Team Members

Students               Instructors               Advisors

Aastha Mathur

Before she decided to come all the way from India to Germany to do her masters in Molecular Biosciences with majors in Systems Biology, Aastha had already a bachelor degree in Bioinformatics from there. Her bachelor thesis was about creating a web tool for calculation of protein interactions which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science. For iGEM, she is a part of the modelling force. Working with systems and synthetic biology has been of prime interest to her and, of course, she thinks with this we can achieve our ultimate goal; Creating tiny pet dinosaurs.

Alejandro Macías Torre

After finishing his bachelor studies in Madrid Autónoma University with a bachelor thesis in directed evolution of dihydroxyacetone kinases, Alejandro spent a year working in the Biocatalysis department of a Japanese company with the program Vulcanus in Japan. Currently he pursues the master program on Molecular Biosciences with major in Systems Biology in Heidelberg University. One of his strongest reasons to join iGEM was the unique opportunity of combining science with creativity, something that does not happen very frequently. He thinks that synthetic biology can help mankind take steps forward at the same time it provides some insight about the basic principles of life.

Aleksandra Anna Kołodziejczyk

Aleksandra (aka Ola) is a student of Molecular Biosciences majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Heidelberg. She completed her bachelor degree in Biotechnology within Job Creation Oriented Biotechnology Program held by a consortium of European universities in Perugia, Italy. Working in labs at K.U.Leuven, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, EMBL Hamburg and ZMBH allowed her to gain wetlab skills. She considers iGEM challenging and great experience.

Dmytro Mayilo

Dima is a Master student in Molecular Biosciences with the major in Molecular and Cellular Biology, here in Heidelberg. The topic of his Bachelor thesis, which he completed in National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv was production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies specific to FGFR-1. Before applying to iGEM he thought it would be mainly focused on lab work, however it turned out to be amazingly interesting adventure, where everyone worked side by side to achieve the goal.

Dominik Niopek

As member of the first iGEM team Heidelberg, he participated in the iGEM competition in 2008 and is in love with the concepts of synthetic biology and iGEM eversince. After completing his bachelor thesis on synthetic chemotaxis fusion receptors, Dominik did an internship in the research group of Dr. Richard Cohen at Boston University in summer 2009. Being back on the iGEM-track now, Dominik is very happy to be a member of the team Heidelberg 2010 again and he is looking forward to work in this years creative and motivated team and to a throughout great and fun iGEM summer.

Elena Cristiano

Elena completed her degree in Biotechnology at the University of Florence, with a thesis in synthesis of new NGF-agonists deriving from D-phenylalanine. She spent 1 year and a half working as research assistant at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in a project which aim was the remediation of lands contaminated with plutonium. Currently she is a student of Molecular Biosciences, major in Systems Biology at the University of Heidelberg. Elena is very enthusiastic about being part of iGEM 2010, because she considers it a very challenging and unique experience.

Friederike Köppe

Friederike started her Psychology studies at the University of Trier within the old system for a Diplom (graduate degree). After an academic exchange at the University of Salamanca in Spain, she is finishing her studies at the University of Heidelberg. For her diplom thesis, she is working on neural correlations of emotional recognition in patients with borderline personality disorder. After completing her degree in Psychology, she will go on with a second study in human medicine. Friederike joined iGEM bcause she loved the idea, working in a field of international students, learning something about other disciplines of science and applying her psychological skills.

Jan-Ulrich Schad

Jan-Ulrich has finished his bachelor thesis about a systems biological approach to TGF-beta induced signaling in the biology program at the University of Heidelberg. He is now in his 3rd semester of the masters program Molceular Biosciences with the major Systems Biology. The fascination about promising possibilities for alternative energy production using synthetic organisms attracted him to the field of synthetic biology. The important interplay with systems biology for the design of more effective organisms is where he wants to participate in the future. He likes iGEM as it is open source, rewards creativity and brings together pretty funny people.

Jude Al Sabah

Jude is a third semester student in the Master’s program of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Heidelberg. After obtaining her Bachelor degree in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, where her main focus was on Human Genetics and Pharmacogenetics, she came to Heidelberg, attracted by the many research facilities and the scientific environment the city has to offer. She thinks that joining iGEM was one of the best decisions she has ever made, as, for her, it’s the right place to gain unique experiences in the field of synthetic biology as well as in working within a team of highly experienced students who come from various majors and countries; she greatly enjoys working in synthetic biology and the company of her lovely lab partners.

Laura-Nadine Schuhmacher

Laura has just completed her Bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of Heidelberg this summer before joining the iGem team. For her bachelor thesis she was working on the evolution of transcription factors in the zebrafish retina. Her laboratory experience has so far been focused on neural differentation, development and marine biology. She will further her studies in the major Developmental Biology within the Master's program Molecular Biosciences in Heidelberg. Laura joined iGem in order to experience a novel field of biology and because she is interested in the scientific as well as the socio-cultural implications of synthetic biology.

