Nathaneal Willms

Roles: President

Nathanael Willms graduated from the University of Guelph this year with a B.Sc., Honours in Molecular Biology and Genetics and a Minor in Microbiology. He is soon beginning grad school at the University of Waterloo in the Laura Hug lab working with methane-oxidizing archaea in landfills, and is looking forward to the future.

Enzo Baracuhy

Roles: Research Director

Enzo is in his fourth year of Biomedical Sciences, and finishing his third and last year at iGEM. His job over the summer was to oversee research operations, make schedules, and coordinate the Project Leads. In his free time he likes to cook and play piano.

Sath Pinikeshi

Roles: Dry Lab Director

Sath is in his 4th year of Biomedical Engineering and in his third year of iGEM. His roles this summer was to over see lab engineering projects to build equipment and to help bring more modelling to our team. In his free time he loves Skateboard, Ski and play chess.

Amira Bouchema

Roles: Project Lead

Namra is in her fourth year of study as a Bio-Medical Science major. This is her second year on the team but her first year competing in iGEM with the University of Guelph team. Although her current research focuses on biomedical technology and reproduction, she joined iGEM to gain hands-on experience and deeper her understanding of microbiology and synthetic biology. Namra has really enjoyed spending her time in the lab working with like-minded individuals who share her passion in scientific exploration. In her free time, Namra enjoys reading and exploring the outdoors.

Danielle Halasz

Roles: Project Lead

Danielle is a third year Biomedical Science student at the University of Guelph. She began her time with iGEM Guelph as a lab member in 2020, where she learned many important lab techniques that provided her with the background necessary to work as a project lead for iGEM Guelph in 2021. As a project lead, Danielle helped contribute to the work completed for the wet lab portion of the CRISPR To Counter Climate Change project, and trained other lab members in basic molecular biology lab techniques. In her free time, Danielle enjoys reading, gong for nature walks, and folding origami.

Amira Bouchema

Roles: Project Lead

This is Amira! She is in her third year of Biochemistry with a Minor in Computer Science, she is a Project Lead for the Research Team and enjoys working in the lab and creative writing!

Hannah Vujovic

Roles: Project Lead

Hannah is finishing up an Independent Research Project as part of her fifth year. Once completed she will be graduating with a Bachelor's in Biochemistry. With iGEM, Hannah is a Project Lead in the lab. When not in the lab, Hannah enjoys baking (bread and cookies are the best) and spending time outdoors!

Kulay Janneh

Roles: Project Lead

A fourth year Molecular Biology and Genetics student minoring in Microbiology who is a Project Lead in the Research team. She is involved in teaching and facilitating lab members as well as conducting experiments. When she's not studying, you can usually find her watching natural hair videos or bingeing Bob's Burgers!

Olivia Gair

Roles: Business Director

Olivia is in her second year of study as a biomedical engineering major. As business director, it's her job to ensure that the finance, IHP, and marketing teams are in constant communication with the wet and dry lab teams, to make sure that business can effectively relate the work that iGEM Guelph is doing to our stakeholders. In her free time, Olivia enjoys reading, photography, and freelancing as a copywriter.

Anum Anjum

Roles: IHP team member and Lab research member

Anum is a second-year Biomedical Sciences major and enjoys the work that iGEM does, as it has inspired her to further pursue research in synthetic biology. Anum currently holds an IHP team member and lab member position which both help strengthen her analytical and research skills. In her free time, Anum enjoys playing racquet sports and ultimate frisbee.

Jamie Stein

Roles: Engineering design team member

3rd year Biomedical engineering student that loves Medtech innovation and designing real life applications to improve people's well being/ the environment.

Ammar Obaid

Roles: Engineering Team member

Ammar is in his second year of Mechanical Engineering. He is interested in applying and developing innovative solutions for any problems the iGEM team faces. In his spare time, Ammar loves to play soccer with friends and go hiking.

Julia Leith

Roles: Engineering team member

Julia is in her third year of Environmental Engineering in the Co-op stream. This is her second year with iGEM as a member of the Engineering team. She helped out with various projects last year, including 3D design of the incubating shaker and research on modifying the Arabidopsis plant. In her spare time, Julia enjoys skateboarding, tending to her plants and spending time with her friends :)

Kristen Cimolai

Roles: Engineering Team Member

Kristen is a third year Biomedical Engineering student, minoring in Neuroscience. This will be her second year on the iGem team as a member of the Engineering Team. She has helped out with 3-D design, and research on real-world and engineering applications for projects in the biological sciences, among other things. She is also the current VP Operations on Guelph's Engineering Society

Linda Nong

Roles: Finance Lead

Linda is currently a third year student majoring in Zoology with a minor in Statistics. Her role on the iGEM Guelph team involves managing the team budget and coordinating applications for funding. In her free time, Linda loves to explore nature and spend time outdoors, but also enjoys binging entire shows on Netflix. A fun fact about Linda is that she loves learning how to play new musical instruments and has played 9 different instruments (to varying degrees of proficiency) so far.

