Our Team

Dr Mark Clements – supervisor
Dr Mark Clements is the Director of Learning & Teaching in the Faculty of Science & Technology at the University of Westminster and is responsible for the strategic development of teaching within the Faculty.  Mark is a member of the Department of Life Sciences where pursues his research interests and teaches on a range of Bioscience related courses. Mark graduated with a PhD from the University of Sheffield in 1995.  Since then Mark has completed postdoctoral posts in at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and University College London (UK) in the areas of microbial infection and functional genomics of stem cells.
Dr Clements has continued to work in the field of stem cell biology and microbiology since moving to the University of Westminster.  Mark is currently working on the identification of novel markers for mesenchymal stem cells and the role of cancer stem cells in the development of osteosarcoma. He is also interested in the area of interdisciplinary art/science collaboration and has hosted several ‘artists in residence’ within his laboratory.

Fapetu Segun Ayo – PhD Student, advisor
Fapetu Segun Ayo is a PhD student at the University of Westminster. He is pursuing his research programme in Environmental Biotechnolgy field. He is an advisor to the Westminster iGEM project team 2015. He has greatly supported the team to accomplish the objectives of the project. The project design is diametrically related to one approach of His PhD programme based on using synthetic biology application to design innovative biologics for environmental control.

Thomas Bridge – project leader
BSc Biotechnology with foundation
One of the reasons I joined the iGEM team was to get more experience in the lab and get better at presenting in competitions. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to meet students with the same interests as me, whether they are from my university in different years or studying somewhere completely different.

Zeljka Kalinic – project leader
I am studying BSc Biotechnology, and have completed my second year of study. I took on this project to improve my laboratory and project management skills. The opportunity to work on a student led independent project is invaluable experince for any undergraduate student looking to undertake a career in synthetic biology. I look forward to the competition for the simple reason of meeting other like minded young scientist.

Amy Maclatchy – project leader
Hi. I’m the oldest member of our team. They say with age comes wisdom, not that this team needs it as they are all wise in their own ways. I recently graduated with a BSc Honours in Biochemistry.
iGEM has given me the opportunity to continue my learning and development of synthetic biology. Although it was not my pathway during my studies, it was a subject very briefly touched upon. It is hugely interesting and such a booming area of science, that it is very exciting to be riding that wave into the future. As this is my final opportunity to take part in such a competition, before embarking upon a new career, I felt this was a perfect time to hone in on my lab, as well as, research and presentation skills.

Ishwak Ahmed
I studied BSc Biological Sciences specialising in Forensic Biology. I was told about iGEM last year by a member and thought it was a great opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds of science. Also it would be interesting to see what everyone could contribute to iGEM seeing as most of us have studied or are currently studying different degrees. I joined iGEM for the sole purpose of gaining more laboratory experience and also found Synthetic Biology fascinating.

Paulina Brajer
Hi, This is my first time on the iGEM team. Currently I am going into my third year at Westminster studying molecular biology and genetics.
IGEM has allowed me to develop my confidence from lab work to taking part in outreach projects. It has given me the opportunity to improve and expand on my laboratory skills and communication skills. Throughout this process my knowledge has developed greatly especially in the area of synthetic biology and how many possibilities are out there.

Poppy Brown
Hi! I have just recently graduated in BSc in Biochemistry and I am very excited to be part of the iGEM competition. I thoroughly enjoyed my course and so I was happy to join the team and carry on learning about such interesting new things. I also really love meeting new people and working in the lab so this just seemed ideal.

Alina Chrzastek
Hi everybody, this is my first time on iGEM Team. I am studying microbiology and I just finished my second year.
Being part of the iGEM team gave me opportunity to not only improve my lab skills but also team work and public speaking through various tasks within the whole project. The iGEM meetings began in January and since that my knowledge about synthetic biology grew, I can now easily see connection between my microbiology interests and synthetic biology which both are equally fascinating.


Hira Khan
After participating in iGEM two years ago and thoroughly enjoying it, I knew if the opportunity arised again I would definitely join! I graduated from Biological Sciences and my final year project was heavily based on this year iGEM project. Therefore I believe I had a lot to offer in terms of background knowledge as well as what is required to make this competition a success! What I gain the most from this international competition are the incredible people I meet in this journey and being able to make a difference in the world.

Hibaq Obsiye
Bsc Biological Sciences Honours
After I was first told about the details of iGEM by a former member, last year, I could not wait to gain a hands on experience in this world of programmable biology. Despite the amazing lab experience, iGEM proves to be much much more, allowing me to connect with like-minded students across the globe. It also gives me the opportunity to sharpen vital social skills required for a future career in science.

Nura Sharif
I just graduated from BSc Molecular Biology & Genetics. I joined iGEM knowing that it will be an exciting project to be part of, and a chance to gain additional laboratory skills and improve my teamwork skills. Also, having no background knowledge about synthetic biology previously I believe my understanding on that area has grown.

Shuhanaz Shuma
I graduated from BSc Biological science (Molecular Biology and Genetics). I knew about iGEM 2013 but was unable to take part. This year, I thought it would be an interesting experience and exciting opportunity to gain extra skills in the laboratory and improve existing ones. I wanted to put the content learnt from modules, i.e. synthetic biology from Biochemical Evolution and Molecular Engineering modules into real life practice. I also wanted to take part in this international competition to interact with other students and engage with the public.

Amritpal Singh
Hey guys! This is also my first iGEM experience. I am studying BSc biochemistry and have recently just finished my second year. The iGEM experience has really helped me understand that Lab work isn't as easy as it seems. Nonetheless it is the best experience I have had in my area to date. Studying about synthetic biology I have seen that all the theory learned in lectures can be applied and the ability to engineer bacteria through the manipulation of DNA is most fascinating. I cannot wait to increase my knowledge through this experience and apply it to my undergraduate course.