Team:TecMonterrey GDA/Team

Team members

The PHAgave 2017 team believes in international cooperation as the best mechanism of growth, success and evolution, therefore, we have built up a team that meets this belief.

Our team members are Biotechnology Engineering students from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara. Most of them are also members, founding members and/or part of the Youth Biotech Headquarters; an international youth association that focuses on science communication, science regulation and science development. It was born last december, as well as this iGEM team, during the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancún, Mexico. Today, it has presence in 15 different countries.

Our team instructors and advisors come from different parts of the world; like Panamá, Germany and the United Kingdom; or have been involved with international institutions such as Stanford, McGill University, University of Edinburgh, The Global Biotech Revolution, and of course, have a vast experience at iGEM as team members, team leaders, instructors, members of the Latin American committee or delegates.

Youth Biotech & PHAgave: Cooperation triggers evolution

Arturo Quintero, Ph.D. - P.I.

Dr. Quintero studied Biology at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. He’s got a Master’s Degree in Plant Science orientated to Virology and a Ph.D in Philosophy in Plant Science orientated to Virology from Idaho University. He has worked with different viruses such as PLRV, PVX, PVM, PMTV and PVY in Plant Virology Laboratories and was in charge of a large collection of PVY isolates in Idaho. He’s collaborated in investigation to SIMPLOT, a large food and agribusiness company, for observing and testing virus resistance in potatoes. He is President of the EFW for Science Journal club in the University of Idaho and is associated with the Potato Association of America and the American Phytopathology Society. He is currently the Latin America ambassador of the International Program of Idaho University.

MSc. Oscar Osorio - Secondary P.I.

Has a master’s degree in Biotechnology, currently works as the Biotechnology Program Director at ITESM, has worked as Quality Manager at AGRICOLA GLOBALMEX SA de CV, as Plant Manager at INTERNATIONAL DRY PRODUCTS DE MEXICO, as Proteomic medical researcher at OCA Hospital, as Product supervisor in YAKULT, among others. Has attended several courses MALDI-Tof, Static Process Control, Thermic Analysis, and Total Product Manager.

Luis Figueroa, Ph.D. - Instructor

Dr. Luis Figueroa studied Biology at the Universidad Veracruzana. He’s got a Master’s in Bioethics from Universidad Anáhuac México and a Ph.D. from the Scientific Investigation Center of Yucatán. Dr. Figueroa got his Postdoc at The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis Missouri. He currently works as Principal Researcher at the Center for Research and Assistance in Technology and Design of the State of Jalisco in the Industrial Biotechnology Department. His line of research is focused on Synthetic Biology.

MSc. Ricardo Camilo Chávez - Instructor

Ricardo is a Biotechnology Engineer graduate from Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Monterrey, Mexico. He got his Master’s degree on Systems and Synthetic Biology from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom in 2016. He has participated several times before in iGEM as team leader with satisfactory results (2 Silver Medals, 1 Gold Medal, Latin American Regional Winner, 1 Best Presentation Award, 1 Best Human Practice Award and 1 Best Genetic Device Award). In 2014 and 2015 he advised two teams from Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Monterrey, obtaining Silver and Gold medals. During his Master’s studies, he also participated as the leader of the University’s team and obtained a Silver medal. He is currently working on a project that focuses on providing synthetic biology teams, for a fraction of the cost, of the currently available equipment in order to enable as many interested students of any kind to participate in synthetic biology experiments and democratize biotechnology in Mexico and Latin America.

MSc. Heber Torres Cordero - Instructor

Heber studied Biotechnology Genomics at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) in Monterrey, Mexico. For his Master’s degree, he specialized in Molecular Biomedicine at CINVESTAV-IPN in Mexico City. He has actively participated with several iGEM teams from UANL before (2011-2015), obtaining two Silver medals, a special prize for the best experimental measurement method, two third places of the overall competition, as well as a special prize for best mathematical model and best designed BioBrick. Heber has also participated as an international judge for high school and undergraduate projects. He’s coordinated an introductory iGEM workshop and wrote a “Manual for Laboratory Practices iGEM-UANL” He currently teaches Biology, Chemistry and Experimental Monograph Workshop at The UANL Center for Research and Development of Bilingual Education High School. He is also an instructor for the team from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León for their 2018 participation.

