“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Coming together as a team for such a short duration of time as the iGEM season is no easy task, so here is the place to say we are grateful to everyone that taught us, supported us, believed in us and pushed us forward. This project could not have been realised without your help!

What has the team done?




Ivelina Goldstein

Team leader, Sponsorship, Social Media, Wiki, Wet lab

Project ideas brainstorming, Background research (genetic pathways for ammonia breakdown), Collaborations & Partnership, Writing content, proofreading, and coding half of the wiki pages including the landing page, Contacting companies and other possible sponsors,  Taking and editing team pictures, Creating subtitles for the Promo video, Translating educational material to Bulgarian

Milou Venema

Human practices, Secretary, Wet lab

Project ideas brainstorming, Background research (among others: genetic pathway for ammonia breakdown and the working of alpha-amylase in cattle) , Collaborations, Partnership, Team organization, Translating education material to Dutch, Designing entire Human Practices approach, Designing landing page wiki, Main responsible for writing and summarizing the story of our project on the wiki and in the presentation video

Carian Kuitert

Wet lab, Safety, Chairwoman, Sponsorship

Project ideas brainstorming, Background research (mainly focused on the wet lab section of the project), Collaborations, Partnership, Translating education material to Dutch, creating content for most of the wet lab pages for the wiki, following (lab) safety courses, Responsible for the wet lab waste and organization, Chairing all team(/supervisor) meetings, Emailing companies and other possible sponsors, Involved in (developing) most of the wet lab experiments 

Jan Vuckovic 

Education, Wet lab, Wiki

Project ideas brainstorming, Background research, Responsible for the alpha-amylase measurements, MOF research, Coding half of the wiki pages, Writing and proofreading the content for some

Sofía Jiménez Ochoa

Education, Wet lab, Dry lab

Project ideas brainstorming, Collaborations, background research, designing genetic parts and engineering strategy, partnership activities, helping with coding for education material, register parts in iGEM repository, outreach within the university 

Ritten Rootheart

Finance, Dry lab, Human practices

Project ideas brainstorming, Collaborations (mainly the DTU biobuilders and Wageningen collaborations), Background research (among others: data security, ART, protein structure prediction, protein-ligand docking ), Translating educational materials to Dutch and proofreading translations for Human practice, Designing the ART-pipeline, Team-bonding

Vanesa Borisova

Design, Education

Visual ideas brainstorming; Logo design; Animation of the promotional video (script writing, storyboarding, animating, editing ); Design of educational materials (character design, comic, posters); Design of different visual elements (sponsorship packages, certain social media elements

Teodora Obushtarova

Design, Education

Visual ideas brainstorming; Logo design, Animation of the promotional video (script writing, storyboarding, animating, editing), Assistance on designing educational materials (character design, comic, posters), Design of different visual elements (infographics, social media banners and backgrounds, newsletter), Creating banners for the wiki pages, Shooting and editing the final presentation video

Zahra Farahbakhsh

Sponsorship, Education

Possible project idea brainstorming, background research on the basics of the digestive system of pigs and chickens, writing content for the wiki sponsorship page, contacting possible sponsors for sponsorship, reaching out for the education team, visiting a farm and linking the Human Practices team to a farmer as a stakeholder


Principal investigators:


  • Dr. Sonja Billerbeck (Molecular Microbiology and Synthetic Biology) - Thanks to Sonja for providing invaluable insight during team discussions, for introducing us to the MoClo System and helping us troubleshoot when issues inevitably arose, for staying positive when we felt discouraged, for going above and beyond to be there and answer our questions even when she was extremely busy!


  • Prof. dr. Jan Kok (Molecular Genetics, Microbiology) - Thanks to Jan for using his years of iGEM experience to guide us through the iGEM competition; for offering critical feedback on what would and - most importantly- what would not be feasible for a project idea; for helping us navigate and find the right resources and people within our university to help us with our project and for offering critical remarks on the outcomes of our wet lab experiments.


  • Rianne Prins (Molecular Microbiology) - Thanks to Rianne for the daily supervision and lab tips; for the insider iGEM suggestions and insight; for coming up with ideas to support our project; for coming up with suggestions to take our project to the next level and for helping us navigate tough times in our project by being ever positive.

Who helped us with the project?

Special thanks to:

  • Ifrat Enwer - Designing constructs in Benchling; suggesting alpha-amylase idea and figuring out our kill switch
  • EV Biotech - Advice on project ideas, metabolic modeling, finance modeling, structuring a project and how to ask for sponsorship. They also provided us with contacts of people/companies.
  • Anmara Kuitert - Management/office assistant to Molecular Microbiology / Sonja Billerbeck. Assisted the team by finding an office- and labspace and creating a team email address. Anmara was always available for questions and help and assured that the project was able to run smoothly.

