Team:British Columbia/Team/Bios

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Faculty Advisors

Dr. Steven J. Hallam

Associate Professor in Microbiology and Immunology, ECOSCOPE Director

Dr. Michael Murphy

Professor in Microbiology and Immunology


Kateryna Ievdokymenko

2nd Year PhD Microbiology

This is my second year returning to advise the UBC iGEM team, and I am very exited to participate again. I'm particularly interested in two fields in science right now - environmental genomics and synthetic biology. Also, I love traveling and my vacation destinations are usually determined by wind or surf seasons.

Raphael Roccor

3rd Year PhD Microbiology

I did my Masters in Biochemistry in Germany before coming to Vancouver for my PhD. I also studied and worked in Australia and Brazil for a total of 13 months and gained experience in molecular parasitology. Now, I'm very interested in engineering bacteria for the valorization of biomass and am working on commercializing a microbial technology to produce high-value lipids from agriculture and forestry residues.

Joe Ho

Msc Microbiology

All great things are built in a team. I had the privilege to be part of this iGEM experience since an undergraduate. For the second time this year, I took on an advising role on the team, helping out with Policy and Practices and the wet lab work.

Elesha Hoffarth

3rd Year PhD Chemistry

I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Calgary, and moved to Vancouver in 2014 to start my PhD. My research focuses on natural product biosynthesis of antibiotics and mechanisms of biosynthetic enzymes during catalysis. In my free time, I enjoy exploring Vancouver, watching Netflix, and playing music. My biggest lab blunder is that I forgot to check that the tap was closed while I was filling a distilled water container. 10 minutes later, I came back to an empty container and 15 L of water on the floor.

Meghan Verstraete

5th Year PhD Microbiology

I like microbiology and synthetic biology, so I have found helping out as an iGEM graduate advisor to be really fun! Outside of science, I like to ski and do ballet. I also like cats (meow!).

James Round

5th Year PhD Microbiology

I'm a veteran of the UBC iGEM team, having been a member for as long as I can remember. I am an avid outdoors person, and live in the most beautiful place in the world that allows me to get out and explore.


Tamar Av-Shalom

3rd Year Combined Major in Microbiology/Immunology and Computer Science

I'm keen on combining computer science with biology and bridging the gap between wet lab work and dry lab. In my spare time, I am an avid baker and pinterest enthusiast, if all my education endeavors fail, I will end up running a gluten free bakery.

David Goertsen

4th year Chemical and Biological Engineering

I have always enjoyed the opportunity for problem solving available in chemical and biological engineering, and the field of synthetic biology has presented a great deal of opportunity to create new solutions for conventional problems. I am excited to be a part of such a rapidly developing field and am excited to see what opportunities await. I really enjoy playing electric guitar. Learning guitar solos from classic songs is something that I have spent a lot of time on since High School The bands whose songs I most like to play are Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Radiohead.

Jewel Ocampo

4th Year Honors Microbiology and Immunology

I'm infamous for wrong lyrics. My greatest lab blunder is that I contaminated a batch of competent cells, realizing this only after the painful process of troubleshooting why my cells were showing resistance to antibiotics they were supposed to be susceptible to (two weeks of work down the drain).

Anson Yam

3rd year Chemical Engineering

I work really slowly. Currently learning html, css, and javascript to make the wiki. Definitely not addicted to coffee, or the internet. Working out, but somehow making no gains.

Darren Christy

4th Year Honors Biochemistry

Typical Canadian guy...would rather be in the lab 4 degree room than outside in 30 degree sun-shine. I have 2 seasons - Hockey season and the short period of time between July and August for mountain biking. In my off time I'm billionaire Bruce Wayne.

Azadvir Bal

3rd Year Chemistry

I am good at hiding things in my beard. I spend more hours each week washing my car than I do showering myself.

Bahar Moussavi

2nd Year Combined Major in Microbiology/Immunology and Computer Science

I am passionate about research. I am mostly interested in stem cell research and cancer cell research. I love to read and draw! My biggest lab blunder is that I once stabbed myself with a needle contaminated by E-coli. I couldn't sleep for days thinking I would suddenly show signs of a disease and die in the name of science!!

Connor Ulvestad

4th year Biology

Edmonton born and raised!!!!

Vaastav Anand

3rd Year Computer Science Honors

Soccer fanatic (It's football!) and loves the rain! My biggest lab blunder is that in High School Biology, I could not obtain cheek cells for my Biology final practical...

Check out other parts of our project below!