Our team consists of six students from the Universiteit van Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit. Five of those are in the Bioinformatics and System Biology master and the other is in the Neuroscience bachelor. We got help from Mohammad, a syrian refugee, who helped us with building the wiki. For seven months we worked on our research at the Amsterdam Science Park, where dr. Filipe Branco dos Santos, Wei Du and Joeri Jongbloets were our supervisors. To see what everybody did for the iGEM competition, take a look at our attribution page !

The Team

If you are under the illusion that neuroscience only attracts rational students, think again. Bram is a great, romantic thinker. A man of action who pursues a stable, green environment and world peace. Just as you are about to doze off into a deep slumber while listening to his gentle voice painting a bright future of the earth, he throws a right, a left and another right. Never a dull moment with this kickboxing smart ass.

Bram van de Putte

This lab-tiger has a burning passion for cell-biology, which like her unique head of curls, you cannot miss. With a wide spectrum of qualities in research, she dominates the lab game with her superior skills and aim for perfection. With a bachelor in neuroscience and a sharp talking game, she is the one to take you on a relaxing 10-minute stroll if ever you need to be reminded of the bright side of life. When she is not in the lab, you can find her on a sailboat, the dancefloor or most preferably a combination of both.

Yuki Esser

After studying genetics, Max came surfing from California to Holland for iGEM. He prepared himself for this battle by growing a moustache and adding a Cyanobacterium tattoo to his biology-themed left arm. Committed as this man is, he is considering tattooing the logo of the most generous contributor on the very last available spot between his Erlenmeyer flask ink and his elbow. In both modeling and lab work he does not only walk the walk, but also talks the talk. When Max is not configuring chemofluxostats full of bacteria, he loves to play volleyball or create the occasional videogame.

Max Guillaume

All eyes were drawn to this curtailed innovator when he arrived at the master Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. No experience in biology?! Our gaze stretched into astonishment as it turned out that he obtained the highest grades for the first courses. Now, six months later, this smart all-rounder is keeping up with the steep learning curve. He knows his way in business management and is familiar with the whims of a start-up, making him a valuable team member.

Age Tjalma

This tiny bridge-playing, knitting and sugar bag-collecting lady may share her hobbies with 90% of all grandma’s worldwide, but is in fact a real team-builder who is able to find positivity in any situation. She can act as a social glue, holding the group together with her jokes and infinite source of hummus-filled sweet peppers. While diagnosed with a mild lab-anxiety disorder after a double bachelor in Biomedical-sciences ánd Beta-gamma, she retains a keen passion for bioinformatics, everything that involves programming and in fact... anything new.

Josine Oude Lohuis

The only bachelor student of the team and therefore our noisy toddler. This social sponge is finishing a bachelor in neuroscience and bridges the gap towards his final internship by joining iGEM. This ‘flying keeper’ will support the team wherever hands are needed. Whether it includes programming, practical lab work or social outreach; after studying liquids, Thijs is now introduced to the rock-solid world of science.

Thijs van Schaik


Born and raised amongst the waves of Portugal, Filipe has been in the Netherlands for over a decade. He has worked with a wide variety of microorganisms, but remained susceptible to the scent of the sea: cyanobacteria became his topic of fascination. He is an assistant professor leading the Molecular Microbial Physiology Group of SILS. His article of faith relies in the ‘parallel’ concept: always bet on multiple horses. And especially this concept has brought our team to where we are now. Although he takes quite some of our time with his never ending stories, Filipe is the most driven and inspiring P.I. we could have wished for.

Dr. Filipe Branco dos Santos

Kindly referred to as master Du. Wei is a true master in the noble art of cloning. With his bright ideas, patience and positivism, we could not have wished for a better lab supervisor than this PHD student. When Wei is not planning experiments, he likes to visit Dutch cities, play volleyball or a game of mahjong with his friends. After 4 years in Holland, Wei still doesn’t like bread, so he has a hard time in the Dutch cantines. Luckily his wife cooks delicious Chinese food!

Wei Du

We would be lost without this PhD student. Having designed the software which controls and monitors our multicultivator experiments (i.e. our workhorse), Joeri’s work is the backbone of this entire project. Known primarily for his IT prowess and love for peanut butter-only sandwiches, Joeri is also an accomplished rower, having participated in several prestigious international regattas. So whether he is PORTing new software or tackling bugs with his STERN demeanor, he is one of the STAR(board)s of our show. So Joeri, please take a BOW!

Joeri Jongbloets


Klaas Hellingwerf

Prof. dr. Klaas Hellingwerf is our secondary PI, he is doing cyanobacterial research for centuries and even started a company that does Cyanobacterial research named Photanol .

Mohammad Aljohmani - Honorary Member

This Syrian student is going for the polyglot challenge; learn 5 languages in one year: English, Dutch, Java, HTML5 and the language of anthropology. Mohammad is building our iGEM website, making himself familiar with multiple programming languages. On the run, he picks up the English and Dutch language, while being thrown into the deep end of the Dutch customs and habits. iGEM is for him a challenge to develop professional skills, work in a team and get to grips with new programming languages. While inspiring us and the rest of the world, he works his way towards programming for a living. Mohammad helped with the design of the wiki.