Team:FDR-HB Peru/Team

iGEM - FDR_HB Home

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Team Leaders

Leader - Synthetic Biology Education & Engineering

Daniela Gioia

Hello! My name is Daniela and I am currently a senior attending high school in Peru. I was born in New York, but I have lived in four other countries, where I've met so many incredible people and visited amazing places. When I moved to Peru at the beginning of 9th grade I learned about the iGEM team at my school, and since I have always been really interested in science I decided to join it to try something new. I immediately loved the club and this is now my third year in it and my second year participating in the competition. IGEM has completely changed my life, and I don't mean that as an exaggeration. I literally found my passion in iGEM which is biology, more specifically synthetic biology, and surprisingly, I found out that I really like to teach others about this passion of mine. I found out that I love spending hours in the lab after school with my friends doing experiments, and I love presenting about our project to others. I have to be honest that at first iGEM was not what I expected it to be at all. It was so much commitment and very confusing, but with time I learned so much, and now I can't imagine what my high school years would've been like without it.

Co-Leader - Synthetic Biology Education

Miski Nopo

I am a Peruvian-American student passionate about sciences. This is my second year in iGEM FDR-HB_Peru and I am excited to continue learning and sharing my experience with others.

Co-Leader - Synthetic Biology Engineering

Isabela González

Hi! I'm Isabela González, and I'm the SynBio Engineering leader. What I like the most about iGEM is that it gives students the unique opportunity to conduct research and experience what a career in science would look like. When I'm not working on our project, however, I like to be outdoors playing sports, listening to music, or just hanging out with my friends; ideally all three of those :)

Leader - Connections & Outreach

Kia Cuba

My name is Kia Cuba. I am the leader of iGEM connections which works with finding collaborations and connecting with other teams.I was born raised in Lima, Peru. I am currently a senior at FDR and joined iGEM as a freshmen. What I like most about iGEM is the opportunities and the people, thanks to this club I've met amazing people and made some friends throughout the past three years. I am looking forward my last year being part of this team and I hope I can join an iGEM team in university. One of my favorite parts of iGEM is the diversity of activities and projects that can be done. My favorite activity is rock climbing and everything to do with the outdoors. Also, I love Avatar: The Last Airbender. Appa is my spirit animal. And my favorite ice cream flavor is mango.

Leader - Wiki
Co-Leader - Connections & Outreach

Andrew Fenton

Hey, I'm Andrew. This is my first year participating in an iGEM competition and I'm currently working on the collaboration aspect of our iGEM project and our Wiki this season. I was born here in Peru, however, my parents both come from very different backgrounds one being Chinese and the other Canadian. One of my most profound interests is in technology which was one of the reasons that led me to join the FDR-HB iGEM team as there was an opportunity to develop the wiki. However, during my time here, I have learned countless amounts about synthetic biology and have improved many of my skills from leading to coding.

Leader - Integrated Human Practices & Hardware

Gabriel de Romaña

Ever since I first set foot in a lab at the beginning of my freshman year in HS, I knew IGEM was a place I could call home. I consider myself a passionate scientist that has learning as his passion. Whether its science or something else, I believe everyone has amazing gifts to share. For that reason, I am deeply grateful for being part of a very international and open-minded team. I like IGEM because Synthetic biology addresses key challenges that our environment and people face every day. I am proud to be part of this great team and the lots of knowledge and experiences I have gained. This is my fourth year in IGEM; I have been part of the SynBio team, led the hardware team, and I am also in charge of the public relationships with the companies that are helping and funding our team. I want to become a doctor to impact and help others, but most importantly, I want to become a scientist because I truly believe that science illuminates the world. We should never stop questioning. “always question, always wonder.” My hobbies besides science are swimming, learning languages, and technology.

Co-Leader - Hardware

Sofia Villafuerte

Hello! My name is Sofia Villafuerte and I'm from Lima, Peru. I first heard of iGEM in the beginning of 9th grade and decided to join even thought at the time I wasn't super into science. To be honest it was really intimidating at first and required huge time commitment but as I kept learning I realized how big of an impact science could have on my surroundings. Ever since then I've been the social media manager working on videos to educate our community about iGEM and synthetic biology in general. Most recently I've been helping out as the Co-Leader in Human Integration with a focus in hardware. What I like about iGEM is that you get to dive into a world that many people don't get a chance to and as a member you have that responsibility to share your scientific knowledge with those around you. One of the best experiences for me was when we worked with another club called Habla Roosevelt and designing science lessons to teach to the kids of the staff at our school. It was super rewarding to introduce science to kids at such a young age to hopefully inspire them to continue being curious! Some things I like to do in my free time include playing tennis, baking sweets (especially cookies) and creating multiple spotify playlists for any type of mood.