Lea Flocke

Lea Flocke is a Biology diploma student at Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen where she will write her diploma thesis post iGEM on cellular motile functions driven by the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF). After her A-Levels, she studied two years in Darmstadt, where she did internships for example on Postranscriptional Gene Regulation and RNA Therapeutics. During her graduate studies, Lea got an insight into functional proteomics, cellbiology, human genetics and during her internship at the Bioquant, Heidelberg into systems biology. There, she got fascinated by iGEM and sees this competition as a great chance to learn how to arrange own scientific projects. She is fascinated by the huge number of possibilities that arise through synthetic biology.

Lorenz Adlung

Systems Biology is the major curriculum and the most intriguing scope of science for Lorenz. Now, he is a student of the international Master's program of Molecular Biosciences at Heidelberg University. His Bachelor Thesis focussed on bacterial chemotaxis networks in silico and in vivo. It is an honor for Lorenz to be a member of the iGEM Team Heidelberg which allows to get insights into the nascent discipline of Synthetic Biology. Engineering biological circuits attracts exceptional interests of theoreticians and experimentalists alike. Lorenz wants to benefit from offered interdisciplinary collaborations to illuminate the design principles of life.

Marcus Podewski

Marcus was smuggled in the Heidelberg iGEM team by a fundamentalist animal protection and anti-genetic engineering movement to destroy the system from within, to burn it to the ground and to leave all participants with angst (Hegels 'Weltgeist' is descending and it will confuse all of them!) ... Besides such community services he's studying History and Philosophy at the Universitiy of Heidelberg within the old system for a Magister (graduate degree) and a teaching degree. In oder to pay it's rental fee Marcus works as a museum education officer in the UNESCO-World Heritage Monastery Lorsch and beforehand in the concentration camp memorial Mittelbau-Dora. He joined iGEM to elevate his philosophical studies to a more practical level and to apply his knowledge in bio- and technology ethics.

Philipp Bayer

Philipp was part of the iGEM Team Heidelberg 2008 and since then knows the obvious reason to join the competition again: iGEM simply is the most beautiful competition existing in biology and its mix of constructive creativity and team work guarantees a uniquely inspiring science experience. Philipp's beyond-iGEM scientific interests are in neuroscience and after finishing his bachelor thesis at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Neuroscience at University of Heidelberg he will start his master studies in Neuroscience. Since Philipp has been mentoring science projects for high school kids for years he also enjoys the interdisciplinary atmosphere of the Human Practice Projects in science communication he’s involved in.

Rebecca Berrens

Rebecca is a first year master student in the Molecular Biotechnology program at the university of Heidelberg. She recently finished her bachelor thesis on drosophila microRNA binding site identification at the european molecular biology laboratory. Joining the iGEM Team Heidelberg 2010, Rebecca seeks for linking her strong background on microRNAs to bioengineering, discovering a completely new area in synthetic biology within a creative research team.

Rudolf Pisa

Rudi is not a spy (or is he?)! He’s just participating in the Cambridge-Heidelberg exchange programme. In Cambridge he was reading Natural Sciences Tripos that allowed him to gain insights into molecular biology as well as chemistry which he specialized in last year. He’s very grateful for the opportunity of being part of the iGEM team Heidelberg this year. It helped him not only to acquire some new lab experience but also gain many other transferable skills. Rudi especially values the possibility of developing new projects from the beginning and working with a very dynamic and enthusiastic group of people. In his opinion synthetic and chemical biology are the most exciting and promising fields for future advancement in health sciences.

Stefan Kleinsorg

Stefan is a Master student in Molecular Biosciences - Major Molecular and Cellular Biology. He has finished his Bachelor in Biology one year ago, working on protein-protein interaction characterization. As synthetic biology is a very promising track in developing new methods and tools, he is very enthusiastic about the options given in the iGEM competition. He enjoys working in a versatile team of students and hopes to be able to contribute his wet lab experience. Besides that, he also looks forward to work on a convincing design for project presentation.

Stefan Neumann

Stefan decided to join the major Systems Biology of the masters program Molceular Biosciences, after finishing his Bachelor thesis about microevolution of chemotaxis pathways in Eschericia coli in the biology program at the University of Heidelberg. One of his strongest reasons to join the iGEM team 2010 was the possibility to take the small step from analysing how things work to designing them himself and use synthetic biology to develop functional biological applications. He now looks forward to work in a young field with many yet unanswered questions and the possibility to work with people from different fields.

