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Saie Ganoo - Team Lead
Biological Engineering ('18)

Saie Ganoo? Don’t you mean Saie GaYES? You’ll never meet a more spirited, motivated, or hardworking individual than Saie. She puts the ‘gem’ in iGEM and the ‘tada’ in Team Lead. If you ever need to watch an uplifting Facebook video featuring cute animals or to call someone right away in excitement about a random idea, Saie is your girl. Saie spends 400 hours a week on iGEM, but in her spare time she is a full time biological engineering student, a proud member of Theta Tau, an RA, probably an astronaut???, and all around one of the best friends you could ever ask for!

Yifan Chen - Wet Lab Lead
Biological Sciences ('18)

With about a month left until competition, one truth has become abundantly clear to the team members toiling away in our wet lab space: everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
For the lab is dark, and full of errors.
However, all is not lost. Cornell iGEM has a secret weapon: Yi Fan Chen, our glorious Wet Lab Lead. Yi Fan can defy all physical and chemical laws that govern the success of molecular biology techniques. When he touches a miniprep or protein purification, it magically works, better than it has ever before! He is the light that guards the realms of synthetic biology.
Outside of iGEM, Yi Fan works in a lab and spends the remaining three hours in his day regenerating his supernatural powers as he sleeps.

Grace Chuang - Policy & Practices Lead
Chemical Engineering ('18)

Grace Chuang.
How do I even BEGIN to describe Grace Chuang?
"Is her name Grace? Because she is amazing.”
“A fellow papercut survivor.”
“I had a wedding just so she would do a photoshoot for me.”
“I heard she opened a restaurant...”
“...but everything was plated on cutting boards.”
“One time she I tripped too.”
“She rules Policy & Practices with an iron fist.”

Sachi Koide - CS/ECE Lead
Biological Engineering ('18)

Spunky and sweet and like a koi[de] fish swimming gracefully and nimbly amongst code and animation, Sachi is a talented junior Biological Engineer who has found her niche in the world of iGEM. This dedicated, wonderful human being started in Wet lab but worked her way up to take hold of the CS/ECE team by storm. On campus, she can be seen running through Ithaca chasing adventure and if you ever see a swish of color, it’s probably her blue/green/purple/ hair flying past. If you ever need someone to approve of your puns or somebody to help you with app design or somebody to run with you around campus, fish aren’t food but Sachi is the one for you!

Stephanie Yiu - Product Development Lead
Chemical Engineering ('18)

Shall I compare thee to a drylab wizard?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds of CAD do shake the wizard’s drive,
And temperamental printers do test it:
But thy love of cows shall never fade,
Nor shall the obstacles thou hath,
Allow thy sass to be waylaid.
~ Will Shakespeare

Cristina Zhao - Business Lead
Information Science, Systems, and Technology ('19)

See George

Rishabh Singh - Design & Marketing Chair
Biological Engineering ('17)

In the eons past, men have offered up their prayers. Men wished for reason, for they sought the meaning of existence. Men also wished for sentience, for they wished to make their souls known to others. In the present days, we know these prayers have been answered – the design of ancient languages convey to us the wisdom and memories of old. But evidence suggests that these creations did not arise independently. Whether it’s ancient Sumerian or Egyptian hieroglyphics, whether it’s ancient Chinese or the Mayan script, experts believe that these designs were all inspired by the same unknown power. Attempts to identify and harness this power of creation has been unsuccessful, for it has always so skillfully evaded the records of history, leaving just enough traces for all to marvel at its grace and crave for its strength. However, the latest evidence suggests that this power, which came to be known as “Rishabh”, has recently taken residence in Ithaca, NY, inspiring novelties in synthetic biology through its peerless designs and sassiness, while stimulating the economy by circulating currency into Taco Bell and Chipotle. Everyone waits patiently, observing with anticipation, for they know that Rishabh is about to compose the next turning point in history.

Greg Albano
Biological Engineering ('19)

I am a sophomore, majoring in Biological Engineering in CALS, but I am more well known for being obnoxiously tall, prone to blocking the sun from the shorter members. My accomplishments include being making burnt burgers for the iGEM BBQ, which they were forced to scarf down, playing chess in CS 1110, and admiring my multiple failed gel electrophoresis attempts. I also made it my desktop background because I believe failure is the road to success. During the summer, I was awarded with the position of the iGEM social chair because I talk more than I’m supposed to and I often carry a stress ball because you can always be making #gains for the fingers. Although my accomplishments and experiences are by far large and impactful, I consider myself statistically insignificant compared to the rest of my stellar teammates. I will be often found in my suite in Keeton, living the life of a lucky West campus bastard, so hmu if you actually get a good time slot.
I can be described by the 3 following emoijs: 💩🤓¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Rohit Bandaru
Electrical and Computer Engineering ('19)

