The Team

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team” - Phil Jackson

Our team consists of eight eager master students with a background in Biomedical Engineering or Medical Engineering. In addition, the team is assisted by three principal investigators, and one instructor in the lab. All of us worked with great enthusiasm, vigor and endless commitment on our project these past months. We can look back at this experience with pride and joy, having built not only an impressive project but also a beautiful friendship.

Luke Rossen

Luke is the Student Leader of our team and is involved in every part of our project. He coordinates and keeps an overview of all the aspects of the project and makes sure the deliverables are ready in time, helping wherever possible, while acting as the spider in the web between internal and external parties. In addition, he is highly involved in working on the model.

Field of study: MSc. Biomedical Engineering - Chemical Biology

To me, iGEM is an opportunity to take the next step in one’s (academic) career. An opportunity that offers much more than just taking on the design challenge, it offers growth in soft skills, networking, interdisciplinary teamwork, innovative thinking and personal growth.

Fleur Kalberg

Fleur is the Human Practices Captain and Collaboration & Partnership Captain. She keeps an overview of all interactions with other iGEM teams, as well as those with experts, stakeholders, and companies. During the last month, Fleur was able to take over the task of internal team management in a portrayal of great flexibility and responsibility due to an unforeseen injury.

Field of study: MSc. Medical Engineering - Chemical Biology

During my bachelor and master's I have gained a lot of knowledge about chemical and synthetic biology. I have become more and more fascinated by all the possibilities synthetic biology offers for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. I am excited to apply this knowledge and expand my soft skills during this iGEM journey.

Naomi Span

Naomi is the Secretary and the Integrated Human Practices Captain of the team. As secretary, she takes care of making the minutes during the team meetings, checking the iGEM email, and keeping an overview of all upcoming events. As Integrated Human Practices Captain, she works with a variety of stakeholders in the field to discuss difficult questions regarding the project for subsequent integration.

Field of study: MSc. Biomedical Engineering - Chemical Biology

After doing my bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering & Chemistry, I switched to the Department of Biomedical Engineering for my master’s. I thought it would be a great experience to join the iGEM team this year. This is because I wanted to gain more experience in the field of synthetic biology as well as work on my soft skills. Also, working in a multidisciplinary team for a long time is an exciting opportunity.

Josephina Smits

Josephina takes care of the Public Relations in the team, and is in charge of the Website & Wiki. With these challenging roles, she is the mind behind all public media relating to the team, and plays a crucial role in the submission of all our work. In addition, she places herself in a flexible position to work dynamically on all parts of the project where necessary.

Field of study: MSc. Biomedical Engineering - Regenerative Medicine and Technology

Being part of the iGEM team is a great way to challenge your own personal and academic development as you get the chance to freely develop and plan our own innovative scientific project. After following the iGEM competition for a few years now, I thought it would be a great experience to participate in the competition this year myself.

Daniek Hoorn

Daniek is our Sponsor Coordinator and Finance Manager, as well as a Lab Captain. As sponsor coordinator, she is in contact with different stakeholders to get funding for our project. As finance manager, she has a keen eye on what the team wants and needs, as well as how to obtain it. Along with the other lab Captains, she is responsible for the planning and execution of the lab work.

Field of study: MSc. Biomedical Engineering - Precision Medicine

During my bachelor’s, the iGEM team already caught my eye, and now I have got the opportunity to join this student team. Next to improving my soft skills, it is also really great and interesting to work together in a multidisciplinary team to solve a problem. From a young age, I was already very interested in seeing and improving the world. Being part of the iGEM team gives me the chance to extend my interests in a practical way. Furthermore, the international competition is an experience on its own, which you will probably never experience again.

Ingrid Kolen

Ingrid is the second of our Lab Captains, and is also responsible for all the project’s designs such as the wiki, clothing, posters and presentations, not to mention our logo. Furthermore, as lab Captain, she manages the lab and protocols while spending many hours developing our proof-of-concept.

Field of study: MSc. Biomedical Engineering - Chemical Biology

The most interesting part of iGEM for me is the possibility to develop new skills, incorporate and broaden my knowledge and learn something completely new. Within iGEM, you get the opportunity to define your own project and try to solve world problems while challenging yourself

Werner Doensen

Werner is the last of the three Lab Captains. He is the team member primarily responsible for designing the system, all experiments, preparing the protocols and supervising the rest of the team inside the lab. Furthermore, he handles all communication related to the lab.

Field of study: MSc. Biomedical Engineering - Chemical Biology

After four years of university, I have gained a lot of knowledge and skills but I know I can develop myself a lot more. iGEM is an opportunity for me to go further than the regular courses which I really wanted to take. Together with a great team of students we can learn what it is like to set up our own project with both theoretical and practical research in a lot of different areas.

Tessa Warmink

Tessa is the Education & Communication Captain and Modelling Captain of the team. She is responsible for the computer model of the protein mechanisms that take place in our biological system. This model is necessary to predict and support our proof-of-concept. Furthermore, as Education and Communication Captain, she is responsible for setting up educational tools and searching for communication opportunities.

Field of study: MSc. Biomedical Engineering - Orthopaedic Biomechanics

Where I spent most of my bachelor learning about chemical biology and regenerative medicine, my studies are currently focused on the field of biomechanics. Joining the iGEM team felt like a great opportunity for me because I would like to immerse myself in as many areas as possible, and beside this I also love a challenge!


Dr. Yan Ni

Dr. Yan Ni is a senior researcher in the Laboratory of Chemical Biology, Department of Biomedical Engineering.

She received her PhD degree in Biochemical Engineering in 2013. Her PhD research was focused on identification of new enzymes and their application for organic synthesis. From 2014-2017, she worked as a postdoc researcher in Delft University of Technology and University of Groningen. In 2017, she joined Prof. Maarten Merkx’s group in TU/e as a postdoc working on bioluminescent protein sensors for diagnostics. Since 2019, she started her current position in the group of Prof. Luc Brunsveld in the field of Chemical Biology.

Principal Investigators

Prof.dr. Maarten Merkx

Prof. dr. Maarten Merkx is an expert on protein sensors and leads the research group Protein Engineering operating at the interface of chemical biology and synthetic biology. Luc Brunsveld

Prof. dr. ir. Luc Brunsveld is a professor at our university. His main fields of research are mainly concerning chemical biology, like Biochemistry or Molecular Cell Biology. Besides lecturing students, he conducts research concerning protein-protein interactions. He also advises us during our iGEM project, which we are more than happy with! Tom de Greef Tom de Greef is an expert at modelling dynamic systems and synthetic circuits.