MSc. Luis García - InstructorMSc. Luis García - Instructor

Luis García has a Master’s Degree in Systems and Synthetic Biology from Imperial College, London, U.K. He has a Bachelor degree in Biotechnology with speciality in Molecular Biology at ITESM. Has training in microbiology techniques and in the analysis of phytohormones derived from the interaction of A. brasilense and C. vulgaris with HPLC. Has done several laboral internships including one in CIATEJ, in the Advanced Investigation Center in Guanajuato, México; has collaborated in projects such as the Assembly of a metabolic synthetic route for the expression of lycopene in E. coli and Identification of the presence of antibodies against antigens associated to tumors in serum of patients with pulmonary cancer as biomarkers for the disease. Is a co-founder of the Spirax enterprise, which includes the production and sale of an algae-based beverage with encapsulated “spiruline”. He also had a participation as a Juvenile Delegate in COP13-MOP-8 as part of PRRI. Has participated in Gap Summit 2016 as part of the 100 selected leaders of tomorrow. Finally he is the co-author of the chapter of “Dairy products and cardiovascular health” published in the book “La leche como alimento naturalmente saludable” (Milk as a naturally healthy food)

Yo Suzuki, Ph.D. - Advisor

Yo Suzuki is an Assistant Professor in the Synthetic Biology and Bioenergy Department at the J. Craig Venter Institute, which he joined in 2010. He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Colorado for his work on a C. elegans TGF-b gene. He soon became interested in the multi-gene genetic interaction problem. As a postdoctoral fellow he identified genes that act in parallel with a C. elegans homolog for the tumor suppressor gene PTEN. Later, he switched to yeast and developed the “Green Monster” method for multi-locus engineering in Fritz Roth's lab at Harvard Medical School. In this method, GFP-marked genomic alterations are assembled into a single genome through repeated rounds of mating, meiosis and flow-cytometric enrichment of yeast cells harboring the alterations. ( http://www.jcvi.org/cms/about/bios/ysuzuki/)Yo Suzuki is an Assistant Professor in the Synthetic Biology and Bioenergy Department at the J. Craig Venter Institute, which he joined in 2010. He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Colorado for his work on a C. elegans TGF-b gene. He soon became interested in the multi-gene genetic interaction problem. As a postdoctoral fellow he identified genes that act in parallel with a C. elegans homolog for the tumor suppressor gene PTEN. Later, he switched to yeast and developed the “Green Monster” method for multi-locus engineering in Fritz Roth's lab at Harvard Medical School. In this method, GFP-marked genomic alterations are assembled into a single genome through repeated rounds of mating, meiosis and flow-cytometric enrichment of yeast cells harboring the alterations. ( http://www.jcvi.org/cms/about/bios/ysuzuki/)

Alexander Mayorov - Advisor

Alex has recently finished his second of four years of a joint B.A./M.Sc. course in Natural Sciences at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK. He has taken a broad range of courses, including Biochemistry, Physics, Maths and Chemistry. He’d like to specialize in theoretical chemistry for the following two years. His rankings have led him to be awarded a Senior Academic scholarship at Trinity and a BP prize for outstanding performance in examinations. Alex has been involved in various research programs and academic competitions. He is currently undertaking a computational biology project at EPFL, Switzerland, developing machine learning approaches to study protein evolution. In 2016 he co-managed the wetlab project of the Cambridge-JIC iGEM team, obtaining a Gold medal and Best Overgrad Plant Synthetic Biology prize. Last year, Alex participated in the United Nations CBD as a member of Youth Biotech and is currently co-organizing the annual Building Bridges in Biomedical Sciences conference (BBBS) 2018.

Ediner Fuentes Campos - Advisor

Ediner studied Environmental Engineering and Development at Escuela Agrícola Panamericana “El Zamorano” in Honduras. He graduated earlier this year and began working for the Environmental Ministry of Panamá, where he works as Head of Region and focuses on research regarding biodiversity and environmental microbiology. Ediner serves iGEM as an ambassador for Latin America and represented the organization as Official Delegate at the 2016 UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancún, México (COP13-MOP8-MOP2). Also, he was one of the members of Youth Biotech that was selected earlier this year, by the Global Biotech Revolution, as part of the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow of Biotechnology to attend GapSummit 2017 at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

Carlos Vázquez Ochoa - Advisor

Carlos is currently in his last semester of Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Monterrey. He has recently concluded a research internship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in which he focused on controlling the dispersion of antimicrobial resistance by new treatments of municipal wastewater biosolids to improve public health and infrastructure. He participated in iGEM in 2016, his project enhanced bioleaching of electronic waste with engineered bacteria: Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Chromobacterium violaceum. In 2015 he also did a summer research internship at the University of Colima, Mexico, where he got involved in projects regarding the design of bioreactors for enzymatic conversion of fructooligosaccharides and the optimization of enzymatic extraction of starch and polyhydroxyalkanoates synthesis in E. coli.