Tevon Pierre

Roles: IHP team member

Tevon is an international student from Grenada. He is in the Bachelor of Arts and Science program, specializing in Chemistry and Entrepreneurship. Tevon enjoys watching cricket, going on hikes and hanging out with friends.

Samuel Gobraeil

Roles: Lab Manager

Samuel is in his second year of Biomedical Sciences. This is his second year as a lab manager in the iGEM Guelph team. This year, Samuel took the role of Lab Manager alongside Larsen in order to manage lab space and make sure that wet lab work runs smoothly in an organized and safe fashion. Samuel is super interested in human health and hopes to pursue a career in the medical field once he graduates.

Larsen Iorgovits

Roles: Lab Manager

Larsen is in his fifth year of the Microbiology Co-op. This year is his fourth and final year of being a part of iGEM Guelph. This year, Larsen took the role of Lab Manager and focused on managing the lab space by creating SOPs, managing safety documentation, handling orders, and compiling spending budgets. Outside of iGEM, Larsen is a huge fan of parasites and is currently working on a project to better understand the misunderstood phylogeny of the phylum Apicomplexa. His focus remains on these weird organisms but hopes to apply synthetic biology to better understand, treat, and/or use them. Outside the lab, you might catch Larsen at your local climbing gym or shredding hard on the trails. Larsen is a big advocate for the right to repair movement and encourages others to value and fix their items, rather than replace.

Dennis Tran

Roles: Research Team Member

Dennis is in his third year of Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Microbiology. This is his second year in iGEM and this year he has assisted in the wet lab, doing research on the CRISPR project alongside his peers and project leads. Through iGEM, Dennis has been able to develop new skills and knowledge that exceed those learned in class and has lit a passion for research in molecular and microbiology. On his free time, Dennis tutor other students in the sciences, furthering his learning in Vietnamese, and gardening.

Nathaniel Petersen

Roles: Lab Team Member

Nate is a third year Molecular Biology and Genetics student at the University of Guelph. He became fascinated by biology at a young age, particularly the molecular world. He is a member of the research team for the first time at iGEM this year, and is excited to take part! Apart from his love of biology, Nate enjoys woodworking, playing chess, reading a good book, and camping.

Charlotte Fletcher

Roles: Lab Member

Charlotte Fletcher, a lab member, is in her second year at University of Guelph, majoring in Molecular Biology & Genetics and minoring in Microbiology. She comes from a musical family that has had a family band since the 1950’s, and she is the lead singer in the second generation band, playing primarily classic country and rock. She comes from a farm where her family cash crops, sells hay and straw, and finishes beef cattle. Outside of school, she loves to draw, play piano and clarinet, sing, and occasionally, even yodel!

Gerry Koot

Roles: Lab Member

Gerry is currently a third year student majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics and minoring in Mathematical Science. Outside of being a lab member for the iGEM team, he has an interest in music and sports. He hopes to use the most of this opportunity to contribute to a team addressing a problem that he considers extremely important.

Samantha Segal

Roles: Lab Member

Samantha is in her second year of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. She is excited to be a lab member for iGEM Guelph. Samantha enjoys spending time with her friends and spending time outdoors.

Sofia Finley

Roles: Lab Member

Sofia is currently in her third year of studying Plant Science and English. In iGEM she performs wet lab work and offers assistance with writing and editing to other parts of the team. In her previous year as a member, she and her team wrote a literature review for iGEM, discussing novel biomolecules that could act as pesticides for major crop diseases. Sofia has combined her two scholarly passions of botany and literature, and possesses an ever-growing collection of field guides and plant identification keys.

Tiffany Arnone

Roles: Lab Member

Tiffany is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics. Although she is interested in many different science topics, she is especially passionate about molecular and cellular basis of disease. This is her first year as a Lab Member for iGEM Guelph and she is very excited to learn and develop new skills. Outside of school, iGEM and her part-time job, Tiffany enjoys exercising, knitting and spending time with friends and family.

Brittany Alexander

Roles: Lab Member

Brittany is currently in the second year of studying Biomedical-science and Neuroscience in hopes of one day being a physician scientist. Within iGEM she works within the laboratory research team and helps in running lab procedures such as PCR. Though passionate about research in many fields, when she is not in the lab she enjoys reading and photography.

Anthony Principe

Roles: Lab Team Member

Anthony is a third year biomed student who is on the iGEM lab team this year! He is interested in hockey, football, hiking, biking and fishing. Anthony's professional interests include medicine, biotech research, and integrating some of the newest technology into the medical field. One interesting fact about him is that he already knows what he wants to do when he retires... build and restore classic cars!

Emma Lee

Roles: Lab Team Member

Emma is a third year student in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and she is excited to be contributing to iGEM this year as a lab team member. In her spare time, when she isn't panic studying, she enjoys reading and making her dog wear tiny sweaters.

Harkamal Samra

Roles: Lab Team Member

Harkamal's a second-year Biomedical Science student and a new addition to UoG iGEM. From inside the lab, she will be working with the team to help bring our project to life. Outside of the lab, she loves a good run accompanied by great music but also doesn't mind following it up with some (modest underestimate) veggie pizza. She looks forward to collaborating with the rest of the brilliant team to see textbook molecular and cellular biology come to life!

