Our Members


Jonas Aretz

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Currently in his 2nd semester of the master's degree 'molecular biotechnology'

The outstanding event in my last years of researching and studying was my bachelor thesis about repeated-batch fermentations with Bacillus strains. Beside I worked as a tutor for lab courses in which the students had to ferment Escherichia coli including some downstream processes. For my studies in molecular biotechnology I had some lab courses in cell culture technology (antibody production with and simulation of cell cultures including a lot of analytics and purification of the produced antibody) and fermentation technology (production of penicillin and GFP), too.

When I'm not in the lab (which is quite seldom during iGEM ;) ) I play soccer, the piano, sometimes badminton or I go to the gym. In addition I do stuff specific to students like hang out with friends, go to parties, drink coffe, eat, sleep or just "waste time" in a different way. In general I'm quite spontaneous and always swift to do things that promise to be fun.

"The age will rise, in which we will understand how a genome effectively works and we are able to use organisms like we want to without imitating in nature available parts. Synthetic Biology is a first step into this direction and I am glad to participate in this revolutionary development (almost) from its beginning."

Frieder Hänisch

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Currently in his 4th semester of the master's degree 'genome-based systems biology'

Starting with a bachelor in "Molecular Biotechnology" I made my bachelor degree in the field of renewable energy. Working with a strain of the hydrogen producing "Chlamydomonas reinhardtii" I studied the physiology of some promising new opportunities for our world's energy problem. To get more insights in the omics-techniques I switched for my master to "Genome Based Systems Biology" and in my master thesis I `m working with an acarbose (diabetes agent) producing Actinoplanes. In a collaboration with "Bayer Healthcare" we are going to reveal the changes in the transcriptome under acarbose producing conditions.

At this time I'm looking for a project for my PhD with challenges in the field of systems or synthetic biology, preferentially with a medical background.

As a retired passionated baskeball player I now turned to mountainbiking. After working time I love to ride my bike with friends trough the local woods and in the wintertime I carry out my Snowboard from the basement and went south for a trip to the Alps. This summer I went to the Alps again and tried some fixed rope route climbing - it was a great pleasure!

"Synthetic biology is the key technique for an increased biosecurity through the design of minimal genomes. Because genetically manipulated organisms can only survive in their specific environment."

Nikolas Kessler

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Currently in his 4th semester of the master's degree 'genome-based systems biology'

In 2005 I began my bachelor in molecular biotechnology and in 2008 I switched to the master studies of genome based systems biology. From the very beginning I had a strong drift to computer science. In my bachelor thesis I did both, wetlab and programming for an online-image based cell classifier. Later I specialised more in biodatamining and at the moment I am preparing a realtime collaboration software in my master thesis. My upcoming PhD project will deal with analysis and dataming in metabolomics and it will somehow combine all preceding topics.

In my leisure time (as far as iGEM allows) I love sailing, soccer, playing the piano or my guitar. Besides that I am a lot into design and computer arts. And for relaxing nothing compares to beating some time with my friends in any random way.

"Biology is keeping an invaluable treasure of functions and systems. Recombination and adaption of these will help to better understand life, and it will open new medical and technological doors."

Nils-Christian Lübke

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Currently in his 4th semester of the master's degree 'genome-based systems biology'.

I started studying at the University of Bielefeld in 2005 on the subject molecular biotechnology. During my BA-thesis I optimized batch and fed-batch E.coli fermentation with the focus on the steadiness of plasmids.

In my master course I switch to "Genome Based Systems Biology" to amplify my knowledge about molecular biology. Currently I am working on my master thesis, which deals with the metabolomic profiling of heart failure patients. I try to identify possible metabolites as candidates for a biomarker. This could be used in clinical routines to discriminate between the stage of "ill" and "healthy" in order to improve medical attendance.

I spend my humble free time with movies, music and relaxing with friends. As a former world class football player (i avoid to use the term "soccer"), I am still connected to the fascination of this sport.

"I define synthetic biology as a positive modification of already existing environmental systems in order to create a broad range of new possibilities for medical, environmental and industrial concerns."

Jonas Marschall

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Currently in his 4th semester of the master's degree 'molecular biotechnology'

The university has become my second home since I started to study molecular biotechnology in 2005. Within my studies in Bielefeld and abroad, I focused on glycobiology, soon. Future plans are to start a PhD in glycobiological research. Beside studying, and this time is limited but accepted, I do endurance sports by riding the mountain bike or running. Reconstructing classical racing-bikes and cooking natural gourmet-menus are my facorite activities inside. The latter can be connected to our capsaicine sensing-system by predicting spiciness in my self-made meals.

By synthetic biology numerous human requirements can be realized in future.

"Pressurizing one's body brings life's beauty to one's mind."

