Team:KCL UK/Team

Team Members

Team Introduction:

King’s College London iGEM 2020, known as Renervate, is an interdisciplinary team with students from various Life Sciences and Biomedical Engineering backgrounds. Our team was formed in February, 2020, and we have been working hard on our project ever since! Despite the circumstances, our team has worked extraordinarily hard throughout the summer and are very proud of all that we have accomplished. As a team from King’s College London, we have a strong history of innovation in molecular biology, and are glad to be carrying forward this legacy through our work. We are also very grateful for our PI: Dr Anatoliy Markiv, and our SI: Dr Alison Snape, as well as our instructors Prof Annalisa Pastore and Dr Caterina Alfano. Our project would not have been possible without them.We have divided our team into three subgroups, the Spinal Cord Injury Subgroup, the 3D Bioprinting Subgroup and the Mussel Foot Protein Subgroup. Below, get to know our team members better!

Team Leaders:

Abigail Conner

Course: BSc Molecular Genetics, Year 3

Abigail, one of the co-Team Leaders, is going into her final year of her Bachelors in Molecular Genetics at King’s College London. This is her second year participating in iGEM with KCL, having served as the Deputy Manager in the 2019 team Capacity. Abigail thoroughly enjoyed participating in iGEM so much during her first year of university, she decided to do it again - but this time leading the team! Even though iGEM has been the cause of many sleepless nights, she has found it to be a deeply transformative experience and the most important of her time at university. Abigail joined iGEM in her first year because of the wet lab experience, and stayed with it for the friends, challenging research, and ability to have a genuine impact on the scientific community. Her passions lie in biomaterials with an emphasis on bone engineering and she aims to pursue a Master’s degree in chemical or molecular engineering following the completion of her Bachelor’s. When she's not doing iGEM (which is rare!), she is most likely reading or playing football with the GKT Women's Football Club.

Stephanie Avraamides

Course: BSc Biomedical Science, Year 3

Stephanie is one of the co-Team Leaders of Renervate and is studying the third year of her Biomedical Science degree at King's College London. In 2019, Stephanie's keen interest in innovation and biotechnology led her to be a part of the KCL iGEM team. After enjoying the experience, insight and opportunities that come with taking part in iGEM, she continued as co-leader of our 2020 team. Stephanie is passionate about novel therapies, regenerative medicine, MedTech and how emerging technologies can converge in the healthcare field. She enjoys working on innovative projects finding crucial, entrepreneurial solutions to healthcare problems and has loved doing so on the KCL iGEM teams.

Spinal Cord Injury Team

Alya Masoud Abdelhafid

Course: BSc Nutrition, Year 2

Alya is entering her second year of her Nutrition BSc. She joined iGEM because she appreciated how it empowered young scientists to create their own novel biological systems. iGEM has allowed her to extend her knowledge in biotechnology and establish a variety of skills, such as coding websites and developing an understanding for human practices. Her passions lie in applied nutrition, particularly focusing on the relation of diet and diseases. She can now thank iGEM for her new fondness of synthetic biology. Once she finishes her degree, Alya plans to complete her accreditation as a registered nutritionist and pursue a masters degree in biomedical research.

Chenjiahao Peng

Course: BSc Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences, Year 3

Chenjiahao (Kurt), is a final year student studying Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences at King’s College London. Chenjiahao’s research interests are in neuroscience and cancer. Currently Chenjiahao is planning to continue and study medicine after undergraduate study. Synthetic biology is of interest to Chenjiahao because of its great potential in medical fields and the fact it allows us to harness cutting-edge technology to solve problems and develop novel treatments.

Shams Almusawi

Course: BSc Neuroscience, Year 3

Shams is going into the final year of her Neuroscience BSc at King’s College London. In addition to being part of a talented team, she joined iGEM to discover more about synthetic biology and biotechnology. The potential of synthetic biology research is limitless, so Shams was invested in reading articles about synthetic biology-based treatments for SCI. She also learned the basics of other dry lab skills such, as coding and modelling, and developed a thorough understanding of human practices and entrepreneurship in STEM. In the future she hopes to contribute to computational psychiatry research.