Social Media Manager
Member - Connections & Outreach

Gahyun Kim (Regina)

Hello!! I am Regina Kim from South Korea. I came to Peru in 2016 and have been a part of iGEM since 2017. I can't believe I am already a senior, and iGEM feels like a home to me now since I joined iGEM as soon as I entered high school. My favorite iGEM experience is definitely the Giant Jamboree because I love how I can get to meet diverse people from all around the world who share the passion and get inspired by each other. Kinda disappointed that this is not happening this year due to unfortunate circumstances, but I learned so many values from iGEM and it did make me grow not only as a scientist but also as a person. I am interested in STEM, especially mathematics. My biggest hobby is dancing which I have been pursuing for almost 10 years now. And I love Inca Kola :)

Member - Hardware

Thiago Aguirre

Hi! My name is Thiago Aguirre, I was born in Lima and live there to this day. This is my 2nd year in iGEM. I can currently speak three languages, Spanish, English and French; and I am learning Polish and German. Apart from learning languages I like to play videogames and watch movies. I decided to join iGEM because I like science and consider that iGEM can enhacne my scientific knowledge.

Member - Integrated Human Practices

Jorge Alonso Diaz

Hi! My name is Jorge, and I am a current Junior. I am from Colombia, yet I am currently living in Perú. I joined the iGEM because of the magnificent and revolutionizing work all teams around the world are currently doing. Concerning the sciences, I am especially passionate about Physics and Chemistry, for both give me enough knowledge to be able to understand how and why the world around me works the way it does. Outside of academic activities, I enjoy reading, watching movies, and playing basketball.

Team Members

Member - Synthetic Biology Engineering

Ben Falls

Hi! I'm Ben Falls, an 11th grader in Colegio FDR. I am from the US, but have lived in Holland, the US, Colombia, and now Lima, Peru. This is my second year in the synbio section of IGEM. I love being able to do the kind of science I normally only hear about in sci-fi movies and novels, and when I am not doing IGEM or homework, I like playing board games, reading books, and playing video games.

Member - Synthetic Biology Engineering

Marry Xuan

Hi! I’m Marry or Xinyi (my Chinese name) and I am a college freshman. This is my fourth and last year of participating in an high school iGEM team. For me, iGEM has been one of my longest lasting extracurriculars that I started in school. I joined thinking it was an extra biology class and boy was I wrong. Although I had no idea what I was doing at first, I was able to learn all of the basics of synthetic biology throughout my years of participating. Because I really enjoyed my time in iGEM, I am now pursuing a degree in microbiology. Outside of iGEM, I enjoy reading fantasy books, painting, drawing, cross-stitching and not exercising.

Member - Synthetic Biology Education

Santiago Ochoa

I'm Santiago Ochoa. I'm 14 years old and I'm from Lima, Peru. This is my first time working in iGEM. I joined my school team in June of this year. I really like working in iGEM and I have learned a lot of new stuff. I really like that I can learn new things while we design something that may help someone. In my free time I really like to spend time with my friends and play chess. I like science because it helps me to understand things that happen and may help us to solve some issues.

Member - Synthetic Biology Education

Rafaella Velasquez

I am from Lima, Peru and I am a relatively new IGEM member. I joined last semester around March after discovering my true passion for science. Though I have only been part of the team for a few months, I have already gained lots of knowledge, acquired skills and met awesome people that share my interests. I am excited for my last year in high school, and I hope to make a meaningful contribution to IGEM. So far, as part of the education group, we have focused on creating informative videos for highschool students who are missing out on a science curriculum due to the pandemic.

Member - Synthetic Biology Education

Alejandra Domínguez

I am Alejandra Domínguez and I am originally from Lima-Peru. Throughout my life, I have been always interested in all types of science, especially in biology. I remember that one day Miss Muñoz talked about iGEM and what it is about. Instantly I was really interested and wanted to join this wonderful team. I just have four months in iGEM and I have learned many interesting things. Most of my knowledge of what synthetic biology is and how it is used, came when I joined iGEM. Since then, I have been inspired to do my school projects about synthetic biology and science. I love playing all kinds of sports such as soccer, swimming and basketball. In my free times I usually play the violin, the guitar or the piano, I really like to experiment with different instruments. It helps me release stress and relax. Another thing that I really enjoy is reading books, I get fascinated really fast by any adventure book. Finally, I love nature and my dream is to work in something related to science and live in a wooden house, surrounded by thousands of trees, mountains and a large river.

Member - Synthetic Biology Education

Alejandra Reategui

Hi! My name is Alejandra, I am 15, I am from Lima, Peru and I belong to the FDR-HB_Peru IGEM team. Since the very first time I heard about IGEM I knew I wanted to be part of it. The innovation and creation involved not only in general but in the FDR-HB team is absolutely amazing. My job might not be big, as this is my first year in the program, but I still enjoy every step of the way. I have been part of the “education” group, and I probably have learned more about biology here than anywhere else, which I find extremely fun. I honestly, like very honestly, love the team. Everyone, from the teachers to the students, is so welcoming, caring and intelligent. I learn something new every single session. So yeah, go FDR-HB! <3

Member - Synthetic Biology Education

Valeria Miranda

Hello there! My name is Valeria and I have three middle names (my complete name is Valeria Milagros Francessca Miranda Saavdra) but my friends call me Valerie, Valérie (in french class lol) or any variations of my name. I’ve been in IGEM for some months now, I’m pretty new. Even though I’m quite new, I really like IGEM as it is a place where I can learn new things and express my point of view on different scientific topics. In my free time, I love to listen to music (mainly classic rock), write random stuff, meditata, draw, read and well procrastinate in general. I love to play badminton, after leaving it for some years I retook it and enjoyed it even more. I love cooking, mainly baking and I'm always eager to learn new recipes. I really like any kind of vintage things and music. I really love rock music and I’m obsessed with any type of rock (mainly psychedelic rock and rock from the 60’s) and I’m learning to play the guitar myself.