Armin Neshat

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Currently in his 4th semester of the master's degree 'molecular biotechnology'

My curiosity and enthusiasm towards life sciences has been the driving force to start the undergraduate course molecular biotechnology at Bielefeld University in October 2005. After the receipt of the Bachelor's degree I studied molecular biotechnology as part of an ERASMUS program at the Royal Institute of Technology in the beautiful city of Stockholm, the true Venice of the North. Following this I continued my studies at Bielefeld University and will receive my M. Sc. this November. Afterwards I will start a PhD within the CLIB-Graduate Cluster Industrial Biotechnology.

In my far too short free time, I prefer to relax with my friends, watch movies, go clubbing and various different things as long as they don’t remind me of the work waiting for me in the lab. I also love to geek and to look out for new neat gadgets.

"Economically interesting possibilities of synthetic biology are among others the production of new products and the acceleration of product development. Currently products of great economic and social importance are already beeing developed, such as the malaria drug Artemisinin."

Kirsten Tschapalda

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Currently in her 4th semester of the master's degree 'molecular biotechnology'

During my studies I tried to grab a bite of expertise in every branch of biotechnology. Therefore I worked with bacteria, fungi, algae, and mammalian tissue. I produced various proteins or DNA and analyzed it in various ways. And during all this I finally found my passion: Purification. I don't care whether it's DNA or protein. I am pretty much into developing strategies in order to get a product as pure as possible and finally doing all tests necessary to verify that it is. This mania of cleanliness completely falls of me as soon as I leave the lab. I spend most of my leisure time outdoors: Horse riding, dog training, hiking and travelling are my biggest favors.

"I reckon that synthetic biology hides a bunch of unexpected prospects and currently we are only scratching the surface of a very complex and fast developing topic. Who knows what chances will show up in future? It is definitely a very exciting part of research."

Simon Unthan

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Currently in his 2nd semester of the master's degree 'molecular biotechnology'

In the fall of 2009 I obtained the degree Bachelor of Science in the field of Molecular Biotechnology at Bielefeld University. During my arrangement of academic courses I focused particularly in the area of pharmaceutical biotechnology, with emphasis on animal cell cultivation and the purification of biopharmaceuticals. To enrich my theoretical knowledge with practical experience I successfully applied for a bachelor thesis at Boehringer Ingelheim at the division of Purification Development. Moreover, I performed a project work abroad in the laboratory of the Animal Cell Technology Group located at KTH in Stockholm during my term as an exchange student in 2009.

In my spare time I support the German association for students of Biotechnology “btS” at its local group in Bielefeld. After the daily work at the university I like to go to the gym and play football or handball. Recently I am also taking much pleasure in the invention of new board games, although my first developments still need some improvements.

"The adaption and optimization of natural pathways in organisms by means of synthetic biology offers possible solutions to challenges of mankind. To name one, it might afford the establishment of a sustainable and ecological energy supply."

Frederik Walter

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Currently in his 4th semester of the master's degree 'genome-based systems biology'

In 2005 I started my bachelor studies in molecular biotechnology at Bielefeld University. During my studies, I gained more and more interest in structural and functional genome research. Concerning my bachelor thesis it was important to me to work at the interface of genome research and biotechnology. During this time I discovered my passion for genetic and metabolic engineering. By joining the masters programme 'genome based systems biology' I was able to get an overview about the functionality of regulatory networks and metabolic competence in general. At the beginning of this year I completed a student's project at the Institue of Molecular Systems Biology at ETH Zurich. Currently, I am looking forward to finish my master thesis by the end of November.

"As the groundbraking technology of the 21st century, synthetic biology will make a major contribution to the preservation and improvement of our standard of living in a growing and aging society.“

Timo Wolf

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Currently in his 2nd semester of the master's degree 'molecular biotechnology'

After finishing my civil service in 2006 I began studying Molecular Biotechnology at Bielefeld University. In 2009 I completed my bachelor thesis with the focus on optimizing a fed batch fermentation to obtain Streptavidin. Afterwards I continued my studies with the aim to get more advanced knowledge in fermentation technologies, downstream processing, analytics and of curse genetics as well as synthetic biology during our iGEM project. My motivation for iGEM is the independent work in a team with the aim to solve scientific questions and the exchange with other international teams. During my leisure time I like to play soccer, as well as watching it or just hang around with friends.

"Synthetic Biology is an interesting and relatively new field of science, where young scientists have plenty of opportunities to pursue innovative ideas. With interdisciplinary approaches there is huge potential to develop new technologies and solve future problems."

Eva Brombacher

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After dealing with hearts in the course of my Master's thesis I now changed to brains. More details "Concerning the medical sector I am hoping for personalized medication and therapies through synthetic biology. Besides that, the potential of the latter could also serve the environment by designing bacteria eliminating polluting substances."