Rebecca Taylor

Roles: Lab Team Member

Rebecca is currently a third year student studying Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Guelph. She is a member of the lab team for iGEM and is extremely interested in laboratory research and CRISPR technologies. She enjoys reading in her free time and cooking.

Lisa Thuy Duyen Tran

Roles: Lab team member

Lisa is a 4th-year student in Molecular Biology and Genetics and one of the lab team members of IGEM 2021. When she was a kid, she always thought people who wear lab coats are super cool. That's why she decided to be one of them. When she grows up and becomes a science student, knowing the lab coat is just one of the PPE required before entering the lab, the little girl's heart is broken for a little bit. However, she is still very happy that she chose to pursue science and be one of the kids who could make their childhood dream come true. Also, now she knows for sure that she chooses Biology because she loves it and wants to use it to help other people.

Andrew Knoop

Roles: Lab Volunteer

Andrew is a fourth year microbiology student passionate in food science. He is a lab volunteer on the iGEM team. On his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors and staying active.

Sarah Cumberland

Roles: Laboratory Team Lead

Sarah is a fifth-year student completing a degree in Molecular Biology & Genetics. As a co-lead of one of our lab teams, she teaches new lab members the theory behind molecular biology techniques, teaches these techniques in the lab, and communicates the scientific details of our project to team members. She also helps in preparing and revising our broader research plans, and contributes her artistic experience to the web design team. In her spare time she loves to partake in all manner of creative endeavors including traditional art, digital art, and acting as the dungeon master for a game of dungeons & dragons.

Arthur Karapetovy

Roles: Laboratory Team Member

Arthur joined iGEM in 2019 as a Laboratory Volunteer and transitioned to a full Laboratory Member role in early 2020. He contributed to iGEM Guelph winning Gold at cGEM 2020 by creating and recording several scientific components of the team's presentation on plant genetic engineering, co-authored an iGEM paper on gene therapy in the peer-reviewed student journal SURG (2020-2021), and contributed to laboratory work in the summers of 2020 and 2021, performing various laboratory protocols: cell culture, plating, transformation, Golden Gate Cloning, PCR, gel electrophoresis, autoclaving equipment, etc.

Michael Green

Roles: Laboratory Team Member

Michael is a second year Molecular Biology and Genetics student, who is a a team member on the wet lab team, conducting the research. In his free time, Michael can be found playing chess or performing card magic to roommates and friends.

Taylor Bally

Roles: Laboratory team member

Taylor is a fourth-year Molecular Biology and Genetics major, minoring in Psychology. She will be graduating this April with the class of 2021! In her current position with the Van Raay lab, Taylor is investigating the link between gut metabolites and the expression of neural genes. She hopes to take this knowledge and proceed to a MSc in Molecular Biology in 2022. This is Taylor's second year as a part of the laboratory iGEM team; last year she was able to write a literature review with her fellow iGEM team members on the potential to engineer cyanobacteria to increase the bio-electrical output and efficiency of the bacteria in order to produce sustainable, solar-powered microbial fuel cell. This year she is very excited to work in the lab and contribute to the current project with more hands-on work! Outside of the lab Taylor is an avid reader and big tea enthusiast with a passion of Greek mythology.

Olivia Bogner

Roles: Marketing team member

Olivia is a second year student studying Molecular Biology and Genetics. As a member of the marketing team, she works to effectively communicate information about Guelph's team though a variety of platforms. In her free time she loves to watch movies, bake, exercise and (when possible) travel!

Charlotte Reich

Roles: Mathematical Modelling Team

Charlotte is in her 3rd year of Biomedical Engineering in the Coop stream and this year will be her second year on the iGEM team. Specifically, Charlotte is a member of the Mathematical Modelling team, on which she will be helping to organize data find trends and logically model information, as well as create workshops on modelling concepts. Outside of the club, Charlotte enjoys getting involved in other Engineering clubs, hanging out with friends, and loves a challenging sudoku. :)

Maimoonah Ahmed

Roles: Modelling team member

Maimoonah is a fifth year student studying Mathematical Science with an area of emphasis in Computer Science. This is her first year as a member of the modelling team. Math has always been a fascinating subject to Maimoonah and she is excited to apply her passion to solve real-world problems as an iGEM member. Outside of school and iGEM, Maimoonah loves practicing karate, learning new languages, and making art!

Primary Investigators

Dr. Rebecca Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph, but prior to that she has also worked at McGill University, the University of Toronto, and MIT. Her current research focuses on microbial fungal pathogens and understanding their pathogenesis and biology using CRISPR-based technologies. Dr. Shapiro is one of our team’s faculty supervisors for the 2019 project year.

Dr. Stephen Seah

Dr. Seah is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph and has also studied at the National University of Singapore and the University of Sheffield. His two current major research projects are steroid degradation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other bacteria and microbial enzymes involved in lignin degradation and aromatic environmental pollutants. Dr. Seah is one of our team’s faculty advisors for the 2019 project year.

University of Guelph iGEM 2019