#allAboutThatBusiness #labRatForWetLab #majorECEbro #dieHardForTravisJensen #memesBrowser #cyclingManiac #basketballPro #sportingThoseUnderArmourFlops #khakiShortsButUsuallyBlue #rapster #gameOfThronesEnthusiast #chocolateHater #enjoysGoats #dogsOverCats #sophomore #yearnsForTheVikingAge #sourPatchForTheWin #celticsRule #OJchugger #wantsToBePeacefullyAbductedByAliens #emailingFanatic #hacksForTrash #dragonEmojiPersonality #wouldBeACarrotIfAVegetable #followMeOnTwitter #bostonCreamHometown #alwaysCarryingAnIpad #civilizationConquerer #duffieldInhabitant #igemGem

Swathi Chakrapani
Biological Engineering ('19)

With a personality as big as the city she hails from (NYC), Swathi always has something sarcastic to say. Swathi is a big proponent of eating good food, especially super spicy food. Her bag of Indian spices is the secret ingredient when making homemade Chipotle burrito bowls. On iGEM, Swathi is a master pipetter and also a great companion for watching Netflix on the nice Mac in the lab. In the other hours of the day, Swathi guards swimming pools with her life, and enjoys yelling at children to stop running on the pool deck. Swathi also has a knack for spraining her ankle whenever she goes outside. And a final word of caution, don’t mention Stuy to Swathi – as an alum of Hunter, Stuy will forever hold a place in her heart as her fiercest rival.

Jonlin Chen
Biological Engineering ('17)

Jonlin Chen is a life traveler -- from Ithaca to Peru, Singapore. She got to hone her sandboarding skills at Peru then went on a quest in NYC to find the best donuts in the city. So if you are craving for some good donuts, ask Jonlin for her spreadsheets of rigorous donut ranking system. She's not only a foodie and a traveler but a past president who has continued to provide invaluable feedback and advice for the project this year. She is also our dedicated alumni relations chair connecting our team to our numerous successful alumni. Jonlin will forever be with us and her legendary contribution will forever be glorified.

Tara Chari
Biological Engineering ('18)

Tara is a Junior studying Biological Engineering at Cornell. When she's not busy accidentally spilling drinks everywhere or getting lost in the woods with her dog, you can find her working hard sequencing genes in Weill. Sometimes you will find Tara volunteering as various events such as busting science myths with children. Running on a healthy diet of bubble tea, Tara strives for nothing but the best and provides support to many people in the community.

Fion Chu
Human Biology, Health, and Society ('19)

Fion Chu may be small. She may be cute. She may love pandas. But watch out: she's also a football and hockey watcher. She's a powerhouse and she WILL call you every day to ask if we can visit your farm, leave 10 voicemails, and stalk you on White Pages. And then struck by her persistence, you will find yourself agreeing. Ready to conquer the world as a future anesthesiologist, she's a wet lab and policy & practices dedicated member by day (and let's be real by night because #lablife) but a pie and cobbler later night? Don't pronounce her name wrong or mess with her. You'll regret it.

George Danias
Biological Engineering ('17)

See Christina

Jeremy Fidock
Biomechanical Engineering ('17)

A senior in Mechanical Engineering, Jeremy loves working on creating new medical devices, a passion that he puts to good use on our Product Development subteam. If you ever need to find Jeremy for some advice on the next cutting edge medical device, or just a good chat, know that Jeremy is a man of many probable locations. At any one time, he can be found doing problem sets in Duffield, studying outside Weill Hall, or fiddling around with MakerBot in Phillips 105. A self-proclaimed “nerd”, Jeremy loves to work on CAD projects or tinker with Arduino in his free time. If you are having a hard time finding Jeremy on campus, try looking at one of the many bodies of water surrounding Ithaca, where you may find him spending a lazy hour or two fishing. If you still can’t find him... then you’re a bit out of luck because he’s probably traipsing around Europe with his family, or as he hopes, backpacking in Asia with his friends. Who knows where Jeremy will go next???

Carol Hung
Biomedical Engineering ('19)

Carol Hung.
How do I even BEGIN to describe Carol Hung?
"Carol Hung is flawless."
"I hear her minipreps are insured for $10,000."
"I hear she models...for iGEM."
"Her favorite ingredient in cooking is salt."
"I hear she has a pet elephant in her dorm room."
"One time she met Bill Nye the Science Guy on a plane..."
"And he told her she was cool."
"One time she punched me in the was awesome."