Sonya Panchenko

Course: BSc Biomedical Science, Year 3

Sonya is going into the final year of her BSc in Biomedical Science at KCL, specialising in immunology and infectious disease. iGEM was a perfect opportunity for her to explore new avenues in biotechnology and gain a wealth of new experience in areas such as modelling, design and coding. She aims to pursue experimental research in immunology and neglected infectious disease, and to also explore the effects of climate crisis on vector species migration patterns. She is looking to progress onto a Master’s in global health following the completion of her undergraduate degree.

Liyamu Ma

Course: BSc Molecular Genetics, Year 3

Liyamu is entering her third year at King’s. Before she got too busy with university, she indulged in reading fantasy novels and writing, along with her other hobbies like painting and journaling. She was drawn to iGEM because the idea of working alongside other passionate university students to create something of our own that can help people was way too cool to pass. iGEM also provided the opportunity to work in other aspects of science that she previously didn’t get the opportunity to experience, offering a more holistic view of what it’s like to be involved with biology outside of the lab. Her academic interests lie in genetic disorders and behavioural genetics.

Mussel Foot Protein Team

Emily Blundell

Course: BSc Biochemistry, Year 2

Emily is going into her second year of her Biochemistry Bsc. Her interest in medicine and environmental biotechnology is what led her to join the team. iGEM has allowed her to learn a wealth of dry lab, modelling and coding skills. Having studied law previously she hopes to pursue a career in patenting scientific inventions and the Renervate project has allowed much learning into the legal and ethical requirements of new medical technology. However, the genetic and biochemical engineering work she has completed as part of the Mussel Foot Protein team has made her consider a career in the research and biotechnology world!

Luke Bateman

Course: BSc Biochemistry, Year 2

Luke is moving into his second year of studying Bsc Biochemistry. He's very sporty, training in both Jiu Jitsu and Judo. In his free time he plays Super Smash Bros. Ultimate semi-competitively and occasionally draws. His favourite TV show is Steins;Gate. Luke's interests lie in biotechnology, specifically around genetic engineering and genetic disorders, as well as immunology. He joined iGEM in the hope of acting on his interests, developing the skills and experience to help him reach his future aspirations, and to also contribute to the scientific community - hoping to have an effect on many people! Along the way, Luke has picked up a variety of other expert skills; ranging from simple presentation skills to coding websites! Once he finishes his degree, he plans to travel to Japan to work as a researcher, and has been learning Japanese alongside iGEM in preparation.

Harsh Bumia

Course: Bsc Biochemistry, Year 3

Harsh is going into his final year of his Bsc Biochemistry degree. His interests range from molecular biology and gene therapeutics to bioinformatics and biotechnology. iGEM has allowed him to develop his programming and bioinformatics skills, as well as allowed him to explore more about the human practises, and entrepreneurship involved in synthetic biology. iGEM has allowed Harsh to develop both his professional and interpersonal skills to ensure he is ready for a career in the Biotechnology industry.

Jasmin Werner

Course: Bsc Biochemistry, Year 2

Jasmin is currently moving into her second year of her Biochemistry degree. Her keen interest in the synthetic biology field coupled with her passion for business, communication, and design spurred her decision to join the 2020 KCL iGEM team. iGEM has solidified her career path as she hopes to join a Master’s programme after the completion of her degree at King’s College London.

