Our Team

Cathy Su


Cathy Su is a third year Biological Physics specialist. She has worked with iGEM since 2013, when the team received its first Gold medal at the Jamboree for their project "A Systems Biology Approach to Biofilm Engineering". As President for 2015 Cathy has helped organize the Bio-hackathon and Design Competition resulting in a record high level of student engagement in the summer research team. For her the best part of being involved with iGEM is the chance to work together with driven peers.

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Julian Mazzitelli

Bioinformatics Team Lead

Julian is a 3rd year bioinformatics student, and a dry lab team lead for the summer 2015 iGEM U of T team. Julian has always been interested in the success and proper functioning of the iGEM club and team. His interests in web development and computational biology have lead to a strong commitment for this summer's dry lab project, as well as a drive to teach others along the way.

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Anthony Zhao

Bioinformatics Team Lead

Anthony has just finished the 3rd year of his undergraduate degree, majoring in Immunology and Neuroscience. He is involved with the research community at Toronto and wishes to pursue a career in medicine. Anthony has a myriad of interests. He actively keeps up with novel technologies, cutting-edge research, and current events in politics and the economy. As a leader, Anthony strives to motivate, teach and guide the team to success.

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Albert Calzaretto

Bioinformatics Team

Albert is a third year Computer Science student minoring in mathematics, with a strong interest in algorithm designs and complexities. Joining iGEM was a turning point for his interests moving towards applying Mathematics and Computer Science to new areas of interdisciplinary research. His major role in the project is the software development, and bioinformatics within the dry lab team.

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Ghazal Haddad

Bioinformatics Team

Ghazal is a second year student studying Molecular Genetics and Immunology at the University of Toronto. She is thrilled to have had to opportunity to be part of the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics team at iGEM Toronto and to have had the chance to work alongside and learn from the aspiring scientists and brilliant computer programmers of the team. Other than anything science-related, she enjoys dancing, reading, being involved with theater, and learning foreign languages.

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Sean Ihn

Bioinformatics Team

Sean is a 2nd year student studying Neuroscience and Molecular Genetics. Through spending an amazing summer working as a part of the Bioinformatics team in iGEM U of T, he was able to redefine his passion for scientific research and computational biology. He is very excited to see and contribute to what iGEM U of T can create in the years to come!

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Mark Wang

Bioinformatics Team

Mark is a second year student studying Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He is, as he put it, fortunate enough to meet and work alongside other dry lab team members, who are passionate about computational biology and motivated to finish the project. He is amazed at how computer can be used to model and analyze biological data. He is also equally passionate about photography in his free time.

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Eric Jadidzadeh

Bioinformatics Team

Eric is a bioinformatics specialist student at UofT, and a dry lab team member for iGEM. He considers his time spent working on the project to be an invaluable learning experience, and has come to appreciate being a part of a team as large and as dynamic as this one. Eric hopes to continue working within the field of bioinformatics and to improve.

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Seray Çiçek

Wet Lab Team Lead

Seray is a third year Engineering Science- Biomedical Systems Option student. As a wet lab team lead of Toronto iGEM 2015, she played a major role in the project design by bringing in an engineering perspective. Her goal for the summer is to help her team have the best research experience. She is interested in turning synthetic biology research into feasible applications.

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Umar Owadally

Wet Lab Team Lead

Umar is a 3rd year specialist in pharmacology and biomedical toxicology. As a wet lab team lead, Umar has used his managerial experience to coordinate the training and experimental design of the 2015 iGEM wet lab project. The unique creativity and knowledge that stems from the diverse backgrounds of iGEM members and graduate advisors as one of his primary motivations for his involvement with U of T iGEM.

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Katariina Jaenes

Wet Lab Team Lead

Katariina is a third year student studying Immunology and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at the University of Toronto. As one of the wet lab team leads for the 2015 iGEM project, she was excited to have been able to engage with emerging topics in synthetic biology, and to have worked with a passionate team of budding researchers. As a leader, she strives to maintain an open and curious mind and to inspire others to do the same.

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Sarah Bi

Wet Lab Team Lead

Sarah is thrilled to be part of the University of Toronto’s iGEM 2015 Summer Team as a Wet Lab Team Lead. She has just completed her fourth year of undergraduate studies in immunology, and hopes to pursue research as a career down the line. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the city, attending live music shows, and befriending cats.

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Alexander Sullivan

Wet Lab Experienced Member

Alexander is a third year student majoring in Cells & Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Enjoying his experience in the lab only made his passion for becoming a researcher grew stronger. He is excited for the future of synthetic and molecular biology and hopes to learn more in the future and apply it further. He has contributed to both the wet lab with lab experiments and procedures and dry lab by data collection.