Saúl Pizarro - Advisor

Saúl is a Biotechnology Engineering student at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Chihuahua, Mexico. He has participated in iGEM as a team member (2015), team leader (2016), and Co-chair of the Latin American Committee (2016). Last year, Saúl participated in the United Nations CBD as a member of Youth Biotech and is currently helping organize the student chapter in the Northern of Mexico. He is SEBIOTEC’s vice president, a biotechnology student association from Tecnológico de Monterrey that is tightly associated to the Mexican Society of Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Saúl is also developing a startup called “Diagtech” that focuses on molecular diagnosis. He has been awarded a Biosafety certification by the Public Health Canadian Organization and been a speaker at the Eighth Symposium of Biosecurity and Biocustody of the Mexican Biosecurity Association, in which he talked about “Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity”. Saúl was also one of the members of Youth Biotech that was selected earlier this year, by the Global Biotech Revolution, as part of the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow of Biotechnology to attend GapSummit 2017 at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

Uriel Barboza - Advisor

B.S., Biotechnology Engineering, Major in Molecular Biology - Tecnológico de Monterrey in Querétaro, Mexico. Founding member of Youth Biotech, attended the UN Biodiversity Conference as Youth-PRRI delegate. Recently carried out an intership at Drew endy's lab in Stanford. He was also one of the members of Youth Biotech that was selected earlier this year, by the Global Biotech Revolution, as part of the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow of Biotechnology to attend GapSummit 2017 at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and attended AllBiotech in Santiago, Chile as well.

MSc. Thomas Dohmen - Advisor

MSc. of Technical Biology with focus on Synthetic Biology student - TU Darmstadt. Founding member of Youth Biotech, attended the UN Biodiversity Conference as Youth-PRRI delegate. Ex-iGEMER

Ricardo Hernández Medina - Advisor

Has a Bachelor Degree in biotechnology at ITESM, Tecnológico de Monterrey Guadalajara, and is currently working in CIATEJ laboratories. Founding member of Youth Biotech, attended the UN Biodiversity Conference as Youth-PRRI delegate. Ex-iGEMER

Alejandro Guzmán Vendrell - Advisor

Also known as “Alastor”. Major of Biology in National Autonomous University of Mexico. He has directed 2 teams from UNAM one in 2015 getting a silver medal and one in 2016 getting a bronze medal. He is one of the main promoters of biotechnology in the Faculty of Science and is currently working on the History of Synthetic biology in Mexico as part of his thesis dissertation. He is a system biologist that focuses on data mining. His work on the team focused on editing and supervising the wiki progress.



Team members

Diana Tamayo

Diana is a founding member of Youth Biotech, serves as the Youth Biotech HQ Image Coordinator and also works as a Science Communication Fellow of ISGP’s The Forum. Attended the COP13-MOP8-MOP2 in Cancún, México, 2016 as part of the PRRI Youth division. She studies Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara. Hopes to work in the bioremediation field.

Likes dogs, scenic arts and sugar makes her weird.

The most likely to skip meals.

Identifies with the steam autoclave*.

**Can explode due to abrupt pressure changes.**


Mildred Jiménez

Mildred is one of the founding members of Youth Biotech and is currently Vice president of Youth Biotech HQ. She attended the UN Biodiversity Conference 2016 (COP13-MOP8-MOP2) as a member of the Youth-PRRI delegation. This year, she has been selected as one of the 100 Young Leaders of Tomorrow for Biotechnology of Latin America and world wide by AllBiotech and The Global Biotech Revolution, respectively. She studies Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara

Loves brunch, schnauzers, travelling and learning new languages.

The most likely to be found drinking coffee.

Identifies with the refrigerator*

**Keeps everyone chill.**


Eliel Villegas

Eliel Villegas is a founder member of Youth Biotech, he is the current president of the mentioned institution. He has worked in several startups projects, almost 2 years of experience with startups. He has been selected as one of the one hundred leaders in biotechnology worldwide and in latin america before 35 years old by Global Biotech Revolution and Allbiotech respectively. Eliel Villegas is a founder member of Youth Biotech, he is the current president of the mentioned institution. He has worked in several startups projects, almost 2 years of experience with startups. He has been selected as one of the one hundred leaders in biotechnology worldwide and in latin america before 35 years old by Global Biotech Revolution and Allbiotech respectively.

Loves to multi-task, travel, and being busy all the time.

The most likely to suddenly disappear when most needed.The most likely to suddenly disappear when most needed.