Kyriakos Attouni

Course: Bsc Molecular Genetics, Year 3

Kyriakos is currently going into his third year of his Molecular Genetics Bsc. He had a passion for Molecular Genetics since day one of university, where iGEM turned his attention to the dry lab aspect of science, adapting an unfortunate year for wet lab into an opportunity. Through iGEM he also got the chance to discover the world of biotechnology and synthetic biology, by urging him to become a member of the Biotechnology and synthetic biology society at KCL, reaching out to opportunities that were not available to him just through the academic pathway of the university. What follows next is the goal to pursue a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

Leon Yong Kang Zhang

Course: BSc Biochemistry, Year 2

Leon is going into his second year of his Biochemistry BSc. His interests lie in molecular biology and genetic epidemiology. iGEM has been an amazing opportunity for him to explore and have hands-on experience on other branches of molecular biology such as biotechnology and synthetic biology; furthermore, it has also had a role to play in developing his interest in the entrepreneurial and marketing side of STEM. He is currently unsure as to what he’d like to do after completing his degree but is certain it would be either pursuing a Master’s degree or going into marketing for biotechnological firms.

Morgan Zvezdov

Course: BSc Biomedical Science Year 2

Morgan is starting her second year of her biomedical science degree. Her interests range from molecular biology and gene engineering, to regenerative medicine. iGEM has allowed Morgan to explore her interests, as well as further her knowledge in areas such as coding, presenting, and public engagement— In this way, she has immensely enjoyed the multilayered and innovative nature of the project. In her spare time she enjoys reading and playing the saxophone.

Peter Kanyike

Course: BSc Biochemistry Year 2

Peter is in his second year of Biochemistry. iGEM was an opportunity he would not dare miss out during his university life as it delved deeper into his interests in synthetic biology and biotechnology. These same interests are what led him to his degree and didn’t contemplate anything else, so he is enjoying collaborating with and learning from like-minded students. Away from sciences, he is involved in way too many sports and physical activities and frequently goes to the gym - or at least attempts to!

3D Bioprinting Team

Ela Kanani

Course: BEng Biomedical Engineering, Year 3

Ela is going into the last year of her Biomedical Engineering degree (BEng). She is passionate about scientific innovation – specifically technological advancements within medicine. The opportunity that iGEM posed with regards to creating a novel biological solution to a widespread problem invigorated her. Throughout her participation she has developed a substantial range of skills from computer-aided design, to engaging with subject matter experts to adapt ideas – not to mention research in wider disciplines beyond her own (invoking a new profound interest in synthetic biology). After completing her Bachelor’s, she is looking to progress onto a Master’s degree in Medical or Biological Robotics.

Remy Tran

Course: BEng Biomedical Engineering, Year 3

Remy is entering his final year of Biomedical Engineering. He joined iGEM as it was an opportune moment to experience synthetic biology, and to work in a team of like-minded individuals. iGEM has allowed him to develop many skills, such as presenting, conducting research, and has also made him realise the importance of public engagement within STEM. His interests lie primarily in medical device design and bioelectronics. He enjoys playing the piano, reading, and trying to speak French with a terrible accent.

Ilaria Franceson

Course: BEng Biomedical Engineering, Year 3

Ilaria is going into her final year of her Biomedical Engineering BEng. Her interests ranging from synthetic biology to innovative healthcare treatments led her to join the iGEM team this year. iGEM has been a fantastic experience for Ilaria, which allowed her to discover new passions and pushed her to pursue a Master’s degree in human tissue repair or regenerative medicine.

Gonzalo Leon Gonzalez

Course: BEng Biomedical Engineering, Year 3

Gonzalo is going into the third year of his BEng Biomedical Engineering at King’s College London. His interest in synthetic biology and his wish to create his own start up in the future encouraged him to join the iGEM team. iGEM has been an opportunity for him to learn about the legal aspects of medical device development and the means to place such devices in the market. At the same time, it has challenged him to learn the basics of HTML programming and has introduced him to the processes of medical implant modelling. Due to the amount of academic literature revised for the project he improved his ability to analyse scientific papers, non the less it left him wanting to invest himself more in wet lab experiences, which he hopes to fulfil by participating in the 2021 iGEM competition. He plans to pursue a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering focused in Nanotechnology or Neurotechnology following the completion of his Bachelor’s.

Our Team Members in our Virtual Lab: