Team:Northern BC/Team


Wet Lab

Shamitha Aravind

Hello, my name is Shamitha and this is my second year being involved with the Northern BC iGEM team. I'm a fourth year biochemistry & molecular biology major, minoring in computing. I'm looking forward to working with fellow undergraduate peers in the lab, and I can't wait to see what we accomplish this year! One of the reasons I joined the team is because iGEM provides a great opportunity for students to get involved with interdisciplinary research that is relevant to real-world problems. When I'm not at (virtual) school, I like to spend my time watching reruns of The Twilight Zone!

Angus Ball

Hi, my name is Angus and this is my first year on the Northern BC iGEM team. I'm in my third year of a Biochemistry and molecular biology major and a botany minor. I can't wait to learn all I can from iGEM, from the project design and planning to the wetlab! When I'm not in school, I'll be at the rock climbing gym trying desperately to get a shoulder injury, or in my garden wishing Prince George wasn't 50% clay!

Derek Johnson

Hello, I am Derek! I am a fourth year Biochemistry major, and this is my first year working with iGEM. This project is going to be diverse; I am excited to gain insight on everything from modeling and lab work to teamwork and business. My passion simply lies with being able to contribute to something meaningful, so I am extremely proud to be a part of this team. One fact about me is that I like to switch up my environment often. I tend to reorganize my room every couple of months, and I am always studying in different spots on campus. Otherwise, I have a slight obsession with chess and a burning passion for electrochemistry!

Human Practices

Shamikh Lakhani

My Name is Shamikh Lakhani and this is my first time on the Northern BC IGEM team. I am in my thrid year of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program at UNBC. I am really excited to join the IGEM team this year because IGEM is a great opportunity to apply knowledge learned in my classes in a practical and team-based approach, and it also provides the opportunity to really be able to contribute to the world around me. I am really interested to see how our project turns out this year in these very unusual times!

Shaheer Lakhani

Hey, I’m Shaheer and this is my first time on the Northern BC iGEM team. I’m currently in my third year of an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNBC. I can’t wait to learn many skills from this experience, such as project design and execution from the wet lab side of things and also some community outreach and involvement from the human practices side. I look forward to working with other students this year to tackle a real-world issue! When not in school I can be found helping around the community or in the Northern Sports Centre.

Michelle Van Der Merwe

Hi! My name is Michelle van der Merwe and this is my first time on the Northern BC iGEM team. I am heading into my 3rd year of Biomedical studies at UNBC. I am really excited to be part of the Human practices team this year. I would love to learn more about the inner workings of the undergraduate research world and expand my knowledge about synthetic biology. I will enjoy contributing to community engagement and our project this year!

Dry Lab

Emile Caron

Hi, I’m a 4th-year biochemistry and molecular biology student with a minor in computer science! This is my first time on the iGEM team, and I look forward to this adventure. Speaking of which, I love to travel and meet new people. In my spare time, I enjoy discussing some biochemistry with a touch of bullet chess.

Sahib Singh

Hi, I am a front-end web developer, mobile developer, and desktop developer with basic comprehension of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript. A bit about myself, I like to travel and explore the world, study Criminology and Physics, and enjoy a nice chat. Moreover, I am a sports enthusiast, I enjoy playing football and cricket.

Pratham Lalwani

Hello, I'm a second-year joint computer science and math major. This is my first time on the iGEM team; I joined the iGEM team for the opportunity to partake in collaborative research and gain experience.


Dr. Stephen Rader

Stephen is a professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at UNBC. His research focuses on the dynamic mechanism by which the non-protein-coding portion of pre-messenger RNA is precisely removed to generate messenger RNA in a process known as pre-mRNA splicing. He is investigating pre-mRNA splicing by a number of approaches, including x-ray crystallography, fluorescence energy transfer, biochemical purification and characterization of splicing complexes, and yeast genetics. Stephen has been involved with iGEM since its inception at UNBC in 2016.

Dr. Brent Murray

Dr. Murray conducts studies that examine the genetic information found in wild species to inform our understanding on the ecology and evolution of animals. This includes research on biodiversity (DNA barcoding and environmental DNA), molecular ecology (conservation genetics), molecular evolution (immunogenetics), and population genetics/genomics of wildlife species.


Katelynn Rozmarniewich

Hey! My name is Katelynn Rozmarniewich and I graduated from UNBC with my B.Sc Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2018. I spent the last few years working as a supervisor in the Forestry Industry and traveling Australia and South East Asia. I spent my time in Asia becoming a PADI certified Divemaster and exploring new passions of mine. Due to COVID-19, I returned back to Prince George and decided to dedicate my time to iGEM as the teams Research Advisor. I will be completing my M.Sc sciences with a specialty in Biochemistry at the university of Western Australia in hopes to make this my new home! I am very dedicated to research and finding novel solutions to real world problems. I can’t wait to see what this team has in store for the 2021 year!

Victor Liu

Hello, My name is Victor Liu and I have received my M.Sc. and B.Sc. (Honours) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNBC. Previously, I worked on discovering new synthetic compounds with novel anti-cancer properties using a combination of cell culturing, high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and western blotting techniques. With the knowledge gained during my studies, I now work as a research assistant under Dr. Kendra Furber. We are looking at the mechanisms underlying the myelination of neurons by oligodendrocytes, a process which allows for efficient cell signaling in the brain. My goal as an advisor for Northern BC IGEM is to mentor new biochemistry students who are interested in research and share my practical knowledge and experience for the wet lab. I look forward to seeing the growth in the team and the interesting science gained in this adventure. When I am not in the lab, you can find me enjoying the wonders of nature through hiking and rock climbing.

Brendan Reiter

Greetings! My name is Brendan, and I am a third year medical student at UBC Vancouver with an honours degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Prior to medicine, I was fortunate enough to be part of the inaugural UNBC iGEM team in 2016, and co-lead for the 2017 team; the bronze medal the team earned in 2017 is still one of my proudest moments. I'm excited to bring my previous iGEM experience and medical perspective to the team this year as an advisor and consultant to help bring UNBC iGEM to new heights! Outside of studying and extracurriculars, I can be found trying new ways of brewing specialty coffee, lifting weights, or experimenting in the kitchen.

Galen Seilis

Galen Seilis is an MSc student in Computer Science at UNBC. He received his technical diploma in BioScience Technology from the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, and his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UNBC. Galen has supported researchers in Ecotoxicology, Metagenomics, and Transcriptomics. Currently Galen is developing statistical methods and scientific software to analyze complex systems.

Matilda McGirr

Hi everyone, my name is Matilda McGirr. I recently graduated with a B.Sc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Philosophy. I am passionate about research and have been studying algae genetics for the past three years. I am looking forward to being an advisor for the wet lab team, and seeing how this project comes to fruition! Also, Check out my biochem-themed YouTube channel!