Identifies with the microscope*

**Is a good observer, and likes to know every detail.**


Esmeralda AzanoEsmeralda Azano

Esmeralda is currently working in collaboration with the government of Tlajomulco, Jalisco for the decontamination of the Cajititlan lagoon and the education of the communities around it to avoid practices that affect its health. Her interests lie in bioremediation, and all involving the environmental track. She is studying Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara.

Loves going to the movies, classical novels, ice cream, ballet, being at home, and sleeping.

The most likely to not being found.

Identifies with the Laminar Flow Hood*

**Not preferable to let her work for more than 6 hours in a row or will start screwing things up.**


Diana Bonilla

Diana Priscilla is a founding member of Youth Biotech where she directs the Policy Department. She attended the COP13MOP8 as part of the youth division of PRRI, in Cancun Mexico, 2016. She was selected in 2017 to attend the Summit of Latin American Biotechnology Leaders by AllBiotech. Her interests lie in biotechnology regulation and genetic engineering, and she had the opportunity to present her work at the ISBGMO 2017. She currently studies Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara.

Loves nutella with cream cheese, latin dance, talking, traveling, and watching the sunrise at the beach.

Most likely to be found dancing.

Identifies with the Thermoshaker*

** Pretty self-explanatory. ;)**


Yatzil Guadalajara

Yatzil is passionate about bioremediation, for so she has worked in SEMADES, the sustainable development department of the state, designed a bioreactor for vinasse treatment with her team, and wishes to someday work at the UN to devise global strategies that will improve water, soil and earth conditions and change people’s mentality. Also attended to Sup’Biotech and got a Stem Cell Engineering Certificate. Her interests also lie in plant bioremediation and working with microalgae. She is currently studying Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Loves to run, travel and meet new people and countries, dance and sing.

The most likely to be found looking for new places to visit.

Identifies with the ELISA assay*Identifies with the ELISA assay*

**When looking for something, she is quite specific, and when trying to communicate any kind of result, signals are pretty obvious.**

Ana Cecilia Luque

Ana Cecilia is a Biotechnologist student that loves experimenting and learning new things every day. An animal lover whose big dream is to help as much animals as possible. An intense and perfectionist person that is always working in doing the best of the best. She would like to do a master in tissue engendering and is actually working in a research project of gene silencing and cancer diagnostic. She is also involved in a project of bioremediation in the Cajititlán lagoon in order to improve the health of the water and of the populations that surrounds the lagoon.

Loves dogs, her friends, sushi, her family, her boyfriend, to learn, to read, to be the best.

Most likely to be found laughing with her boyfriend or petting her dog

Identifies with the sequencing machine*Identifies with the sequencing machine*

**She is always looking for all the details and to learn the more information available.**


Ana Isabel Montalvo

Ana Isabel is a passionate biotechnology student with focus in the bioprocesses and biopharmaceutic branches. She is currently participating in an experimental investigation about the obtainment of proteins with antimicrobial properties from sea urchins. Additionally, she is member of the team working to use bioremediation techniques to decontaminate the Cajititlan Lagoon. She is worried about the planet and loves to know that her knowledge can actually help to make the world a better place. She likes to dance flamenco and enjoys both practicing and watching Tae Kwon Do. She also loves travelling around the world, learning about other cultures and their traditions.

Anais, is always worried about other people and loves to comfort them when something is wrong. After achieving her bachelor degree, she dreams in working in the biopharmaceutical industry, in both, investigation and production areas. Her maximum wish is to leave her footprint by developing something that can change people’s lives.

Identifies with the RNA*

**Most of the times unstable, but pretty functional**


Santiago Ochoa

Santiago a founding member of Youth Biotech, serves as the Youth Biotech HQ Logistics Coordinator. Attended the COP13-MOP8-MOP2 in Cancún, México, 2016 as part of the PRRI Youth division. He studies Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara. Hopes to work as a synthetic biologist

Most likely to overthink things

Likes long walks on the beach, listening to NPR in the car, and watching paint dry.

Identifies with latex gloves.*

**I, too, am a scarce commodity in the lab.**

Diana Pérez

Diana Rabago is a Mexican student with a lot of passion. She’s a founding member of Youth Biotech which aims to change the world through science She attended the UN Biodiversity Conference 2016 as a member of the Youth-PRRI delegation. Because of that event, she got inspired to start working in a few new ideas.

She’s currently participating in FENACI competition that aims the youngest students to investigate and to propose solutions of certain problems related to Science and Engineering. She won the state’s competition and now she’s going to participate in the Nationals. She is an active girl who’s also working in some other projects related to social interest.

