Beth Beason
K. Beth Beason-Abmayr came to Rice in 1998 as a Postdoctoral Teaching Associate in the Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology (BCB) and just completed her 17th year as teaching faculty. Her teaching labs are located in the basement of Anderson Biological Laboratories, which Rice students affectionately named The Dungeon, as in Dante’s Inferno. Beth got involved with iGEM in spring 2006 when Dr. George Bennett, BCB Chair, told her he’d signed Rice up for a team and thought it would be great for her undergraduate lab courses if she led a team. Rice competed in 2006-2008, and their 2008 team project was BioBeer. She began teaching a synthetic biology lab course to undergraduates in 2008, and it’s one of her most popular lab courses. She returned to iGEM as a judge at the America Regionals and World Jamboree in 2011. She has served as a co-head judge since 2012 and is now a member of the Executive Judging Committee. Beth is super excited about the Rice team and can’t wait until the Giant Jamboree! When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling to exotic places - each year, she and her husband take a ski vacation in Utah (ok, so Utah may not be exotic but snow certainly is to those of us living in Houston).
Dr. Jonathan Silberg
Prof. Silberg, affectionately known as "Joff," came to Houston, TX, from sunny SoCal in 2005. Previous to holding an Associate Professor position in BioSciences and Bioengineering at Rice University, Joff received a B.S. in Biology, a B.S. in Chemistry, and a PhD in Biology from UC Irvine (the ferocious Anteaters). His current research spans a wide range of disciplines and ranges from protein engineering and synthetic biology to cell-cell signaling in soils. He teaches Physical Chemistry for Biosciences and advised the iGEM teams at Rice from 2006-2008. Besides focusing on his lab and courses, Prof. Silberg enjoys skiing moguls (preferably coated in powder) and mentoring students from various backgrounds, including those who are in high school or community college.