Georgia Institute of Technology iGEM Team 2010 Project mainbanner menubar Home Project Notebook Modeling Parts Ethics & Safety Team Sponsors Team Contacts Click each name to explore the member's bios!


Dr. Joshua Weitz
Dr. Joshua Weitz is a quantitative biologist interested in the structure and dynamics of complex biological systems.  He received his PhD in Physics from MIT in 2003 and was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University from 2003-2006.  Dr. Weitz joined Georgia Tech in 2007 where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology with courtesy appointments in Physics and Bioengineering.  Dr. Weitz is the recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface and is funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, NSF, and DARPA.  His research group includes ecologists, mathematicians, physicists and bioinformaticians working on four major research themes: (i) viral dynamics at the molecular, population and evolutionary scales; (ii) quantitative systems biology and bioinformatics; (iii) structure and function of vascular networks; (iv) theoretical ecology and epidemiology. The work in the Weitz group is primarily theoretical in nature, and utilizes the tools of nonlinear dynamics, stochastic processes, and large-scale data analysis to interact with experimentalists. Examples of recent and ongoing projects include studies of collective decision making in bacterial viruses, robustness and fragility of gene regulatory networks to copy number variation, unsupervised approaches to binning short environmental sequence fragments, network phenotyping and classification of root system architecture, and a Hierarchical Bayesian analysis of allometric scaling models in biology.
Dr. Eric Gaucher
Dr. Eric Gaucher exploits a multidisciplinary approach towards research to generate an 'evolutionary synthetic biology'. This combination of molecular evolution and biomedicine provides a better understanding of basic molecular processes while simultaneously generating biomolecules useful for industrial and therapeutic purposes. Dr. Gaucher received his Ph.D. in 2001 and then worked for NASA until 2003 studying the Origins and Evolution of Early Life. He was then Researcher/President of a non-profit research organization until 2008 at which time he accepted an Associate Professor position at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Richard In-Ho Joh
Richard is a fifth year graduate student in the School of Physics working on theoretical studies of alternative cell fate determination in Weitz Lab. He received his BS from Seoul National University prior to coming to US. In addition to his theoretical background, he has a great interest in the experimental molecular biology.
Dr. Mark Styczynski
Dr. Mark Styczynski uses experimental and computational techniques to study the connections between the different layers of regulation in cells and the cells' ultimate phenotypic outcomes. Of most interest to his lab are metabolites, the small molecule building blocks necessary for all cellular functions both as source materials and as cues that prompt regulation and other cellular responses. He studies metabolism in a variety of systems ranging from yeast to human cancer cell lines. Dr. Styczynski received his PhD from MIT in 2007, was a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute from 2007 to 2009, and joined the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2009 as an Assistant Professor.

Student Team Members

Mitesh Agrwal
Mitesh is a 2nd year Biomedical Engineer major and is also pursuing a minor in Biology. He is an international student from India and is the youngest member on the iGEM team. He is really excited to contribute in the formation of Georgia Tech's first iGEM team and hopes to be a part of future iGEM teams as well. "iGEM is an excellent opportunity for me to take a peek into the world of research in which I myself plan to be immersed in the future."
Margo Clark
Margo is a graduating senior in the School of Biology. She is currently involved in a research project partnership with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to design novel methods of growing endangered plants in tissue culture in the laboratory. She previously studied polymer and fiber engineering at Georgia Tech. She has a keen interest in the field of synthetic biology and joined the iGEM team to be part of an exciting team on the frontier of biological science.
Margo Clark
Margo is a graduating senior in the School of Biology. She is currently involved in a research project partnership with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to design novel methods of growing endangered plants in tissue culture in the laboratory. She previously studied polymer and fiber engineering at Georgia Tech. She has a keen interest in the field of synthetic biology and joined the iGEM team to be part of an exciting team on the frontier of biological science.
Rob Fee
Rob is a fourth year chemistry student with interests in both biochemistry and founding the next industrial biotech behemoth.
Christina Graves
Christina is a senior in the School of Biology at Georgia Tech. She is a member of the Honors Program at Georgia Tech, and has research experience in prebiotic chemistry. She is currently conducting her senior research with Dr. Eric Gaucher. Her other research interests include the concomitant roles of dietary restriction and viral activity in the etiology of autoimmune disease. In her free time, she plays classical guitar. She is very exited to be a part of Georgia Tech's iGem team, and is grateful to everyone involved!
Atta Hassan
Atta is a fourth year Chemical Engineering major at the Georgia Insitute of Technology. Her previous research experience includes a neurobiology lab focusing on obesity research and is currently working as an engineering co-op for Dow Chemical Company. Having been GA Tech's first year entering the competition, Hassan hopes 2010's team will create a lasting legacy. She also looks forward to seeing the varying interests and excogitations in synthetic biology from universities around the world.
Scott Holmes
Scott Holmes first entered Georgia Tech during high school while participating in a joint-enrollment program. Currently in his 4th year, he is studying Biomedical Engineering. Before joining the first GT iGEM team, Scott worked as a technician in the Kroger lab, in the Biochemistry department of GT, researching proteins that allow algae to form intricate silica cell walls. He is interested in engineering interesting bacterial systems that define the iGEM competition- and bringing the trophy to GT!
Monica Huynh
Monica is a senior completing a dual degree in Biology and Science, Technology, and Culture (STaC). Having completed her thesis for her Research Option distinction in Biology through researching steroidogenesis of mating pheromones in rotifers, she is completing her final classes with an interest in research and pursing the medical profession. Inspired by her experiences in research and design, she is enthusiastic about Tech's first iGEM team and project!
Gita Mahmoudabadi
Gita is a senior Biomedical Engineering student. Gita has completed the Research Option and her most extensive research experience has been at Dr. Milam’s lab, in the field of nucleic acid detection.  She describes her research as “using DNA-covered microparticles to detect the presence of specific DNA and RNA sequences”. The iGEM project has broadened her view of the DNA molecule: "from an in vitro molecular probe, to an in vivo instructional manual, this elegant molecule serves extraordinary functions!"

