Meet Our Team!At Newcastle iGEM we are proud to have interesting individuals from varied backgrounds on our team. Click on our mugshots to find out more about us...
Background:A 3rd year MBiol Biology student. I joined iGEM to learn more about synthetic biology and the work that is being doing in this field, as well as to gain experience in a laboratory. Outside of my degree I am a mentor to younger students, am a member of the University LGBT and Raising and Giving societies, and in my spare time I enjoy reading and drawing both by pencil and digitally.
Interesting fact: I love yoga.
Background: Studied MSc Synthetic Biology at Newcastle. This year is my second time competing in iGEM, having previously been a member of the 2013 Manchester iGEM team. Now moved to University of Edinburgh for a Bioengineering PhD. Interests include 80s horror films, animation and beer.
Interesting Fact: I lived in West Africa during the Ebola Outbreak.
Background: Completed undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, and a Masters degree in Synthetic Biology. I have a wide interest in synthetic biology, and will be undertaking a PhD in synthetic microbial communities after iGEM.
Interesting Fact: Last time I did iGEM I fell in love.
Background: Graduate in MSc Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology. I joined the team as part of my thesis and to gain an understanding of the world of Synthetic Biology. Outside of university I am an avid skier and was on the SnowSports society committee during my undergrad degree.
Interesting fact: I can also (used to be able to) speak French.
Background: I graduated from Computer Science in 2016 and just finished my MSc in Synthetic Biology this August. I joined iGEM to have the chance to participate in a global university level competition, on a team attempting tasks spanning multiple difficult topics which go beyond the more traditional areas of synthetic biology projects. Having to think about legislative processes and how to communicate with the public and present our ideas has really fleshed this project out and made it a lot more substantial in my eyes. In my spare time I like to play the piano.
Interesting Fact: I love Declan Kohl.
Background: A 3rd Year BSc Cellular and Molecular Biology student. I joined iGEM to have the chance to conduct my own research project and to gain insight into the workings of a Synthetic Biology Lab. Outside of my degree, I play for Newcastle University Gaelic Football Men's 1sts and sit on the club committee. I am also a keen runner, recently completing the Great North Run and Great Scottish Run.
Interesting Fact: I love Spanish music.
Background: A 3rd Year Chemical Engineering MEng student. I joined iGEM to broaden my understanding in an alternative field in a way that is challenging and aims to tackle important issues. Other than living in the Library in my free time I volunteer, teaching children coding and helping them with their extra-curricular activities, and have two other part time jobs with Newcastle Uni advertising STEM within schools and Student Ambassador.
Interesting Fact: I have a rabbit which is trained like a dog, he also likes to eat through wires and shock himself.
Lais Cristina Takiguchi
Background: Completed undergraduate degree in Forensic Science and Criminology at Northumbria University, and a Masters degree in Synthetic Biology at Newcastle University. I am currently at Newcastle University doing a studentship with NUFEB to carry on the project I started as part of my Masters course. My hobbies include dancing, windsurfing, painting and baking.
Interesting Fact: Born and raised in Brazil, I’m ¾ Brazilian and ¼ Japanese.
Lais Cristina Takiguchi
Background: Studied Bsc and Msc Biotechnology in Bologna, Italy. I used to work on metabolic engeneered Cyanobacteria at University of Amsterdam and now I'm a PhD student in Newcastle University. I work on synthetic bacterial communities, in particular my focus is on plant microbiome. I like cooking and eating, fermenting beers, making preserves, wandering street markets and traveling the World! Interesting fact: I have changed 15 houses. In one there were more plants than people, in another one there were more people than beds.
Background: 3rd Year BSc Animal Science student. I joined iGEM due to my interest in synthetic biology and to gain valuable experience in the lab. Interests include taking pictures of stuff, and posting said pictures online for self-validation.
Interesting Fact: Agarose gels dislike me immensely.
Background: Graduate in MSc Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology. I joined the team as part of my master's thesis and to gain an understanding of the world of Synthetic Biology. Outside of university I enjoy Archery, Yoga and Rock Climbing.
Background: Third year English Language and Literature student. I joined iGEM for the challenge of working in an unfamiliar environment; the opportunity to learn new things and work with new people; and the chance to see how skills from my degree could be applied in a different context. To relax outside of uni I enjoy listening to music, reading, writing, watching cricket and practising yoga.
Interesting fact: I love old books - one of my favourite possessions is a 1904 edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
Background: I am a Professor of Bioinformatics at the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University. I co-direct Newcastle's Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) research group. I am also affiliated with the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, associate-director of the Centre for Synthetic Biology and Bioexploitation and director of the Centre for Health and Bioinformatics.
Background: I am a lecturer in Biochemical Engineering, and am a Romanian living in the North East.
Interesting Fact: Until recently I couldn't swim, but now I am a happy triathlete contemplating the IronMan Triathlon
Favorite Book: Everybody should read "I contain multitudes" by Ed Yong.
Background: Senior research associate working in synthetic biology. My main areas of research include identifying various stress biomarkers in Bacillus subtilis, quorum sensing and pathogenicity. Interesting fact: I love Christmas! On the 1st December my house becomes a shrine to FAIRY LIGHTS –at least 35 sets!
Background: I am a senior lecturer at Newcastle University and have been involved in organising iGEM teams since 2012. My research interests include the construction and regulation of metabolic pathways in plants and microbes, as well as transposing useful molecular aspects of biological systems into novel chassis materials. Probably not-very interesting fact: I have (accidentally) become interested in statistics.
Background: Principal research interests include the ecology of marine actinomycetes, (diversity, abundance and biogeography), novel natural products from marine actinomycetes, the application of peptide nucleic acids in species-specific bactericide and the development of antisense-based antibacterial screens.
Background: My research group are interested in determining the structural and functional basis for the recruitment and encapsulation of proteins within metabolic compartments, and the biochemistry that occurs within these semi-permeable structures. Through an understanding of the basic biology and design principles of various compartments, we hope to use these as synthetic biology platforms for the production of valuable natural products, and as scaffolds for industrial biotechnology and nano-technology.
Background: I was born in Madrid (Spain) on the 6th of August, 1983. In 2001 I started studying Computer Engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Spain. After getting the degree I joined the Natural Computing Group at UPM and started researching in the fields of DNA Computing and Computational Biology. In 2010 I earned an European Ph.D. in Computer Engineering (in the field of Bacterial Computing). I also held a M. Sc. degree in Artificial Intelligence (UPM). During the summer of 2016 I moved to Newcastle to join the School of Computing Science and the Centre for Synthetic Biology as a Lecturer in Synthetic Biology.