Our team is composed of students from the fields of Science and Engineering working at the intersection of these fields to develop a new type of company based on Synthetic Biology. Since our project involves the development of a bacterial strain, a chemical process and a business plan, the team values the assets of all it's members and their ability to bring to the table different experience and knowledge. We can also count on our useful advisers to assess our progress on the process design and business plan, to ensure that we are meeting our requirements.
I am a second year Chemical Engineering student from team Upcycled Aromatics, University of Alberta. I have found a keen interest in all things related to biology since high school, and I spent my first year of university in biological science degree, where I obtain a general theory understanding of biology. As I am a hands-on type of person, I transferred into engineering after the first year. Through the range of the courses I have taken, not only have I acquired a plethora of engineering knowledge, but have also expanded into the biology and business field. I am so proud to be part of the 2012 International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Entrepreneurial Competition where there is a happy medium of intertwining knowledge of biology, engineering, and business. </p> </div> </html>
Skills: Chemical engineering, marketing strategies analysis, logo design
Crystal Theodore is a fourth year Chemical Engineering student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Originally from Lethbridge, she spent her first two years of university studying Biochemistry there and playing for the University of Lethbridge Women’s Soccer Team. After realizing her true passion for the application of the sciences, she transferred into engineering at the University of Alberta. She hopes to find a career related to biomedical engineering in the future so iGEM is a great learning experience. Outside of school and iGEM, Crystal likes to stay active by playing competitive soccer, basketball and tennis. Upon finishing her undergraduate degree, she plans to spend next summer travelling to South America and Europe.
Skills: Process design, optimization and economics, project implementation experience, simulation software skills, communications
Dave is a Biochemistry major at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, he moved to Edmonton to run on the UofA’s Golden Bears Cross Country and Track Team. He's an athlete with the Running Room and runs 10km and half marathons under the Running Room Athletic Club. Outside of school and training Dave owns and operates a small business shooting aerial photography with a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) drone quadcopter. He studied to obtain a UAV operator’s licence from Industry Canada in the winter of 2012. Enjoys running, science, business and the Maritimes.
Skills: Biochemistry, industrial microbiology, business negotiation, electronics and technology, communication
Jeremy will complete a BSc Molecular Genetics in Spring 2013 after which he will enter graduate studies. His research interests include plant genetics, molecular biology techniques and synthetic biology. He envisions a future where synthetic biology will be called upon to conduct more complex tasks – tasks impossible for individual microbial cells. He hopes to establish a career in the nascent field of multicellular synthetic biology by engineering novel components in plants and fungi. Outside the lab, Jeremy enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, camping and “citizen science”. He dreams of one day retiring to New Zealand with a flock of Barred Rock hens.
Skills: Gene cloning, metabolic engineering
I’ll be going into my third year of chemical engineering starting this fall, and since I’m in the biomedical stream of my program, iGEM sounded like a great opportunity for me to explore something on the cutting edge of scientific innovation, while at the same time being relevant to my field of study. I feel that the entrepreneurial track, despite lacking a wet lab component, provides an interesting, more practical look at questions of synthetic biology’s applications in industry. Hopefully, our project can shed some light on the economic feasibility of a business based on something much like the projects being done in the Main Track. Although this is my first year doing iGEM, I’m having a great time so far and I’ve definitely learned a lot.
Skills: Chemical engineering expertise, financial expertise, web design experience
I am currently in my final year of obtaining a biological sciences degree. I have been interested in the field of biofuel production for the last 4 years and have been taking every chance available to learn more about it. This path led me to learn about the current cutting edge ideas in biofuels. The term 4th generation biofuels refers primarily to liquid fuels produced by microorganisms that have been extensively modified genetically with the tools provided by synthetic biology. It is the potential of synthetic biology in this context that provoked my interest in its other applications. iGem has allowed me to explore many interesting aspects of synthetic biology including its potentials and the atmosphere in which it is developing in our modern society. Apart from iGem I am currently working in the biorefining conversions and fermentation laboratory (BCFL) at the University of Alberta. There I am working with a project involving algae derived biofuels. I enjoy comedy and think it’s especially funny when people describe themselves in the third person.
