Our goofy troupe of undergrads and our wise and fearless advisors.

Undergraduate Team Members

  • David Brenes
  • Without him, it would just be GEM. Apple, if you call us on trademark infringement, contact him.

  • Kimberline Chew
  • Anthony (TJ) Ciesla
  • Fearless leader. Makes 90% of team mistakes.

  • Adarsh Ettyreddy
  • Matt Farnitano
  • Jeremy Gonzales
  • Now, this is a story all about how

    My life got flipped-turned upside down

    And I'd like to take a minute

    Just sit right there

    I'll tell you how I became the prince of a club called iGEM.

    In west Philadelphia born and raised

    On the playground was where I spent most of my days

    Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool

    And all shootin some b-ball outside of the school

    When a couple of guys who were up to no good

    Started making trouble in my neighborhood

    I got in one little fight and my mom got scared

    She said 'You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in iGEM’

    Jeremy is a junior studying biomedical engineering and neuroscience.

  • Alvin Han
  • Alvin enjoys sulking in the mornings and shaking his fist at the concept of 8:30 AM classes. His happy place is the lab, and he finds a strange zen in doing MiniPreps and filling 96-well plates. His greatest pleasure is pipetting off all the supernatant without disturbing the pellet whatsoever. A sophomore intending to pursue biology and computer science, he prefers to spend his free time searching for wildlife on hikes or in a good documentary. He decided to join iGEM to broaden his knowledge of current synthetic biology techniques and DNA manipulation, but mostly because he enjoys toying with entire colonies of creatures which he could wipe out with his thumb.

  • Ben Hoover
  • Ben is the team middle schooler. Often mistaken for a 12 year old, he is fascinated by every object in biology lab that moves or blinks or makes funny noises. Sometimes he even tries to replicate said noises or harmonize with the spinning of the centrifuge. Some say he is a junior in college. He doesn’t believe them. Some say he’s on track for a Biomedical Engineering degree. But tracks can split and change directions and merge. If you’re really unlucky you might hit a break in the tracks and find yourself derailed. Meh. He is more likely to be found lying on the tracks and looking at the stars.

  • Sarah Jacobs
  • Sarah is a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering from Palo Alto, California. When she isn’t in the lab, she enjoys cooking, listening to Taylor Switft, and working as an EMT for Duke EMS.

  • Joe Kreitz
  • An exceedingly good kid.

  • Parth Patel
  • Seasoned veteran. Wild card. High school “outreach.”

  • Adam Yaseen
  • Does he even go here?


Nick Buchler

Nick really likes oscillators, such as the cell cycle, metabolic rhythms, circadian clocks, and synthetic oscillators. Folks in his lab use a combination of synthetic biology, time lapse microscopy, microfluidics, comparative genomics, mathematical modelling, and molecular genetics to understand biological oscillation. When he's not in lab, he's at home on five acres in the Duke forest with his family. The summer fireflies are very satisfying to watch.

Charles Gersbach

Dr. Charles A. Gersbach is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Center for Genomic and Computational Biology at Duke University. He has research interests in gene therapy, regenerative medicine, biomolecular and cellular engineering, synthetic biology, and genomics. Dr. Gersbach received his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine focusing on the genetic reprogramming of adult stem cells for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. Dr. Gersbach completed his postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in molecular biology and biochemistry. Dr. Gersbach's laboratory at Duke University is focused on applying molecular and cellular engineering to applications in gene therapy, regenerative medicine, and basic science. Examples of technologies used in his research include genome engineering and protein engineering.

Mike Lynch

Dr. Mike Lynch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Chemistry, and is a Faculty Fellow in The Energy Initiative. He has research interests in genetically engineering microbes to shut off their growth circuits and turn on new pathways to produce different compounds. By focusing their energy, he seeks to improve production of biofuels, pharmacological molecules, and industrial chemicals.

Lingchong You

Dr. You is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and a Paul Ruffin Scarborough Associate Professor of Engineering. Dr. You's research interest focus on computational systems biology & synthetic biology, including mathematical modeling of cellular networks; mechanisms of information processing by gene networks; design, modeling and construction of robust gene networks for applications in engineering and medicine.