Gita is a Petit Scholar and a PURA recipient. She is the founding president of the VisAbility Volunteers, an organization that will serve at the Center of the Visually Impaired in Atlanta. Aside from research and volunteering, she enjoys performing middle eastern dances, playing soccer, and ice skating.
Christian Mandrycky
Christian is a second-year student in Biomedical Engineering. His previous research experience involved examining and analyzing DNA Microarray data and his interest in participating in iGEM arose from getting more hands-on lab experience and exploring an amazing field. "Getting involved in a project that tries to accomplish what once seemed fantastically futuristic is an amazing opportunity that I'm excited to be a part of."
Debika Mitra
Debika is a fourth year Biomedical Engineering student. Aside from being a Biomedical Engineering Ambassador and a photographer for The Pioneer, the department's official newsletter, she has been working in the Kemp Lab since summer of 2009. The Kemp lab uses wet lab experimentation as well as computational modeling to detect how extracellular and intracellular oxidation affect cell signaling. She is in charge of an individual project and works directly under the mentor ship of Dr. Melissa Kemp. She has developed a protocol to detect modifications in proteins cause by production of reactive oxygen species in cancer cells. She has also presented her research results at the Georgia Tech Spring Symposium, and received a PURA Award for Spring 2010 for the same. When asked about why she is excited to be part of Georgia Tech's first ever iGEM team, she responds, "Although I enjoy working with proteins in my lab, I have always been fascinated by genetic engineering. iGEM will not only be a tremendous source of learning more about this field, but also an opportunity to hone my research skills, and to decide on my focus area for a PhD!"
Amy Schwartz
Amy is in her third year as a student of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is also participating in Georgia Tech's prestige co-op program, in which students alternate between semesters of work and study for 3-5 work terms. Amy has been working for Roche Carolina Inc., a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company in Florence, South Carolina, since the summer after her first year at Georgia Tech, and is currently in her 3rd work term. She has done research in neurobiology, industrial chemistry, and material science and is excited to be a part of Georgia Tech's first ever iGEM team. "Genetics is something that has always interested me, and I am so thrilled to have such an extraordinary opportunity to not only expand my knowledge on genetic engineering but also help establish an Georgia Tech's iGEM team!"
Shadeah Suleiman
Shadeah has just graduated Highest Honor from Tech this past August with a B.S. in Applied Biology and a certificate in Biopsychology. She has conducted research and interned with two doctors at Emory in the departments of Neurology and Urology as an Undergraduate Research Scholar, President's Undergraduate Research Award Scholar, and Emory Carpenter Fellow. She also enjoys competitive ballroom and Latin dancing, singing, and painting. Currently, she is manning some clinical research projects at Harvard Medical School.
Sid Tantia
Sid is currently a senior in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in his 2nd work term for the medical device company Ethicon. He has done research since his freshman year, working on everything from semi-living microelectrode arrays to animal models for depression. "iGEM not only requires participating undergraduates to engage in cutting-edge research but allows them to make a measurable contribution to the expanding field of synthetic biology. Though I have done research before, being a part of the iGEM team will give me a more interactive research experience. Through iGEM I can participate in the research process from start to finish, from planning and funding to presenting the research in front of professors, students, and industry leaders!"

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