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Quynh Cao

Wet Lab Experienced Member

Quynh is a third year student majoring in Biochemistry and Health & Disease. As a member of the wet lab team, she thoroughly enjoys working together with her team to complete the project. She hopes to learn more about synthetic biology and the microbiome inside and outside of the lab, as she participates in University of Toronto's iGEM 2015 summer team.

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Shivali Barot

Policy and Practices Team Lead

Shivali completed her first year at the University of Toronto majoring in Molecular Biology, Immunology and Disease & Psychology and aspires towards Medical School. Research is one of her passions and working with people in outreach combines both her interests and gives her an opportunity to do what she loves.

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Pavel Schmatnik

Policy and Practices Team Lead

Pavel is a fifth year University of Toronto student in the social sciences. He joined iGEM Toronto to expand his knowledge of biology and to take part in the policy and practices part of the project. He is especially interested in the social aspects of the iGEM projects and explores various areas of bioethics.

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Joanna Dowdell

Frontline Community Research, Co-Treasurer

Joanna is entering her 4th year of study as a Biology specialist, major in Environmental Health and minor in Immunology. Her years of study have included experience in research teams in a variety of areas, and she has been fortunate to have articles published relating to environmental health. Joanna has served on two non-profit exexcutives in relation to Environmental Health, and is excited to work in promoting indigenous solidarity and frontline community awareness through iGEM.

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Dawood Cheema

Bioreactor Prototype Design

Dawood is an undergraduate researcher and specialist in mathematics and physics in his 3rd year of study. His interest in physics and design has allowed him to create a novel membrane bioreactor for iGEM Toronto 2015. Apart from academics, he loves playing sports, designing engineering projects, and exploring innovative research.

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Christine Byrd

Wet Lab, Policy and Practices Team

Christine has entered her second year in Human Biology and Cell and Molecular Biology majors as well as a minor in Immunology. Creative writing is one of her passions and has won her awards in the past, but in her senior year Christine found a passion for research and biology. The University Health Network and Toronto District School Board Co-op Education Partnership awarded the Community of Learners Award for her charismatic and keen attitude to gain the most out of her Co-op position at Toronto General Hospital in 2014. Christine has since gained confidence in her lab skills as well as teambuilding efforts through iGEM.

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Matthew D’iorio

Lab Manager

Matt is going into his final year of study at the University of Toronto, Mississauga pursuing a Specialist in Biology, along with a minor in Philosophy. As Lab Manager, he is responsible for overseeing general members in the lab and supporting the rest of the executive team. He also helped lead and organize the team’s experimental protocol group for which he delegated tasks to other members.

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Timothy Lee

Lab Manager, Co-Treasurer

Tim is entering his 3rd year of a double major in Molecular Biology, Disease and Immunology and in Political Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough. After spending 2 years in the military, where he was awarded the rank of 3rd Sergeant. As lab manager, Tim's regimentation and self- initiative has been instrumental in maintaining laboratory integrity and regulating safety hazards. His passion is for more scientific representation in the government.

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Aïda Liman Tinguiri

Lab Manager

Aïda is going into her fourth year of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. She was awarded the Fraser Craw- ford Scholarship. She is responsible for reviewing the team's scientific proposal and coordinating member's con- tributions. Likewise, she will function as part of a trio of lab managers to ensure compliance to safety regulation, ad- herence to schedules and progression along the Gantt chart. She is passionate about research in general and particularly excited to be part of a student-led project.

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Faculty Advisors

Professor Boris Steipe, MD PhD — Department of Biochemistry
Professor Krishna Mahadevan, PhD — Biozone Centre for Applied Bioengineering Research
Professor Amy Caudy, PhD — Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research
Professor Elizabeth Edwards, PhD P. Eng — Biozone Centre for Applied Bioengineering Research

Graduate Advisors

Naveen Venayak — Biozone Centre for Applied Bioengineering Research
Kayla Nemr - Biozone Centre for Applied Bioengineering Research Victoria Vu — Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Team List

Joshua Efe - Dry Lab
Sean Ihn - Dry Lab
Joller Wang - Dry Lab
Albert Xie - Dry Lab
Albert Cui - Dry Lab Julian Song - Dry Lab
Justin Song - Dry Lab
Waleed Khan - Wet Lab & Dry Lab
Derrick Chan - Wet Lab
Michael Dao - Wet Lab
Heba Farookhi - Wet Lab & Dry Lab
Gargi Ghosh - Wet Lab & P&P Roy Lee - Wet Lab
Fahmeeda Murtaza - Wet Lab
Nirali Patel - Wet Lab
Drupad Rajyaguru - Wet Lab & P&P
Urvashi Rathod - Wet Lab
Vivian Zhou - Wet Lab
Tina Huang - Wet Lab
Helena Lim - P&P