Meet the team
The UMaryland iGEM Team consists of 16 undergraduate students with a variety of backgrounds.
4th year: Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Public Leadership, Statistics, Tech. Entrepreneurship
After leading last year's inaugural iGEM team to a gold award last year, Iowis returned this year to further grow the team. Outside of iGEM, he studies the characteristics of DNA looping protein in Dr. Kahn's lab. He has had the entire periodic table memorized since 8th grade. Outside of lab, he loves reading manga, watching sports (as a Boston sports fan), and following the global politics. He recently visited India last winter and Germany last summer. After graduation, he plans to enter MD/PhD program.
4th year: Molecular Genetics, Arabic Studies
Steph is a senior at the University of Maryland researching mechanosensitive channels in bacteria. When she's not in the lab, you can find her wandering organic farms trying to find her spirit animal or exploring the rocky paths of the local Billy Goat Trail. After earning a Ph.D. in molecular/evolutionary genetics, Steph hopes to head a lab at a research institution.
4th year: Physiology & Neurobiology, Technology Entrepreneurship
Standing at 190 cm, Kevin is the tallest Asian on the team. He joined iGEM because of its fast-paced, multidisciplinary, problem solving nature, as well as its connections to entrepreneurship. He is the founder of SuperScore Inc., and serves on the national board of Kids Are Scientists Too. He hopes to attain a MD/MBA someday. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys boxing, parkour, and reading.
3rd year: Bioengineering
Rob is currently a junior Bioengineering major. He joined iGEM because of its innovative, creative nature and how it addresses so many different aspects of synthetic biology. Outside of the iGEM lab and our human practices efforts, he enjoys reading about virtually anything, learning about vegetarian cooking recipes, being out in nature, exploring his new found hobby of SCUBA diving with the Maryland Terrafins, exploring, learning about issues in Bioethics, and spending time with his wonderful friends.
2nd year: Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Physics, Music
Hailing from Singapore and Australia, Chun Mun's strong interest in genetic engineering prompted him to join iGEM. He hopes to conduct research in this field after attaining an MD/PhD. Outside of school, he is a self proclaimed piano prodigy, having won consecutive local competitions and finalizing in international ones. He can solve a Rubik's cube in a very slow average of 17 seconds and is an avid video gamer. He is actually not a weeaboo as some aspects of his profile may suggest.
4th year: Bioengineering
Aditya is a senior at the University of Maryland who is studying Bioengineering. Aditya brings five years of wet lab research experience including one prior year with Maryland's iGEM team. This year, Aditya's main foci are the design of an inexpensive and effective PCR machine and modeling metabolic pathways of engineered E.coli. In his free time, Aditya enjoys the movies, making food for the team, and visiting cows.
2nd year: Physiology & Neurobiology
Kimia is a sophomore majoring in Physiology & Neurobiology and on the pre-med track. She is considering pursuing obstetrics in the future. She would like to travel and apply her knowledge to developing countries or disaster relief. Beyond that, she has interests in nutrition and business. Kimia is a student photographer for the Honors College and plays on the Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team. Her favorite way to spend her free time is staying active in nature, such as jogging or doing adventure courses.
4th year: Physiology & Neurobiology
Adam is a senior Physiology & Neurobiology major at the University of Maryland. This is his first research experience and exposure to synthetic biology. In the future he hopes to attend medical school and pursue more research opportunities. Outside of the lab, he is a huge news junkie and loves following politics. He also enjoys traveling, weight lifting, and browsing reddit.
2nd year: Physiology & Neurobiology
Juhye is a sophomore Physiology & Neurobiology major in the Integrated Life Sciences Honors Program. Currently, she is a member of an epidemiology lab at UMD focusing on creating a support program for Korean breast cancer patients, in addition to iGEM. She hopes to attend medical school after graduation to become either a dermatologist or an oncologist. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, dancing, and binge watching countless crime and cooking shows. Her favorite movie of all time is Finding Nemo, and her favorite food is macaroni and cheese (or just cheese in general!).
2nd year: Bioengineering
Kara is a sophomore Bioengineering major at the University of Maryland. While at this point in time she isn't sure what exactly she plans to do in the future, she hopes that experiences like iGEM will help her to find her interests and give her more exposure to the many careers related to biology. Outside of school, she enjoys running and keeping up with track & field. She also enjoys doing kung fu (martial arts) and just recently started indoor rock climbing this summer. Basically, she loves doing sports.