Sneha Kabaria
Chemical Engineering ('19)

It’s 12am. An angelic voice emanates through Weill Hall, masking the sound of ungreased wheels on chemical carts. Unclear if Taylor Swift has appeared in the flesh in the iGEM lab, or if it’s Sneha Kabaria. Suddenly, a wild Sneha appears from behind the leaning tower of pipet tip boxes. She claims she’s been completing transformations, but we all know she’s been debating politics with Greg for the past 7 hours. Beware of her skills, in the lab or on the debate team, because she is passionate about pretty much any topic you can think of, and can present her opinions as cleanly as sterile technique and as sharply as a gel knife. Although she loses her bracelet at least 3 times a day and breaks her phone every other day, people need protective goggles when they look at Sneha because she is as bright as UV light. Her dedication to the team models her dedication to vegetarianism and to Eggplant Parmegianna, and we are excited for her to present at competition – maybe she’ll figure out her major by then!

Emily Lang
Biological Engineering ('18)

You have had a rough day and need to go into lab. As you walk through the halls you realize how the basement of Weill Hall is seems so so sterile and emotionally cold, with it being windowless and having an all-white decor and all. You start to wish you could be out in the sun or even anywhere where you could know what time it was by looking out a window. However, when you enter the iGEM lab all feelings of confinement fly away and your spirits lift as you are greeted with a sunny, bubbly personality pipetting a batch of thirty PCR tubes at a time, (yes… thirty). Hailing from the Jersey Shore, Emily is a junior studying biological engineering with flowing strawberry blonde locks, striking blue eyes, and a wonderful smile. She is amongst the most caring people you will meet, always considering others in the manner of a true “green” personality, doing such extraordinary gestures as driving fellow team members all the way back home to NJ. Her caringness extends beyond to the just the human race, having decided as a rather precocious child that eating animals is inherently wrong. She has embraced vegetarianism ever since. Emily is also quite athletic, playing field hockey and going on runs at dusk in the glowing sunset despite the problems with her hip. She also possesses the truly amazing ability to fall up stairs. (She may be a bit clumsy, but we love her anyway!) When Emily is not working hard for the iGEM team, she can be found working hard in the recesses of Kroch library or in the home of all engineers, Duffield, or alternatively going on adventures the great outdoors (to counteract the coldness that is Weill Hall of course.) Wherever she is, be sure to note that Ms. Lang will always put a smile on your face.

Connie Li
Chemical Engineering ('19)

Connie is a sophomore Chemical Engineering major who works on iGEM's wetlab subteam. Originally from Hong Kong, China, she now lives in Corning, New York. Corning? Like the glass? Yeah like the glass. Ask Connie anything glass-related, and she will be happy to fill you in on facts she learned while working for the Corning Museum of Glass. Since joining iGEM, she spent this last summer kindly but firmly convincing Enterocin to express a peptide that will combat bovine mastitis. She now continues to work with this bacteriocin in an effort to treat mastitis in cows.

Maia Mirchandani
Computer Science ('19)

Maia Mirchandani comes from the exotic land of Jersey. You will soon see her freely roaming the world disrupting markets, changing the world, and revolutionizing software with her CS? and business expertise. Maia is a Major League Hacker and enjoys typing fresh for-loops and spicy semicolons in her snappy code. She can also craft exquisite business documents. When she isn’t working with her project teams or doing her homework, she enjoys watching Game of Thrones and Gotham and occasionally playing casual sports. She also enjoys listening to “generic pop” on the radio. In order to get through her busy schedule she relies on Sour Patch Kids, Indian food, and creative croissant recipes as fuel. On CUGEM’s business sub team she secures sponsorship opportunities for the team and also works to advance our entrepreneurial prospects.

Amanda Ong
Computer Science ('19)

Amanda Ong is known by many names: “Conquistador of C;” “Jabberwocky of Java;” “Prognosticator of Python;” “Monica Ong.” She is skilled: quick as a sparrow, sharp as a tack, and a prolific midrange scorer. Her hobbies are eclectic: she collects antique taxidermied moose heads, is the 2016 Tompkins County Log Rolling Contest champion, and still manages to volunteer for PETA in her spare time. Storied as her past may be, the most intriguing aspect of Amanda’s character is her future. She intends to start her own technology company, Oongle after college, and top the Fortune 500 by the tender age of 25. If three words were to describe Amanda Ong, they would be: the better twin.

Monica Ong
Computer Science ('19)

Monica is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Business. In addition to iGEM, she does research with Professor Anderson in technological advancements in education. She is also a member of CUAppDev, but she agrees that iGEM is phenomenally better. When she emerges from her CS 3110 cave, she can be found window shopping for cute things, making videos, or attempting to curb her obsession with double chocolate chip muffins by grabbing another one. When she is not trying to multitask five things at once, she can be seen hanging out with her wonderful, amazing sister Amanda (#bowdown) as well as her comrade Conrad (aka Connie) and her suitemates.

