<!DOCTYPE html> Bios

Greg Albano - Team Lead
Biological Engineering '19
Greg is very much like a tree. Not in the sense that he's the strong silent type, but more in the sense that he's tall and has the personality of a tree. Talking to Greg, it becomes clear that he knows a lot about biology- specifically a lot about what it's like being a tree. Greg's dad is an apple farmer, which means he plants trees. In a way, you could say that Greg has more than just the two human siblings he has. He also has hundreds of fellow trees. As iGEM moves forward trying to grow better plants, Greg moves forward trying to be a better tree. Truly leading his fellow vegetables by example.
Fion Chu - Co-Wet Lab Lead
Human Biology, Health, and Society '19
They say the smallest people are the angriest because their anger is most concentrated. Coming in at 5.01 feet tall, Fion's voice carries all the way to Ashwin's ears on his towering 6'3" figure, but her arm isn't long enough for her hand to slap his face. When she's not busy arguing about Koko's or defending herself from compressed air, she studies for the MCAT because she's an aspiring pediatrician or anesthesiologist. While she does do research and is a human biology health and society major, she would much rather slurp away on spicy ramen and rice cakes.
Carol Hung - Co-Wet Lab Lead
Biomedical Engineering '19
Carol. She flew all the way from California after hearing about Cornell iGEM to join us. Not only she is our aspiring co-wet lab lead, she also casually spikes her volleyball at people so be aware! But don't worry, all it takes is a happy netflixing session to get our happy, gleaming, cheerful, fun Carol back (and of course, good snacks). Outside of iGEM, you can meet Carol around campus doing research, volunteering, and in her sorority.
Stephanie Yiu - Co-Product Development Lead
Chemical Engineering '18
Recipe for Steph's Happiness

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir in cute boys and some wholesome gossip. Add kittens to the batter (but make sure they aren't diseased). Cream together trips to LA and long road adventures. Sing Ed Sheeran at the top of your lungs at the batter ("thinking ouuuuuut louuuuuuud"). Sift out iGEM stress and chemE woes. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven, or until nicely browned. Top with kindness and encouragement. Serves 25, made for sharing with friends.
Darren Tsai - Co-Product Development Lead
Computer Science '20
Meet Darren Tsai, iGEM’s male spokesmodel. Darren is a gorgeous computer science major with a beautiful mind. Many have called him the Magic Mike of our time. Darren is the Co-PD despite being just a sexy and sassy freshman. When not male modeling, he spends his time leading and directing his fellow product development peers. Using his strong ECE and computer science background, Darren attractively contributed to the design and construction of OxyPonic’s electrical and web-related components. Further, he is known as the only human to keep up with Avisha at a party and live. The official Darren Tsai iGEM calendar is said to drop sometime in early 2018 with both professional and candid pics 😏. Mason Dacus has pre-ordered most of these calendars, but it is still worth trying to buy one.
Sneha Kabaria - Policy & Practices Lead
Chemical Engineering '19
Common Name: Sneha Kabaria
Scientific Name: Humanitas viribus


The binomial nomenclature Humanitas viribus was first coined by Cornell iGEM, a tribe situated in the upstate New York region. Records have suggested that Sneha is worshipped by members of the tribe, for witnessing Sneha is believed to imbue an individual with kindness, strength, and insight. Sneha is also sometimes known as “Policy and Practices Lead” among its people, reflecting her keystone presence in allowing Cornell iGEM to thrive.


Sneha exhibits unique migratory patterns, spending disproportionately lengthy periods of the year in the middle of nowhere to develop the next paradigm in cancer treatment as a chemical engineer. Occasionally, she retreats to the lush fields of New Jersey to recuperate from the cursed basement of Weill Hall, where incompatible restriction sites will ligate. Rumors have also claimed that Sneha can be seen in the forsaken halls of Baker Laboratory at 4 am, simultaneously studying for linear algebra, organic chemistry, and statistical mechanics, with a grace and ferocity that inspires awe and admiration.

Characteristics and Behaviors:

Sneha is characterized by a 72-hour circadian rhythm, rendering her capable of juggling 50 credits of coursework, handling two project teams, and having personal conversations with struggling friends until 3 in the morning. This is attributed to a unique metabolic pathway whereby caffeine is directly converted to ATP. In addition, as a master of all disciplines, Sneha once trained elementary school children to become experts biochemical engineering, many of whom have become important figures in the booming biotech industry of Silicon Valley.