2nd year: Physiology & Neurobiology, Mathematics
Dylan is a sophomore Physiology & Neurobiology and Mathematics double major in the Integrated Life Sciences honors program. Dylan was heavily involved in the design of various components of the team’s PCR machine. He's not sure what he wants to do out of college yet, and he hopes his experience with iGEM will help shape this decision. This is his second research experience and first wet-lab experience. Outside iGEM, he is a member of the University of Maryland Gymkana Troupe, a performance gymnastics team. He also collects and solves various twisty puzzles and loves to read Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels.
2nd year: Computer Science, Microbiology
Dania is a sophomore Microbiology and Computer Science major in the Integrated Life Sciences Honors Program. After graduating, she hopes to attend medical school to become a neurologist. Outside of school, Dania enjoys reading, watching TV and sleeping.
2nd year: Physiology & Neurobiology, Public Health
Samiha Ahmed is a sophomore Physiology & Neurobiology and Public Health Sciences double major in the Integrated Life Sciences Honors Program. She hopes to go to medical school one day, and she loves all things arts and crafts related. Outside of the science world, she works on board for United Muslim Relief, a global humanitarian organization that provides aid and relief globally. She also works with kids, having been a Sunday school teaching assistant and a volunteer at a hospital working with newborns. When she isn't working, she likes to paint, draw, read books, read anime, watch shows, cook, bake, run, dance, eat and sleep. Basically, she enjoys a wide variety of activities in life and always loves trying new things.
2rd year: Chemical engineering, Computer Science
Sarah is a sophomore and member of the Gemstone Honors Program. She was predominantly involved in the Wiki design. In addition to iGEM, she works in a Microfluidics Chemistry lab and enjoys finding as much free food as possible. Post graduation, Sarah hopes to pursue a career in industry working as an engineer at a large company. Outside of academics, Sarah like playing the ukulele and exercising.
4th year: Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics
Pavel is a senior and member of the Integrated Life Sciences Honors Program at UMD, originally from the distant land of Russia. Outside of iGEM, he also has another internship at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, where he works with thyroid cells. Outside of academics and scientific work, his hobbies include video games, model kits, fencing, anime, and writing science-fiction stories.
4th year: Bioengineering, Statistics
George is a senior Bioengineering major and Statistics minor at the University of Maryland. He hopes to attend medical school. In his time outside of the classroom, he enjoys running, playing basketball, and taking long naps in the library when he really should be studying. Recently, he has also been occupied with self-learning new computer programming languages. He says to expect big things from UMD iGEM this year – go Terps!
We are very fortunate to have worked with these fabulous advisors, without whom our projects would not be possible.
UC Berkeley, 1990
Georgetown University, 1985
Edward Eisenstein is a Fellow in the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research and an Associate Professor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland. Trained in modern structural enzymology, his current research interests are focused on protein and biosystem engineering for discovery and application in plants and microorganisms.
Emory University, 1997
Dr. Quimby is Associate Director of the Integrated Life Sciences honors program in the Honors College at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at UMD as a full-time instructor, she earned her Master's of Arts in teaching from the University of South Carolina, after which she taught high school science in Atlanta, Georgia for eight years. She then returned to graduate school and received her doctorate in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University.
University of Maryland 2015, Bioengineering
Nathan is a former vice president of the UMaryland iGEM team and had served many roles this past year as the team formed. He graduated with a degree in Bioengineering and currently works in the Life Sciences consulting field while also working as a mentor and advisor to this year's team. His background primarily consists of metabolic and genetic engineering research, and in his spare time he is an avid rock climber and plays ice hockey!
Graduate Student: Bioengineering
Naren is a Graduate Student in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his undergraduate degree in Industrial Biotechnology from St. Joseph’s College of Engineering, Anna University, India. He works in the intersection of synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and biomaterials, involving assembly of enzyme cascades on various interfaces to generate small molecules and engineering microbes to display novel phenotypes in response to small molecules. Apart from science, his pursuits include traveling, running and latin dancing.
University of Maryland 2015, Bioengineering
Tanya is a recently-graduated graduate student in the Bioengineering program. Synthetic biology has been her interest for many years, and being an advisor for the UMD iGEM team had been a great mentoring experience for her. In addition to synthetic biology, her research interests include bioelectronics and the construction of lab-on-a-chip devices. She's very proud of how far the team has come and knows they will do great at the competition.
Graduate Student: Chemical Engineering
Navadeep is a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His primary research interest is in predicting metabolism in cells by interplay of computational modeling and experiments, more specifically in the application and development of computational methods to minimize experimental work in making reliable metabolic flux predictions. Prior to his doctoral research in cellular metabolism, Navadeep has worked in the areas of computational fluid dynamics in microfluidic systems and petroleum refining. Rugby union, cricket, badminton and motorcycles are some of his other obsessions.