"We are not a team because we work together; we are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other."
- Vala Afshar
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
NAIT’s technical training and applied education is designed to meet the demands of Alberta's industries — graduates have the knowledge and skills employers want. They leave NAIT confident, prepared and in demand.
Marcelo Marcet, Ph.D.
My journey in science began in the early 90s with a 4-year diploma in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Later, I completed my B.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University College London where I had the opportunity to work with great researchers from the former biotechnology company Glaxo-Wellcome. At the time, the pathways of nitric oxide were being elucidated and I was fortunate to join a group of researchers in that endeavor during a summer research project.
In 2000, I moved to Canada to complete my Ph.D. at the University of Alberta. For the following 6 years I conducted research in inflammatory and allergic disorders like septic shock and asthma. During that time, I also spent a significant amount of time teaching, which later became a major part of my career. Throughout the following 5 years, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry on autoimmune diseases, conducting full time research, and spending a significant amount of extra time teaching university courses. Between 2008 and 2011, the last 4 years of my postdoc, I spent on average 35 hours in the lab a week and 16 hours of contact time a week teaching. In late 2011, I was fortunate to get a position at NAIT to conduct research and provide teaching in Biological Sciences. The job was perfect for me and it has been ever since.
Mattéa Bujold, B.Sc.
Mattéa Bujold was born just outside of Edmonton in St. Albert but did not stay there long. Throughout her childhood, she moved around Canada until settling in Edmonton where she finished her degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Alberta in 2004.
Since then she has been working as a technician and lab manager in educational labs and in research. Her areas of expertise include molecular biology and gene expression. Currently, she is the lab supervisor for the Biological Sciences Technology programs at NAIT.
In her spare time she enjoys running and biking, music, serving her community, travelling, and spending time in the mountains with friends and family.
This is Mattéa’s first year doing iGEM and she is really excited to be a resource for such a diverse and talented team.
Eduardo A. R. Serratos, B.Sc.
Eduardo was born in Mexico and lived there for 24 years. He studied Biotechnological Engineering at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and obtained his degree in May 2014. He moved to Edmonton in September, 2014 to continue his education in Environmental Sciences and will pursue a research career in bio-remediation.
Much to his dismay, Eduardo was knighted as the leader of our team. He will not admit it as he is super modest, but he is THE one to go to if we have any troubles in lab or in life in general. Eduardo has been most involved in research, BioBrick and sequence design and lab work.
He is quite talkative and will make friends of rabid dogs. When he’s at home, he likes gardening and cooking; when he’s outdoors, he likes to bike through Edmonton’s River Valley and stop at nice spots to enjoy the views. Also, he enjoys geocaching with his friends and has fun even when no one can find the cache because he believes a moment spent with friends is an instant of happiness that can be treasured for a lifetime.
Johannes Coomansingh is a second year student in the Nanotechnology Systems program at NAIT. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, he migrated to Canada in 2007 after completing his O-levels at Presentation College San Fernando. After trying his hand at many different ventures he has rediscovered his passion for biology and plans to pursue a degree in biological engineering after completing his diploma at NAIT.
Currently Johannes is responsible for creating our policies and practices, assisting in experiments, fundraising, public relations, bugging Joy while she codes, tweeting the day to day activities, navigating the iGEM website and Parts Registry, confusing Eduardo with hilarious non sequiturs and being positive.
David Barilla was born and raised on an acreage just east of Edmonton, Alberta and is currently studying Nanotechnology Systems at NAIT.
At this time, he works full time in an auto rail compound while also working alongside his extraordinary iGEM teammates. He focuses mainly on work in the lab while dabbling in minor coding aspects of the project. Also putting time for lab SOP's, lab protocols, lab prep and sequence design. He also loves keeping fit and playing the guitar when spare time comes along.
His future plans include finishing his diploma at NAIT and furthering his education in engineering and continuing on in the research field.
Abbie Gottert is from a small acreage just outside the town of Hinton, three hours away from Edmonton. Currently, she is studying Nanotechnology Systems at NAIT.
She has a huge fascination with travelling and discovering new things. Abbie loves animals (mostly owls and sloths), running, Hello Kitty, tattoos, and naps. She is also a proud owner of a beautiful dog named Tori, and an adorable little kitten named Saki. In our team, Abbie has been primarily doing research with a side of basic designing and fundraising. By the end of the summer she’ll being getting her hands dirty doing lab work and she will love it!
Her future plans are to further her education in microbiology and possibly engineering. She also hopes to learn how to fly a helicopter and get her motorcycle license.
Kevin is an Edmonton born and raised cowboy. He is currently studying and entering his second year in Nanotechnology systems at NAIT.
Kevin has a strong technological background so he became an essential part of the team in helping to develop the wiki as well as set up a private secure server that the team could use to store their top secret information. In addition, Kevin also contributed to writing the Policy and Practices for our team. Although he maintains a full-time job on the side, we still see Kevin at the lab as often as possible and he is always ready to help out.
In his personal time, Kevin often enjoys doing nature and wildlife photography. For the past 4 years, he has also released and published calendars of his photography. Finally, on a recent vacation Kevin popped the question to his long time girlfriend… and don’t worry she said yes!
Joy Ramielle L. Santos, B.Sc.
Joy is a second year Mechanical Engineering Technology student at NAIT. Prior to attending NAIT, Joy also studied biological sciences, focusing on Pharmacology and Psychology, and earned her B. Sc. at the University of Alberta in 2014.
A self-professed nerd, Joy loves math, science, computers, baking cakes, pandas and video games. In our team, she has been the primary coder and designer of our Wiki and is also in charge of producing the 3D animations and visualizations of our project in PyMOL and Autodesk Maya. However, occasionally, you might find her in the lab cloning and transforming plasmids like a pro.
After graduating from NAIT, Joy plans to travel the world, finish her degree in Engineering, and perhaps explore the field of Bio-Medical Engineering.