Member - Synthetic Biology Education

Romina Barrantes

Hi! My name is Romina Barrantes. I am from Lima, Peru, and have been living here since I was born. I joined IGEM in grade 10, and since then I have been involved in the IGEM Education Team. One of the most important moments for me as an IGEM member was the planning and creation of science videos for Aprendo en Casa. In my free time, I like listening to music, watching documentaries, and playing. board games especially now that we are in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the circumstances, I am really motivated to pursue my passion for learning by being part of IGEM.

Member - Integrated Human Practices, Connections & Modeling

Simon Cubas-Koyama

Hey there! I'm Simon, I'm half-Japanese and half-American, a senior at FDR, and I've only been involved with iGEM since junior year. I am a part of our Connections group, but am also working on the math modeling project for our team. I think iGEM is an awesome experience and an interactive way of socializing with others and learning synthetic biology, and while it may not be my most favorite science subject, I still enjoy it and like applying other things I learn into iGEM and vice versa. In my short time with iGEM, I've met many new friends, and had a lot of fun! I play a lot of tennis, although since quarantine I've been stuck indoors playing video games and studying. I like mangoes, music, and red pandas! :)

Member - Integrated Human Practices

Antonia Portocarrero

Im from Lima, Peru. I joined iGEM this year because I love science, and I have learned a lot of new things about synthetic biology. I really love being able to address big problems that i never thought a teenager could solve. I like playing basketball and I also play the trumpet in my free time."

Member - Integrated Human Practices

Isabella Yoshiyama

Hi, I'm Isabella Yoshiyama and I'm from Lima, Peru. I've recently joined the IGEM team this year in early March, but unfortunately most of my time in this team has been through distance learning. During distance learning I have been working with the applications team and have been able to assist a meeting with TASA.

Member - Synthetic Biology Education

Celine Hoyle

I was originally born in Miami but I currently live in Lima. I am in the education team of IGEM. I have been with IGEM for a year now and my favorite part about this club is probably the hands on experiments we used to do in school before Covid-19. I am a very artistic person and in my free time I love to paint, sketch, draw, dance and listen to music, you could say that the right side of my brain is more dominant than the left. But I am still a very driven person, everything I set my mind to, I achieve. People who get to know me would call me a cunning individual.

Member - Hardware

Kade Webber

I joined iGEM last year, and although I wasn't very interested in science at first, through iGEM I found my love and interest in it. I started out in Synbio but then more recently moved to hardware as that's where I found my greatest interest. My favorite part of iGEM is creating solutions to real world problems and acting on them as well as learning and understanding how things work. In my free time I enjoy hiking, reading, and of course iGEM.

Member - Integrated Human Practices

Miguel Garro

My name is Miguel and I am from Peru. I joined the iGEM team on my freshman year and this year will be my second year with iGEM. Initially I was planning on joining iGEM a year earlier but I had other activities which my schedule ran into. I've always been passionate about mathematics and science and I can say that joining the iGEM team was a great idea. I've learned so much during my short time in the team and I hope that I can keep on learning so that I can help the team out more in the future. I really enjoyed taking part in the bootcamps, both in and out of quarantine because thats where I learned the most and was initially fully introduced to synthetic biology. Overall, I really hope that the quarantine ends soon so that the whole team can meat and where I can learn to be a better team member and help the hardware group (the group I'm in) and others too.



Dr. Nina Markham

This is my 4th year as a P.I. for our team. I love the open sourcing and I love that High Schoolers get the opportunity to operate at a college level, being able to rub shoulders with both college and graduate students at the Jamboree. When I'm not teaching or doing iGEM stuff, I love being outdoors and hiking in the desert near my home. I also love spending time with my family.


Dr. Claudia Muñoz

I am an IB MYP/DP Chemistry teacher at Hiram Bingham school in Lima, Peru. This is my second year being a mentor of our joint high school iGEM team with Colegio FDR. I'm a scientist by training but have recently switched over to teaching, which is my new passion. I enjoy using my kitchen chemistry skills baking desserts and, when not in quarantine, running/playing outside with my dog. I continue to be amazed by the level of science achieved by our high school students and feel lucky we were able to continue growing our iGEM team this season.


Mr. David Kostial

This is my first year as an iGEM mentor/instructor! I was amazed at the work students were doing in iGEM, and am very excited to be a part of it....and I am looking forward to getting into the lab once the COVID lockdowns are over. I am a high school science teacher and I have taught biology, chemistry, environmental science and outdoor education for over 15 years. In my free time, I like being outside hiking, backpacking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, or canoeing.

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