Her interests lie in bioremediation, genetic engineering and microalgae. She currently studies Biotechnology Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara.

Loves to swim, exercise, read, go to parties, dance and buy stuff online most of it makeup.

Most likely to be found with her friends eating.

Identifies with Thermoshaker.*

**Sometimes is off, sometimes is on ,and when it’s on it’s unstoppable. (And well let’s be honest, most of the time it’s on). It moves and moves and does everything to improve and grow your solutions or microorganisms.**


Montserrat Villegas

Montserrat is a Biotechnology engineering student at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara. She is an environmental lover and seeks for finding a way to preserve nature. She is a truly believer that human being and environment can coexist without competing, and she is working for everyone to notice that human mentality must change. She is also a passionate about sharing her knowledge to people, for so she teaches chemistry, biology and math to children in her free time.

Loves math, world history, comedy movies, food, frappes, navy blue wearing and spending time with her family.

The most likely to cry if something goes wrong.

Identifies with the electrophoresis chamber*

**She doesn’t run unless some kind of power forces her.**


Frida García

Frida Garcia is a Biotechnology engineering student at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara; she is an active member in Youth Biotech, a group which aims to develop, communicate and regulate science. She would like to work at the UN, and fight against children malnutrition.

Likes running, and practicing various sports. She is passionate about food, and cooking.

Identifies with the Magnetic stirrer*

**Is always spinning around.**


José Ferrer

José Ferrer is a Biotechnology engineering student Student at Tecnológico de Monterrey campus Guadalajara. He is passionate about biological processes and how they affect our daily lives. He would love to become an expert under the pharmaceutical area of biotechnology and pioneer movements that could potentially cure disease. Other areas of interest for him are gene therapy and development of vaccines. He loves to learn all there is about biotechnology and finds it really easy to work under a healthy environment while understanding the process to its full extent.José Ferrer is a Biotechnology engineering student Student at Tecnológico de Monterrey campus Guadalajara. He is passionate about biological processes and how they affect our daily lives. He would love to become an expert under the pharmaceutical area of biotechnology and pioneer movements that could potentially cure disease. Other areas of interest for him are gene therapy and development of vaccines. He loves to learn all there is about biotechnology and finds it really easy to work under a healthy environment while understanding the process to its full extent.

Love to do sports, got to the woods, cook, travel and to go watch movies.Love to do sports, got to the woods, cook, travel and to go watch movies.

Identifies with the selective agar*

**He only allows growth of desired relationships**


Stephany Verdugo

Biotechnology engineering student at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara. Believes biotechnology to be a career meant to serve others, and looks to contribute to those less fortunate through her profession. Currently working alongside a team of students to develop hop cultures within Mexico to replace foreign imports and honing her coding skills through UCSC so that she may pursue a Masters in Bioinformatics or Big Data. Her interests lie in bioinformatics and nutraceuticals.

Loves cardio, crafting and videogames.

Most likely to be found playing The Witcher.

Identifies with the centrifuge*

**Makes a horrible noise when feeling unbalanced.**


José Carlos Peñuelas Armenta

He studies software engineering. He is actually part of the ACM student chapter at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara, he thinks that technology is changing the world and that now more than ever is really important to learn to code. He really likes to contribute to other projects for fun, he thinks that learning from other subjects that are not related to his career is interesting.

Loves to play videogames, watch sci-fi movies and listen to heavy music.

Identifies with the centrifuge*

**Can do a lot of work in a short amount of time.**


Juan Carlos Peñuelas Armenta

He is a Digital Arts student. What he likes the most is to help others with anything he can. Right now he is involved in a VR videogame project where he is the writer of the story and the game designer. His interest in this project is to work in whatever he can help to see this project working.

Likes to support projects that affect the future in a good way.

Identifies with the centrifuge*

**Can do a lot of work in a short amount of time, too.**


Marlene Aguilar

Marlene Aguilar is a Mexican student of Animation and Digital Art at Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara. She is currently a member of the Students Association of her career, and helped to organize the first Master class Animation & Story by PIXAR Animation Studios in Guadalajara.

Loves to eat, dance, volleyball, gymnastics, read, comedy movies and to spend time with her family and friends.

Most likely to be found eating or dancing, sometimes both of them at the same time. Most likely to be found eating or dancing, sometimes both of them at the same time.

Identifies with the Incubator

** Always on, spends a lot of energy, and easily distracted by people. ** Always on, spends a lot of energy, and easily distracted by people.

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