The Team

The iGEM USP-BRAZIL team is composed for engaged undergraduate and graduate students from different areas of science. In our university there are few ways of learning about synthetic biology, in general students get to know about it from other students or by yourself, so anyone who wants be part of the team is welcome to join, to learn and make a whole project happen! In this way, the students are constantly in touch with different knowledges from different members and they are encouraged to learn and to do different tasks during the development of the project. So every member had the freedom to work in differents areas of BioTROJAN, but of course each member was more active in certain functions which are show below:

The beginning of BioTROJAN was in February, in a meeting run by participants of the iGEM 2016 and with the presence of new students interested in knowing the competition. On following meetings the brainstorming came up with the brute idea of the project and after it the BioTROJAN was evolving. Around May we started the experiments in the laboratory, when the development of other areas like human practices, funding and market had already been initiated.

The logo, layout and programming of the wiki was done by student members, which learned how to develop html5 scripts and use programs such as Gimp and Inkscape for designing the infographics. Experiments with mosquitoes was also done by student members, which got training from graduate students at Prof. Margareth Capurro’s lab. All data acquisition was done by student members after training or under the supervision of the instructor Cauã Westmann.

Beyond the students, BioTROJAN was only possible with the support of PI professors, the sponsors, researchers and people that gave us support, confidence and motivation.

Principal investigators (PIs)

The team really appreciate all the support that our PIs Prof. Shaker Chuck Farah and Prof. Rafael da Silva Rocha gave to us. Both primary and secondary PI’s contributed to the project facilitating bureaucratic questions related to funding as well as reserving lab space, equipment time and reagents for the project. The idea of the project was independent of research being conducted in either laboratories and was proposed and developed by the students. Nevertheless, theoretical advice was provided by the PI’s in some parts of the project and helped us to conduct it properly.

Advisor and Instructor

This year we had in our team two very experienced guys. Cauã, our Advisor, has already participated of previous iGEMs and has been accumulated experience on the event and as our advisor he worked with team members, specially Gabriel Lovate, to design and assemble part of our detection circuit . William, our instructor, is a post-doc at the professor Shaker Chuck Farah’s laboratory and he has a thorough knowledge of microbiology and molecular biology and helped us to design and plan the experiments, besides helping a lot with the microscopy data processing. We are grateful for all the theoretical and experimental support that both have shared with us in the laboratory.


A stimulant support came via crowdfunding on-line on (check it out here), individual people believed in the idea of ​​the project and trusted the team to do it. We are grateful to everyone who supported us on it, especially Arthur Berselli, Gisele Monteiro de Souza and João Vitor Dutra Molino.

Special thanks

In our journey, we needed and effectively we had support from many researchers and other professionals, either in a conceptual way, helping in the correct development of BioTROJAN (see the Human Practices Integrated section) and our wiki or in a structural way, helping us with getting financial support from our university, with reagents, machines and equipment, besides allowing us to use their laboratories for some experiments (see the Proof of Concept section). The team thanks all of them:

  • Prof. Margareth de Lara Capurro Guimarães, Ph.D, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo
  • Prof. Welington Luiz De Araújo, Ph.D, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo
  • Prof. Marco Antônio Stephano, Ph.D, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo
  • Prof. Astrid de Matos Peixoto Kleinert, Ph.D, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo
  • Prof. Gilberto Fernando Xavier, Ph.D, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo
  • Prof. Marco Antônio Stephano, Ph.D, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo
  • Prof. Dr. Marcos Silveira Buckeridge, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo
  • Prof. Dr. José Guilherme C. Berlinck, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo
  • Edgar EL Cornejo, MSc, Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo
  • Helena Araújo, Ph.D and Rafaella Sayuri Ioshino, MSc, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo
  • Leonardo R dos Santos, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo
  • Julio Delgado, Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of São Paulo
  • Célia Takiguthi
  • Maria Cristina Ribeiro Freire from the finance office of the Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of São Paulo
  • Leonice Maria Silva de Farias, financial accountant at the University of São Paulo and all financial staff of Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo


The development of scientific initiatives in Brazil still remains a big challenge to the researchers, especially when it comes to students. Getting financial support is one of the most difficult and time consuming steps to be overcome, so facing a challenge like that, the iGEM USP-BRAZIL team is grateful to all sponsors and supporters for the financial and structural support that made possible our BioTROJAN. We were able to count on the financial support of our university (USP), through its pro-rectories and institutes, and with the pharmaceutical company Cristália. We also got structural support with softwares from SnapGene and MatLab, which were important for design and modelling. Finally, the sponsorships of NEB and specially IDT were fundamental for the wet lab, providing enzymes, gBlocks and oligos.