Astroyeast - Accelerating outer space exploration through synthetic biology !-- Title end -->



We are grateful for every contribution to our project.


Maher Hassanain led the Software subteam.

Team members Maher Hassanain, Benjamin Clark, and Hajar El Mouddene contributed to background research, design thinking, and requirements needed for the development of AstroBio.

Team members Benjamin Clark, Hajar El Mouddene, Maher Hassanain, and Asif Iqbal researched the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) Database for experimental transcriptomics datasets that are good candidates for AstroBio.

Team members Benjamin Clark, Hajar El Mouddene, and Maher Hassanain performed differential gene expression analysis of transcriptomics data fetched from NCBI's GEO2R using R scripts written by Benjamin Clark.

Maher Hassanain developed the AstroBio software (frontend and backend development) and database with support from Hajar El Mouddene and Grecia Olano O’Brien for frontend development.

Maher Hassanain managed Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud for launching of AstroBio sprints.

Benjamin Clark developed the AstroBio MultiStress Explorer.

Hajar El Mouddene coordinated software development with genetics and human practices subteams, with support from Maher Hassanain.

Grecia Olano O’Brien developed the wiki content for AstroBio with support from Maher Hassanain and Hajar El Mouddene.

All team members contributed to software testing.

Kenza Samlali mentored the Software subteam.


Lancia Lefebvre and Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil co-led the Genetics subteam.

Team members Brian Baxter, Natasha Letourneau, Khashayar Zardoui, Nhi Hoang Nguyen and Labrini Vlassopoulos contributed to all Genetics research, conception, and content creation.

Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil completed the proposed implementation for Genetics.

Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil led our primer design in Benchling, with the participation of the whole team.

Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil and Natasha Letourneau designed and fulfilled the experimental aspect of the Partnership with iGEM Toulouse.

Brian Baxter completed the Bronze Medal Contribution submission to the iGEM Registry Part pages.

Mohamed Nasr actively mentored the Genetics subteam.

Human Practices

Paula Gomez led the Human Practices subteam.

Hajar El Mouddene created a stakeholder information package, researched and identified key academic researchers and industry professionals to contact, and created a contacting list, with the support of Lancia Lefebvre and Paula Gomez.

Hajar El Mouddene, Lancia Lefebvre, Paula Gomez, and Evelyn Huaman contacted stakeholders.

Lancia Lefebvre and Hajar El Mouddene developed interview questions.

Hajar El Mouddene, Lancia Lefebvre , and Paula Gomez coordinated and executed stakeholder interviews.

Lancia Lefebvre, Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil, Labrini Vlassopoulos, and Nhi Hoang Nguyen transcribed interviews.

Lancia Lefebvre formatted the interview transcripts and designed the interview booklet template.

Tina Papazotos actively mentored the Human Practices subteam.

Integrated Human Practices

Paula Gomez led the integration of human practices feedback into the communication component of the project.

Lancia Lefebvre led the integration of human practices feedback into genetics and hardware.

Hajar El Mouddene led the integration of human practices feedback into software.

Real-Time Technology Assessment

Dr. Brandiff Caron, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Engineering in Society and In-house ethicist in the Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology (CASB) at Concordia University, consulted the ethics and technology assessment of AstroYeast.

RTTA Team Member Collaborators:

Part 1 - Analogical Case of Study: Brain Baxter, Nhi Hoang Nguyen, and Labrini Vlassopolous.

Part 2 - Mapping Contemporary Practice: Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil, Natasha Letourneau, and Asif Iqbal.

Part 3 - Public Perception and Early Warning: Grecia Olano O’Brien with research support from Evelyn Huaman.

Part 4 - Technology Assessment and Choice: Lancia Lefebvre.

Science Communication

Outreach & Community

Hajar El Mouddene, Lancia Lefebvre, and Paula Gomez planned, organized, and promoted two panel discussions with guest speakers on the sustainable production of food on earth and in space, in collaboration with iGEM ULaval and Concordia University's 4th Space. Kenza Samlali moderated both panel discussions.

Paula Gomez organized and coordinated the weekend-long mini jamboree with the support of Lancia Lefebvre and Hajar El Mouddene and mentorship of Kenza Samlali. Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil moderated the event. Brian Baxter provided technical support and slick tunes.

Lancia Lefebvre organized and provided content for iGEM’s Concordia weeklong online residency, August 2020, with 4th Space Concordia.

February 2020: Lancia Lefebvre organized the 4th Space week-long SynBio interactive exhibition and “Life and It’s Definers” round table discussion with the mentorship of Kenza Samlali.

Hajar El Mouddene and Lancia Lefebvre led the public relations campaign writing content for a press release distributed through Concordia News and planning the content and the release of a promotional video distributed through the same network and filmed by Lancia Lefebvre, Hajar El Mouddene , Maher Hassanain , and Paula Gomez.

Social Media

Evelyn Huaman led the Social Media team.

Evelyn Huaman and Mohammad Amin Nikpayam managed the community outreach through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Evelyn Huaman designed and executed the social media campaign “Word of the Day”.

Hajar El Mouddene designed visuals for the social media posts

Hajar El Mouddene produced the project's promotional video with Mohammad Amin Nikpayam, with support from Lancia Lefebvre for subtitles.

Alaa Selim mentored the Social Media Subteam.


Grecia Olano O'Brien organized the social media campaign for representation of Women in STEM.

Lancia Lefebvre designed and organized the Wednesday inclusivity post for our social media platforms.

Paula Gomez organized and initiated the STEMpal program with ACTUANDO, a Colombian community center.

Lancia Lefebvre spearheaded the collaborative Code of Conduct with active mentorship from Iain Summerby-Murray.


Maher Hassanain and Lancia Lefebvre researched, selected the microgravity simulator, and organized the Hardware components. Lancia Lefebvre organized and provided the biological requirements for the hardware team; these were partially executed by the whole Genetics team.

Felipe Perez and Steven Li actively mentored the Hardware team.


Hajar El Mouddene developed the wiki with support from Grecia Olano O'Brien and Maher Hassanain.

Hajar El Mouddene, Lancia Lefebvre, Maher Hassanain, Grecia Olano O'Brien, Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil, Natacha Letourneau, Brian Baxter, Benjamin Clark, Paula Gomez, and Nhi Hoang Nguyen contributed to the content of the wiki.

Treasury and Fundraising

Hajar El Mouddene led the fundraising team.

Samman Zaman and Hajar El Mouddene created a sponsor information package, a contacting list of potential sponsors, and contacted sponsors securing sponsorships from NEB, Twist Bioscience, Geneious, Snap Gene, AminoBio Labs, Mathworks, Benchling, and IDT, with support from Paula Gomez.

Hajar El Mouddene and Lancia Lefebvre wrote grant proposals for Promega, the Sustainable Action Fund, and Concordia Student Union with the support of team mentors.

Lancia Lefebreveled the launch of a crowdfunding campaign with Concordia University, with support from Hajar El Mouddene.

Grecia Olano O'Brien researched potential sources of funding.

Maher Hassanain and Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil wrote a grant proposal for the Concordia Alumni Association.

Hajar El Mouddene and Lancia Lefebvre created and managed the team's budget.

General Support

Hajar El Mouddene, Lancia Lefebvre, Paula Gomez , and Maher Hassanain led the full team with the mentorship of Iain Summerby-Murray.

Our 2020-2021 iGEM project is generously supported by

Gold Partners

Copyright 2020 iGEM Concordia