Our team consisted of 17 undergraduate students with 4 advisors and a PI. Our PI was fundamental in developing the idea for the project in conjunction with the rest of the team. The advisors were there in a truly advisory capacity; they did not perform any experiments. Instead, they guided us to the best way to carry out the work and taught us good engineering practices. They brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to aid us in our journey of conducting this project ourselves.


Logan Mulroney offered protocol advice and taught us how to run different experiments. He has also worked with UCSC iGEM teams in previous years and helped us avoid pitfalls and ensured we were on track.

Brandy Baird helped train us on different experiments and organized people doing lab work. She and her mother were also responsible for getting us amazing embroidered jackets.

Roger Volden participated in iGEM the previous year and came on as an advisor to help this year’s’ team. He helped teach us how to conduct different experiments and emphasized good engineering practices.

Wade "Simba" Khadder helped teach people how to build a website and made sure we were constructing it in an efficient way.


We would especially like to thank two team members, Sarah and Jasmine, for designing and digitizing our banana slug and gear logo. We would also like to thank Ian Santos Photography for filming and editing our beautiful crowdfunding videos that enable us to raise enough money to send the entire team to Boston. We would like to thank Tanvir Saini for help with learning wiki formatting.

Team Training and Preparation

Our institution teaches a 2 unit iGEM course in Spring Quarter. A majority of the team members participated in this course prior to starting work in the summer. The purpose of this course is primarily team building exercises. We started brainstorming for the lab in this class through journal clubs and discussions. The course description is:

“This is a seminar course where students develop a research proposal and the collaborative skills needed for independent research projects. The course will include professional practice development in collaboration skills, project management, proposal development, and funding. The course provides skills in project management and teamwork for small (4) to mid-size (12) engineering teams, focusing on BioEngineering. Skills and plans developed in this course are intended to improve the success and experience gained in subsequent Bioengineering capstone projects (prerequisite for BME 188 and recommended for BME 123A). Students will work in small teams with the goal of producing a project plan that includes both a fundable project and a capable team for their Engineering capstone.”

The physical research started in the middle of June and was conducted in the teaching lab, provided by the Department of Bioengineering at UCSC.

We are also very grateful to the following sponsors who donated money, supplies, or both.