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Meet the Team


  • Tim Johnstone: Tim is a Computational Biology concentrator from Portland, OR. He loves tinkering, whether it be with cells or devices. Tim is our web designer and renaissance man.
  • Lily Chan: Lily is a Biophysics concentrator from New York. She is a whiz at wetlab.
  • Julius Ho: Julius is a Human Biology concentrator from Massachusetts. Outside the lab, he is passionate for international development, experimental cooking, and Brown Taekwondo. Julius is the captain of the E.Cargo project.
  • Jen Kao: Jen is a Neuroscience concentrator raised on the island of Formosa. She is our community and alumni relations specialist.
  • Ethan Richman: Ethan is an independent concentrator in Biological Engineering. He loves Synthetic Biology and wants to be Craig Venter when he grows up. Ethan is the captain of the Light Pattern project.
  • James Weis: James is concentrating in Computational Biology/Computational Genomics and Philosophy. He hails from the Town of Brotherly Love. James is our modeling guru.

Graduate Advisors:

  • Adrian Reich
  • Zak Swartz
  • Diana Donovan

Faculty Advisor:

  • Gary Wessel

Honorary Team Members During the summer, we were joined by two Axolotls. They are studied for their regenrative properties and praised for their constant smile. We built them a habitat in an aquarium tank with rocks and plants and fed them daily. Their presence in our workspaces added a touch of light to our basement laboratory.


..................... Colloquially named "little guy" ......................................... Rasputin (formerly Hannibal because he ate his companions).......


For iGEM 2010, the description of each project must clearly attribute work done by the team and distinguish it from work done by others, including the host labs, advisors, and instructors:

  • For the light circuit, because the registry did not contain the majority of parts crucial to our circuit, we collaborated with teams EPF-Lausanne, PKU, and Davidson-Missouri Western to obtain the relevant parts. From EPF-Lausanne, we received BBa_K191003 and BBa_K191005. We received from PKU Beijing AraC+pBad+T7ptag+Terminator, NahR+pSal+supD+Terminator, the Bistable switch, and other miscellaneous parts. From Davidson-Missouri Western, we received BBa_K091141 and BBa_K091147 to aid in the characterization of the pLac/Mnt hybrid promoter in the distribution. Thanks all for the assistance!
  • For the E.Cargo project, we obtained the original Tat-PTD DNA and the idea to use Tat from fellow student Will Donovan '12 (
  • We would like to thank TU Delft for their WikiHacks section and BCCS Bristol for inspiring our menubar design

All other portions of the project were conducted by the undergraduate members of the Brown iGEM team. As detailed on our Obstacles/Lessons page, our advisors are there to answer questions, register us for the Jamboree, and help us troubleshoot protocols, but we are responsible for all other aspects of iGEM and the laboratory.

  • Gary served as an awesomely optimistic and encouraging mentor and role model
  • Adrian registered us for the jamboree and took care of hotel/budget logistics
  • Adrian and Zak helped us troubleshoot lab protocols and taught us how to use equipment

Contributions to the projects were universal. If something in the lab needed to be done, it was done by whoever was available. Particular roles/contributions of note are:

  • Ethan Richman was the captain of the Light Pattern project and designed the original idea of the circuit and explanatory diagrams
  • Julius Ho captained the Tat project and led our community outreach efforts.
  • James Weis was the king of modeling.
  • Lily Chan designed the logos for our projects and was a crucial resource for all wetlab protocols.
  • Jen Kao maintained our relationship with our alumni network and communications with other groups.
  • Tim Johnstone designed the wiki, created the SynBio survey, and took the photos you see on our site.

We'd like to thank our sponsors:

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