Thomas Uhlig

Currently, Thomas pursues the master program Molecular Biosciences with major in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Beforehand, he acquired his bachelor in Molecular Biotechnology at the Technical University of Dresden, already with focus on genetic engineering. In his opinion, the fundamental modification of the living world by synthetic biology is the only chance of mankind in the final war against the machines. Thomas took the opportunity to participate at this early stage by joining Heidelberg's iGEM team. After several weeks of wet lab work, he moved to the graphic design front and aims for an appealing presentation of an ingenious project.

Xiaoting Wu

Xiaoting finished her Bachelor studies in Molecular Cellular Biology at the University of Heidelberg and she will go on with her Master studies in Molecular Biosciences (Major Cancer Biology), which is a cooperation between the University and the German Cancer Research Centre. During her studies Xiaoting got highly interested in gene therapy due to several internships at the German Cancer Research Centre, different departments of the University of Heidelberg and Imperial College London. In her opinion, synthetic biology can revolutionize gene therapy by creating non-existing parts which will reduce side effects and increase the efficiency of gene therapy methods. She is glad to work with a nice group of students & advisors and is looking forward to the jamboree!

Dirk Grimm

Dirk Grimm

Jens Keienburg

Jens is a PhD student in Systems Biology and works on the parameterization of the circadian oscillation network in Neurospora. He has continuously been an iGEM instructor since 2008, when he co-initiated the Heidelberg team. The acquaintance with so many diverse team members, the innovative and popular projects, and the intensive work with the team make iGEM for him every year a new entrepreneurial adventure. To describe iGEM in three words: vision, passion, and team work.

Roland Eils

Prof. Eils is again the head of the iGEM Heidelberg team. He provides the laboratories and all the required equipment. Besides, he will sponsor the traveling and participation costs. Thank you very much! The research interests of Prof. Eils lies in the field of the analysis and mathematical modeling of complex pathways in molecular biology. He can look back at a very successful career, as he is the head of the Department of Theoretical Bioinformatics in the DKFZ and working on computational oncology. Furthermore, he is the director of the Department of Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics of the IPMB at the University of Heidelberg. Alongside Prof. Kräusslich and Prof. Wolfrum, he is one of three founding directors of the BioQuant, as well as the leader of the Systems Biology Center and the representative of the FORSYS-Initiative of Heidelberg’s research network, the ViroQuant. He has won numerous awards; in particular he has been awarded the Biofuture price (approx. 1.2 Million €) by the BMBF for innovations allowing the graphical reconstruction of the eukaryotic mitosis process from 4D microscopy images and in the year 2005 he won the award for new innovative research by Helmholtz Society: “SystemsBiology of Complex Diseases”. Besides, he was one of the main organizers of the International Conference on Systems Biology in Heidelberg 2004 and he organized the German Symposium on Systems Biology 2009. His new engagement in the up-coming field of Synthetic Biology underlines the need for tight interdisciplinary work between experimentalists and theoreticians.

Charley Sehyo Choe

Charley is a postdoc in Prof. Eils' group at the University of Heidelberg and the DKFZ. He read for a Bachelors degree in Physics at Imperial College London and a Masters degree in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, he completed his PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford focusing on modelling complex adaptive systems, trying to analytically understand the emergence of complex behaviour. Since, his research interests have endeavoured to apply the tools and methodologies of Physics to the field of Systems Biology where his focus lies in modelling various intra- and intercellular interactions using agent-based modelling, whilst shedding light on the multi-scalability of models.

Joel Beaudouin

Joel is a postdoc in Prof. Eils' group at the University of Heidelberg and the DKFZ. He completed his PhD in Interface Physics-Biology at the Universty Paris 7. He is mostly interested in the quantitative characterization of processes in living cells and is helping the students of IGEM 2010 with fluorescence measurements using microscopy and flow cytometry.

Clarissa Liesche

Clarissa has a M.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology and as a PhD student in the group of Roland Eils, she studies the function and mechanism of CD95L in the field of apoptosis. By helping the IGEM-students in the wet-lab with the measurements and having insights into the fascinating world of synthetic biology and the IGEM-competition, she is very happy to be part of it.

Kathleen Börner

Kathleen Börner

Paula Gonzalez

Paula is a PhD student in the group of Roland Eils and is currently working on developing optical methods to study intracellular mechanical properties. Originally from Mexico, she came to Heidelberg to pursue her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Molecular Biotecnology, where she learned an interdisciplinary way to analyze biological systems. She's helping the IGEM 2010 students with the measurements at the microscope and the subsequent image analysis to extract quantitative information. Paula sees IGEM as a wonderful opportunity for students to manage and organize their own project, develop problem solving skills and learn more about the interesting field of synthetic biology. She's very happy to be a part of it!

Marina Bechtle

Marina Bechtle