Skills: Industrial fermentation, scale up of biological systems, optimization of microbial growth, industrial applications of synthetic biology
Yeon Kyoung Suh is a second year student majoring in Biological Sciences in University of Alberta, Edmonton. Originally from South Korea she immigrated to Canada when she was 16. Having discovered her passion in biology in high school, she has been taking biology courses relevant to genetics and biochemistry in University. Her future academic plan is to transfer into molecular genetics, and study medical application of stem cells in graduate school. iGEM has been an excellent opportunity for her to engage in business and industrial aspect of synthetic biology outside of class, and has provided her with new insights. One thing on her to-do list after graduation is to spend a night alone in a pyramid in Egypt.
Skills: Molecular genetics, gene cloning
Shuwei Song is a second year Chemical Engineering student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Originally from Shanghai, China, he hopes to pursue a career in mathematical finance; so he devoted himself into this program and works mainly on the stuff relating to business and sponsorship, which gives him an opportunity to look over how a company runs. Last but not least, he is quite pleased to work with a good team that gathers people from different academic backgrounds.
Skills: Data and risk analysis, computer skills
Valerie Ho started off university as a biology student, but later on, she decided to switch into engineering and now she’s in her 3rd year of Chemical Engineering. She decided to join iGEM competition as she was curious on what synthetic biology was and how entrepreneurial can be linked with synthetic biology. Even though she does not have much background with synthetic biology, iGEM allowed her to increase her knowledge in biology once again. In the future, she hopes to pursue her career in the forensic field or in the manufacturing industries. Also, she hopes to integrate the things that she learnt in iGEM to her future jobs. Valerie enjoys travelling, watching dramas, listening to music, hiking, and swimming. One day, she hopes to go bungee jumping in the jungle!
Skills: Chemical engineering concepts, risk management, interpersonal skills
Dr. Dominic Sauvageau
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Dominic Sauvageau (BEng 2002, MEng 2004, PhD 2010, McGill University) joined the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta as an Assistant Professor in January 2011. His research involves the development of 1) novel bacteriophage-based technologies and 2) bioprocessing strategies for production in microbial systems. Of particular interest is the study and control of host-bacteriophage interactions. He also investigates the use of large-scale synchronized microbial populations for the production of bio-molecules and the control of metabolic activity. This mode of operation has led to significant Increases in specific productivity in various microbial expression systems. He is the author of numerous scientific articles on bacteriophages and bacterial production and has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences. Dominic was also involved in the start up company Laborium Biopharma, where he was in charge of the upstream process (production) department. He likes music, literature, soccer, volleyball, good food, going to the mountains, sitting on his porch on a hot summer day and long walks on the beach (although that doesn't happen here in Edmonton). He also can't be around cats. Nothing against them, he's allergic.
Dr. Chris Dambrowitz
Director - Bioindustrial Strategic Initiatives, Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN)
Chris Dambrowitz works with BCN principals and collaborators to enhance the Networks’s research and industrial connectivity through innovative alliances among research institutions, industrial partners and regional stakeholders. Chris also acts as a liaison between BCN and the nanoAccelerator partnership (including NINT and the Faculties of Engineering, Science, ALES and Medicine) in developing innovative initiatives focused on novel bioproducts and bioprocesses. He currently coordinates an initiative to establish an industry-facing biofabrication center, utilizing synthetic biology and bioanalytical platforms to address economically-important opportunities within Alberta's resources-based industrial sectors. Joining BCN from his recent position as Director - Planning & Development with the Alberta Research & Innovation Authority (ARIA) Secretariat, Chris also served as Director of Alberta Ingenuity's Accelerators Program and was the founding Program Director of the Alberta Prion Research Institute. This complements his project management and technology development experience in the bioanalytical and biotechnology industries, including positions with MDS Sciex (now AB Sciex), Blue Heron Biotechnology (Bothell WA), Visible Genetics (Toronto ON) and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (Chalk River ON). Chris received his PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Alberta, performing his doctoral research in the bioanalytical instrumentation laboratory of Dr. Norm Dovichi.
PhD Candidate, Bioresource Technology
Erin Dul was a member of University of Alberta’s 2007 iGEM team, the Butanerds, whose project placed 1st in the Energy track. iGEM sparked a fascination in the interplay of industrial microbiology, synthetic biology, and biorefining, and she is now pursuing a PhD in Bioresource Engineering at the University of Alberta. Erin is excited to mentor the students in the entrepreneurial division this year. Erin is the recipient of numerous scholarships, including an NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship and an Alberta Ingenuity Graduate Scholarship. In her spare time, Erin is a competitive swimmer, cyclist, writer, maker, and an outdoors enthusiast.
Skills: Biological engineering, fermentation, chemical analysis, communications