General help:

  • Matthew Turk (Ivelina, Jan) - Getting general help and advice about participating in iGEM and medal criteria
  • Abigail Conner - Getting general help and advice about participating in iGEM and medal criteria
  • Simon Krause (Jan) - Gave the team an expert opinion on the feasibility of using MOFs.
  • Paul Fransen (Milou) - Getting information about if using feed additives that are produced by GMOs is conventional in the animal feed industry
  • Sara Petersson (Ritten) - Information regarding the usage of patented products
  • GBB symposium (Carian, Sofía, Milou, Ritten, Jan) - Giving us the opportunity to present our research to over 90 researchers in the field of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology to gain experience presenting and valuable input from experienced researchers
  • FSE communicator (Sofía)- The FSE communicator helped us to spread the word about our project through the communication channels of the University of Groningen
  • Kim van Maldegem (Sofía)- Former iGEMer, advice and valuable feedback after proofreading Wiki pages.

Wet lab:

  • Sonja Billerbbeck/MolMic group (Wet lab team) - Help with reagents and disposables.
  • Rogier Houwerzijl (Carian) - Provided the team with materials and equipment for the wet lab. Was always available for extra questions and help considering the equipment. 
  • Marleen Otzen/Roel/The RUG (Milou) - Getting a VMT (Safe Microbial Techniques) course + certificate for those of us who did not have this already
  • Stijntje Bosman (Carian) - Assisted the team regarding wet lab waste.
  • Harma Karsens (Milou) - Protocol to culture B. subtilis + B. subtilis and B. licheniformis strain + gave us X5 Disinfectant concentrate Pursept-AF 2 l
  • Luiza Morawska (Milou) - Protocol to culture B. licheniformis
  • Meishan Liu (Milou) - Actually handed us the B. licheniformis and B. subtilis
  • Jeroen Nijland (Carian) - Assisted the team with Saccharomyces-related experiments whenever Sonja or Rianne were not available and when specific experiments needed to be performed Jeroen has experience with. 


  • Bram Wiggers (Ritten) - How to contribute to iGEM as an AI master
  • Andreas Milias-Argeitis (Ritten) - Help with dry lab applications
  • Dylan Mezach (Ritten) - Help with dry lab applications
  • Sonal Sengupta/EV Biotech (Ritten) - Advice on FBA and Genome-scale modeling
  • Dmitry Bachin/EV Biotech (Ritten) - Advice on Bioprocess modeling
  • Matthijs Tadema (Ritten) - Information regarding AlphaFold2


  • Julius Fülleborn (Ivelina) - Former iGEMer, help with coding the Wiki
  • Andrea Fernandez (Ivelina) - Help with Javascript for the Wiki

Human practices:

  • Data privacy office RUG and Ethics Committee of Behavioural and Social Sciences (Milou) - Getting feedback on the information sheet and informed consent sheet used for reaching out to stakeholders
  • All of the stakeholders that we spoke to who helped us take our project to the next level


  • Sem Forman (Milou) - Crash course on how to attract and ask companies for sponsorship and how to create sponsorship packages 
  • Linda Dijkshoorn/EV Biotech - Workshop on how to attract sponsors 
  • Marcel Lunenborg/ Merck Chemicals B.V. (Carian&Jan) - Provided the team with a discount on chemicals/kits. Offered to help future iGEM Groningen teams and alumni with discounts.
  • Miriam Irle, Ignacio Faustino/ EIT Health (Zahra)- creating a post around our project and running a crowdfunding campaign in the EIT Health social media networks.


  • Maja Rojnica (Jan) - Helped to distribute educational materials and covered them in the classroom.
  • Ivona Drobnjak (Jan) - Covered educational materials in the classroom.
  • Perica Vulić Vočanec (Jan) - Covered educational materials in the classroom.
  • Jelena Čeko (Jan) - Covered educational materials in the classroom.
  • Gabrijela Ladika (Jan) - Covered educational materials in the classroom.
  • Sara Del Barrio Pérez (Sofía) - Covered education materials in the classroom. 
  • Stefka Pelovska (Ivelina) - Covered education materials in the classroom. 
  • Ilonka Ivanova (Ivelina) - Covered education materials in the classroom.
  • Maria Hamamdzhieva (Ivelina) - Covered education materials in the classroom.
  • Ana López-Alcántara Santamaría (Sofía) - Implementation proposal advise.


  • Mea Vuckovic (Jan) - Assisted the team with the graphical design of the educational materials. 
  • Maurits Wagensveld (Teodora) - Promotional video voice over