Amanda Ong - Wiki & Design Lead
Information Science, Systems, and Technology '19
Don't let Amanda's size fool you. She may be a small girl, but she has a big personality and a smile never fails to light up the room. Her dedication shine through all of her work and the tendonitis she got from typing too much. Aside from being the wiki and design team lead of iGEM, she is a earing connosisseur with a different pair for every day of the year.
Rohit Bandaru - Business Lead
Electrical & Computer Engineering '19
Meet Rohit: the business subteam lead and Kanye West activist from Boston. Not only is he a master at writing business plans, he is also an athletic student who loves playing basketball and biking. In fact, he loves biking so much that he is also part of the project team Autonomous Bicycle. Rohit has blessed the iGEM team with his dedication and also free food from sponsors.
Grace Chuang
Chemical Engineering '18
Yifan Chen
Biological Sciences '18
A true, one-of-a-kind iGEM legend, hailing from NYC, the one and only, the magnificent, Yi Fan Chen. He is the wise and undeniably helpful sage for all of the questions we have round the clock - from wet lab at 6 pm to organic chemistry at 12 am to please calm down it will be ok at 3 am. Some rumor he might have magical skills with what he can pull through in lab, and he has memorized no less than a million different molecular biology spells. His abilities are so great, that he has in the past been credited of lifiting the curse placed on the iGEM lab this past summer. Beyond his charms and brilliance though, he is more than willing to use his powers to help out any of the iGEM members, as he is no doubt an amazing friend. In a few years, Yi Fan will probably be on Forbes 30 Under 30 for science and simultaeneously winning the Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Want to learn more about this famed, mystical figure? Lure him out of Weill with a bubble tea. You will be inspired by what you learn. Also, side note: don't cross him, he knows Akido and could probably kick your ass.
Cristina Zhao
Information Science, Systems, and Technology '19
There once was a girl named Cristina with the fairest hair in all the land - dark strands with golden ends. She knew her passion was business and technology, so she decided to pursue major that encompassed both. She also loved to travel. From California to New York to Brazil, she saw the world in many different colors. When she returned to Cornell, she came in as a changed person. With her bright smile and her ability to bring the fun, she brought a new light to the Cornell iGem team. The fair princess lived happily ever after in Weil 224, teaming salsaing away and hitting up all the members up with latest DP Dough deals. The End :).
Emily Lang
Biological Engineering '18
If the Pacific Northwest could be a person, it would be Emily. Hailing from Ocean, Nj, Emily Lang is an athletic, outdoors-loving person who is easily harmed by the sun. Emily is a strict vegetarian, and she has very strong positive feelings toward pizza and mint chocolate chip ice cream. A senior studying biological engineering, Emily is part of the wetlab and business subteams. Besides iGEM, Emily is involved in Club Field Hockey, where she turns into a gazelle, surprising everyone with her coordination and grace.
Maia Mirchandani
Operation Research & Information Engineering '19
Come meet Maia, the sweetest, stylist night creature New Jersey has to offer. Now a junior, majoring in Operation Research, Maia is the only person who can handle two project teams while still function like a real person. She works on the business team on iGEM. If you ever seen our cute quarter zips, you know who ordered them :) Besides iGEM, she is an acapella ethusiast and mac&cheese addict. This girl is ready to take on any challenge and she is on FIRE!!
Swathi Chakrapani
Computer Science '19
Meet Swathi: a Chipotle-loving wet lab wizard and CS prodigy. Having a great passion for iGEM, the only thing she doesn’t love about the team is that she can’t bring coffee into the lab space. She likes coffee a lot. Seriously. She brings her French Press with her to statistics class. When Swathi isn’t coding, in the lab, or drinking coffee, she’s exploring the great aisles of Costco or lifeguarding in Helen Newman. Don’t let her size fool you, she will probably stop you from drowning one day.
Taylor Song
Mechanical Engineering '18
Hailing from South Korea (or was it New Zealand?), Taylor bit the bullet and settled down in rural Ithaca New York to puruse her passions at the intersection of biology and engineering. She is the only person ever to say in an interview that her spirit animal was a pig, and anchors the team as (currently) Cornell iGEM's only mechanical engineer. Despite being a queen of CAD, Taylor keeps it real in her spare time, playing tennis, listening to music, and enamouring the gentlemen of Cornell Engineering in lecture halls across campus.
Amith Punyala
Biological Sciences '19
Some say he was born with a pipettor in his right hand and a Petri dish in his left. Some say he’s worshipped in certain circles as the Shaker Whisperer, and that he did deal out Righteous Spicy Justice to the unfaithful in his apartment while cooking one night. All we know is he’s called Amith Punyala, our resident miracle maker. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Amith enjoys relaxing with a cool cup of bubble tea after a long day of gracing many of Weill’s halls.
