obtained both his Ph.D. and B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada) and the University of Colorado at Boulder, respectively.

Dr. Xiao Wang

Dr. Xiao Wang earned his Ph.D. in 2006 from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while earning his BS. in 2000 from Tongji University in China. Dr. Xiao Wang’s lab is interested in understanding and exploiting the effects of nonlinear dynamics and stochasticity in engineered gene networks in microbes, and extrapolating this knowledge to the understanding of cell differentiation and development in higher organisms.synthetic multistable gene networks, systems biology on small network motifs with feedbacks, role of noise in cell differentiation and development, molecular evolution