Taylor Song
Mechanical Engineering ('18)

As a girl, Taylor lived in the US, Korea, and New Zealand before finally deciding to settle in Ithaca, New York after hearing about Cornell iGEM. Outside of iGEM, Taylor enjoys listening to music and playing tennis. She’s got a long list of ex-lovers, who will tell you she’s insane. But no fear - she has a blank space for you. As a dry lab connoisseur, Taylor works at the intersection of biology and engineering by helping to design the milk module system. She is currently pursuing a co-op in Connecticut. Come back soon Taylor, we miss you! She’s got our team singing - “Is it going to be forever? Or will it go down in flames?

Casey Zhang
Biological Sciences ('17)

Casey Zhang is a senior biology major who is definitely NOT premed. If you're lucky enough to catch Casey awake on campus, you'll probably find her catching Pokemon or dancing with Cornell E-Motion. You might able to find her playing trumpet for the Big Red Marching Band in an alternate universe, but not this one. The next time something breaks in Casey's Wines lecture, it won't be a wine glass--it'll be Casey breaking the heart of the guest lecturer that day.



Addgene is a non-profit plasmid repository. Since its founding in 2004, the company provided free resources to facilitate exchange of plasmids across laboratories. Addgene also archives and makes available a free online database of plasmids. We want to thank Addgene for providing us with discounts on plasmid purchases.

Bio Basic Inc.

Bio Basic Inc. is a privately owned dynamic biotechnology company. The company was founded in 1990 in Toronto, Canada. From 1990 to 1995, Bio Basic Inc.’s primary focus was in the field of biochemicals. Starting in 1995, Bio Basic Inc. began manufacturing various Life Science Products. Over the past two decades, the company has developed rapidly and now serves as a one-stop-shop to researchers in the life sciences field. To date, Bio Basic Inc. has approximately 600 employees, seven laboratories, three factory buildings, 40 international distributors and over 10,000 customers worldwide. The team is grateful for Bio Basic's molecular biology services.


Biomatters/Geneious is a DNA, RNA and protein sequence alignment, assembly and analysis software platform, integrating bioinformatic and molecular biology tools into a simple interface. We thank Geneious for their donated software which helped us design primers and plan our cloning.

Cornell Institute of Biotechnology

The mission of Cornell’s Biotech Institute is to promote research, education and technology transfer for applications of biotechnology for the benefit of the environment, agriculture, engineering and veterinary and human medicine. We would like to thank the institute for their monetary support to the team for the purchasing of laboratory supplies and equipment.


Corning Incorporated is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 160 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences. Corning graciously supported our team through donations of laboratory supplies and has been a strong supporter of Cornell iGEM for the past few years.


DNA2.0 is the leading bioengineering solutions provider. Founded in 2003, DNA2.0 offers an integrated pipeline of solutions for the research community, including gene design, optimization, synthesis and cloning, as well as platforms for protein and strain engineering. It is the fastest provider of synthetic genes—based in the US with a global customer base encompassing academia, government and the pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural and biotechnology industries. DNA2.0 is by far the most published synthetic gene vendor, providing expert support to and collaboration with scientists. DNA2.0 explores novel applications for synthetic genes and is exploiting the synergy between highly efficient gene design and synthesis processes and new protein optimization technologies. DNA2.0’s tools and solutions are fueling the transformation of biology from a discovery science to an engineering discipline.

Integrated DNA Technologies

Integrated DNA Technologies specializes in DNA synthesis, gene construction, antisense oligos, molecular beacons and a variety of molecular biology products. We thank IDT for being an official sponsor of the iGEM competition and providing teams with a discount on gene fragments.


MathWorks is the world's leading developer of technical computing software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. The team thanks MathWorks for sponsoring the 2015 iGEM competition, providing software and technical support to all iGEM teams.

New England Biolabs

Founded in the mid-1970s as a collective of scientists committed to developing innovative products for the life sciences industry, New England Biolabs is now a recognized world leader in the discovery, development and commercialization of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. The team is grateful for NEB sponsorship of the iGEM competition, which has provided teams with the BioBrick® Assembly Kit and other products such as DNA ladders and enzymes.


SnapGene offers molecular biology software that offers a fast and easy way to plan, visualize, and document molecular biology procedures. The team would like to thank Snapgene for providing us with licenses that we have used to help visualize our genetic constructs.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

The mission of Thermo Fisher Scientific is to enable their customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. They help their customers accelerate life sciences research, solve complex analytical challenges, improve patient diagnostics and increase laboratory productivity. Through their four premier brands – Thermo Scientific, Life Technologies, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services – they offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and comprehensive support. We thank ThermoFisher for the donation of research materials.

Cornell College of Engineering

We would like to thank the Cornell College of Engineering for providing material, monetary, and other resources to the team. The Departments of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering have all provided resources and advice to the team.