Amy Zhong
Computer Science '20
Amy Zhong, a member of both iGEM’s product development and wiki sub teams, is a sophomore CS wizard who not only survives but thrives in 3110. Hailing from the evergreen state of Colorado, she is often subject to a lot of jokes surrounding a certain type of leaf. Amy loves chocolate and Disney movies because she, like them, is sweet and kind! Despite her busy schedule, she can always make time to watch The Flash because Barry Allen (enough said).
Ashwin Viswanathan
Biological Sciences/Neurobiology '20
A sophomore from the remote Long Island, Ashwin is studying Biology/Neurobiology/Chemistry/Government. Legend has it that he lives in the basement of Corson-Mudd Hall ("the best building on campus") ruling over his domain while mass-murdering flies to run protein gels. He is a 12-time winner of the Jank of the Day honor, and can often be seen at Trillium wearing a sweater in 80 degree summer weather or working out with iGEM adviser Dr. Jan Lammerding.
Avisha Kumar
Electrical Engineering '20
Avisha is a sophomore from Pennsylvania studying electric and computer engineering. If you ask her why she chose ECE, she is most likely to say that she is "passionate about how computers work and how to optimize them" (Rev, 2017). When she isn't doing homework or in lab, she is drinking S'mores Frappuccinos, listening to rap music, or boolin'. Avisha also passionately advocates for her favorite organization by yelling "Autism Speaks" at various locations on campus. She is a positive person as seen by her life motto: "You hate me cuz you ain't me."
Isabella Yang
Operation Research & Information Engineering '19
Isabella is a junior from Texas studying Operations Research and Information Engineering. When she isn't spending all her time in the alcoves of Duffield, she's been known to visit the Farmer's Market with friends on weekends. Starbucks in hand, earbuds in, she's ready to tackle any problem that comes her way, including makeup styling for Thread Magazine. She's a dedicated and positive member of our iGEM team.
Isha Pradhan
Biomedical Engineering '20
A sophomore on the Wiki & Design subteam, Isha is an aspiring biomedical engineer who hails from New Jersey. Isha's remarkable drive and work ethic often result in her falling asleep in lectures and sometimes in g-body meetings. She's the queen of terrible puns and says "Oh dear" a lotttt. Isha is a sucker for kittens and, honestly, she's pretty much as adorable as one. Also, you'll find Isha spending $$$ on and embarking on a trek to obtain the popular beverage known as bubble tea. Isha will endure any odds--whether that be the bitter cold of Ithaca nights or exhaustion from sleepless hours of studying--to sip that sweet milk tea and taste those delicious tapioca pearls. Her passion and determination truly shine when she's craving bubble tea and making her way to Panda Tea Lounge.
Itai Levin
Chemisty & Chemical Biology '19
Legend speaks of a wet lab member in the depths of the dungeons of Weill Hall. He emerges victorious with a test tube, tempered by a smokin hot thermal cycler, a PCR for the ages. He then casts a gel with extraordinary precision before running his sample. His secret to perfection? Eating rice and beans for lunch everyday. This man is a brilliant chemistry major. This man is a veritable force of nature. This man is Itai. But what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Itai places his finished gel on the UV transilluminator. He clicks it on and realizes his mistake. Fiendish ultraviolet photons attack his eyes. He fights them off to the best of his ability, but later this war ravaged veteran falls at the iGEM social, succumbing to his wounds. Cornell iGEM can thank It-EYE for his heroic sacrifice. Without it and his steadfast labor and creativity as part of the wetlab subteam, our project would never come to fruition.
Mason Dacus
Biomedical Engineering '20
Mason Dacus is a true man's man. At age 4 he already had a fully developed beard, at age 10 he could dead-lift 4 adults at a time, and at age 18, he joined Cornell iGEM. With unmatched class, intellect, and that classic Southern charm, women want him and men want to be him. Hailing from Tyler, Texas, Mason came to Cornell set on pursuing his passion for biotechnology by majoring in biomedical engineering and joining the ranks of the famed Cornell iGEM team. This season Mason did double duty, working for the Product Development & Wet-lab teams. A seasoned CAD expert by summer’s end, you can often catch Mason helping perfect our product designs. When he’s not busy splitting lumber with his bare hands or fighting bears, Mason also enjoys ensuring the safety of all bouncy house goers, wherever they may be.
Max Zhou
Biological Engineering '19
“How do you even cast a gel” -Max Zhou, June 27th, 2017 5:19 AM. A junior studying Biological Engineering from Brooklyn, NY, Max Zhou is a true renaissance man. His hands a blur, he effortlessly configures a camera and filter setup and plants some radishes, all while wiping away his tears at another failed PCR. While already an accomplished programmer and chess grandmaster at the tender age of 20, Max’s real goal in life is to perfect his signature seventeen spice blend. Legend has it that upon adding the sixteenth spice, Max was ambushed by hitmen sent by a paranoid Colonel Sanders; the details of the encounter are unclear but the fact remains that no KFC restaurants are located near Cornell. Guided by his singular mission to achieve what no human has ever accomplished and take his rightful place in the pantheon of culinary greats, Max distracts himself with iGEM, Science Olympiad, and agriculture in the meantime.
Rahul Rambhatla
Chemical Engineering '20
Rahul Rambhatla La Land isn't just another grown man on the team. He's often regarded as a father figure. Some on the team may even go so far as to call him a dad, or even daddy. Just look at his daylong five o'clock shadow. As a Chemical Engineering major, Rahul is one of the smartest and most hardworking members of the team, often found slaving over laboratory protocols so old and outdated they match the year on his favorite types of drinks. Not only that, he is also dashingly handsome, vocally obsessed with Superoxide Dismutase, and should be considered mildly insane, based on his alb work. Why insane you may ask? As the old cliche goes, insanity is characterized as performing the same action over and over again, each time expecting a different result. Rahul is most definitely clinically insane. However, he is a true joy to work with in a lab setting, as his positive energy nullifies and often reverses the utter pain and suffering that comes out of failed laboratory work. Mr. GetYourGirlStolen both plans to be and will become a brilliant engineer in the future, so keep an eye out for what is sure to be his groundbreaking work!
Raymond Zhang
Biological Sciences '20
Raymond. A man of many talents, he is as good at balancing three different reactions in different labs as he is at balancing a diabolo on string (pretty good). His ability to drive the project forward is reminiscent of his ability to maneuver a dragonboat: every PCR, every interview is an additional stroke towards making a better world. Fighting against failures the same way that he fences (relentlessly) his broad knowledge of biology and chemistry and unbelievable interpersonal skills will be the catalyst that brings this project to fruition.
Saachi Gopal
Computer Science '20
Saachi, otherwise known as Saachmaster on numerous whiteboards around Cornell, is the queen of drawing large-eyed aliens. Her hobbies include roasting her friends--especially if she ever stays up past 10:30pm--and eating olives and avocados. She loves to wake up early in the morning to watch political comedy. Saachi is a sophomore studying computer science and is on the business and wiki subteams. If you’re ever looking for her, you will find her in Uris library studying on her sticker-covered laptop.
Yannie Mei
Biomedical Engineering '20
Who is Yannie, you might ask? She is a fun, caring, loving individual who sadly constantly doing work. You can probably find her struggling to tackle her statics problem set in Duffield or crying over her failed gels in Weill. But in the off chance that she's not doing either of these things, she loves chilling with her friends. She loves feeding them, whether she's making pineapple cakes, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, or Korean ramen and rice cakes. Need some sass in your life too? She's got you covered. So go out there and meet her!
Yeojin Min
Chemical Engineering '20'
Yeojin Min is a one-of-a-kind chemical engineer/material sciencist/mechanical engineer, who is confident about everything she does. In her free time, Yeojin likes to watch anime episodes in professional settings and eat Americanized Korean food. She also learns her self-defense skills from said anime episodes, so do not mess with her. Yeojin's most favorite activity is public speaking, especially while she is getting recorded, and she is always looking for more oppurtunities to refine her public speaking skills.
Yun Ping Tseng
Computer Science '20
Yun Ping Tseng is a sophomore from Queens, NY and one of the most vibrant members of our team. She majors in computer science and surely uses her computer to advance Cornell iGEM’s science. She makes sure the technical aspects of our project get presented properly and actually make an impact as a member of the wiki and business subteams. Outside of the team she is a multitalented musician who plays classical music on the flute, guitar, piano, and ukulele.
Zain Mehdi
Biology & English '20
Zain is a Biology and English double major, who is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. He went to North Allegheny High School where he was valedictorian (#1 foreva) and is a huge Steelers fan. In his free time he likes to swim and volunteer in a hospital working with the elderly. On the iGEM team, he is on the wet lab sub-team. For fun he enjoys painting, drawing, watching Finding Dory, watching the eclipse and crushing on Emma Watson.