Stanford iGEM is an interdisciplinary team of 8 undergraduate students at Stanford University, mentored by Professors Drew Endy and Stanley Qi. We are always open to discussing our project with anyone who is interested - especially other iGEM teams seeking to build off of our work! You can contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Our Team
Chris Neimeth | Bioengineering '22
Chris Neimeth is a junior studying bioengineering. He was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont. His research interests include using the power of biological systems to help streamline research and development for fields like immunology and cancer biology. In addition, Chris is an avid curler and works in conjunction with the World Curling Federation and the Nigeria Curling Federation to help make the sport more global and develop cheaper training equipment for athletes around the world. In his free time, Chris enjoys playing basketball and snowboarding in the winter.
Emilie Kono | Bioengineering '22
Emilie Kono is a junior majoring in bioengineering. Her academic interests include bioethics, health policy, and translating synthetic biology research and tools to applications in medicine. At Stanford, she is also on the leadership team for the Multiracial-Identified Community at Stanford. In her free time, Emilie enjoys hiking and trail running with friends and family, especially in and around her hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Gillian Peraza | Bioengineering '21
Gillian Peraza is a senior and bioengineering major at Stanford. Within her field of study, she is very interested in immunology, as well as the interdisciplinary field of bioethics. Gillian is also a part of the Peer Learning Consultants Program where she gives workshops and develops resources aimed at helping students excel in academic skills. Outside of academics and work, Gillian enjoys writing and sketching in her free time, as well as spending time with her family in Miami.
Jordan Strasser | Bioengineering '22
Jordan is a junior studying human biology with a concentration in emergent systems. He grew up in LA and fell in love with science at a young age. He believes biology is the most distributed, scalable technology that exists, and that gaining control over its information architecture will change humanity in unimaginable ways. Jordan’s professional goals include creating a new economy based on decentralized biosynthesis, and leveraging engineering principles to decode and beat cancer. At the core of this is a desire to understand why life exists and how to get better at living. Outside academia, Jordan loves to travel, spend time with family and dogs, and discover new music.
Lauren Ramlan | Bioengineering '22
Lauren is a junior studying bioengineering with a minor in music. Within the field, she enjoys virology, cancer bio, gene editing, and therapeutics. You can usually find her tinkering with cells in her genetics lab, running around between her various leadership positions, or performing with music groups such as the Harmonics or Stanford Chamber Chorale. When not busy with a plethora of school-related activities, Lauren enjoys cooking the entire Hell’s Kitchen menu, playing Undertale for the 49713 time, or playing DnD with her friends.
Sarah Yribarren | Biochemical Engineering '23
Sarah is a sophomore, designing her own major in Biochemical Engineering. Her academic interests are in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, and she is interested in how she can apply those to help sustainability efforts. Sarah also plans to minor in Ethics in Society, where she has a particular interest in global justice. Outside of the classroom, Sarah enjoys hiking, baking, reading sci-fi/fantasy novels, playing the flute and the piano, and having philosophical conversations about just about anything.
Toby Frager | Mathematics '22
Toby is a junior pursuing math, computer science, and physics. He likes using applied math and information algorithms as they appear in any scientific field. In the last few years, he has played jazz trombone in concert and for recording projects as a leader and sideman. Outside of the lab and off the stage, Toby plays ultimate frisbee with Stanford’s club team, and spends lots of free time training for the sport.
Weston Gray | Biology '22
Weston Gray is a rising junior studying Biology on the Microbes and Immunity track. Outside of research pertaining to the iGEM genetic engineering team, he is interested in leveraging biological systems to create next-generation microbiota-based therapeutics for a multitude of human diseases. He is also fascinated by the fields of mycology and molecular gastronomy. In his free time, Weston enjoys cooking and playing euphonium in the Stanford Wind Symphony. He is beyond excited about the project the Stanford iGEM team has been working on this summer and can’t wait for Jamboree in the fall.
A huge thank you to everyone who
supported us this summer as we worked on our project. You were all incredibly helpful for us on our journey as we navigated the research process, and we really appreciate everything you did to help us get the most out of our iGEM experience.
And a special thank you to our mentors Drew Endy and Stanley Qi!
Professor Drew Endy
Professor Stanley Qi
Dr. Daniel Zeigler
Ohio State (BGSC)
Dr. Elizabeth Libby
Dr. Pamela Silver
Stanford iGEM 2019
It it important to note the every team member helped out in some way in every aspect of the project, even if it is not explicitly mentioned here. We were all involved in some capacity in project ideation, literature review, outreach, project design, and human practices. The following attributions are describing the emphasis each individual had - but none of us were confined to one single role.
Chris Neimeth was a late addition to the Stanford iGEM team this year but was excited to work to help the team create a live cell diagnostic. In order to do this, Chris worked on a variety of things related to the team's project but focused primarily on designing constructs and experiments for the team's recombination-based detection system and helping to manage some of the logistical aspects related to the project. Chris was also a mentor for the High School Mentorship Program. Overall, Chris loved the iGEM experience and was excited to apply his knowledge of experimental design and microbiology to this project.
Emilie Kono was lead on Human Practices interviews and initiatives, and is responsible for the content on the Human Practices page. Her work was extremely important as we thought through product development and integrating human practices feedback into our design. Additionally, Emilie was an integral part of our outreach efforts, in particular with our Speaker Series. Like other members of the team, she also spent a considerable amount of time on literature review as we figured out what molecular tools to use for detection. On top of this, Emilie made herself a valuable member of the team by offering support to teammates in all areas, whenever it was needed.
Gillian Peraza helped foster collaboration by building relationships with other California-based iGEM teams like UCSC and UCDavis through engaging with the team’s social media. She played a small but helpful role in the toehold-based avenue of experimental design during the plasmid design stage, and contributed to the writing in the Human Resources project. Lastly, she helped contribute to the aesthetics of the team and product through her logo design.
Jordan Strasser has focused on the systems integration aspect of our project, with an eye towards long-term goals and product development. His main research focus was on hacking the quorum sensing pathway for signal amplification, for which he helped develop DNA constructs. He has more recently been looking into engineering RNA uptake pathways for B. subtilis to expand the capabilities of our system. Jordan's long-term vision has helped the team to acquire fundraising, develop ideas for how to bring the SEED system to market, and he has led us in filing a provisional patent on the technology.
Lauren Ramlan was the team member that initially came up with the idea to create a self-growing test kit, and has been excited to pursue the creation of a cell-based diagnostic from the start. She focused much of her effort over the summer on engineering the toehold system through construct design and experimental layout. She was also a mentor for the High School Mentorship Program. Lauren, like her fellow team members, has contributed to many elements of the project, but has been most excited when applying her knowledge to wet lab experiments and bacterial engineering.
Sarah Yribarren began the summer helping the team with literature review, as well as focusing on growing Outreach & Education initiatives. She handled outreach advertising, and was responsible for setting up the High School Mentorship Program. Later, she was able to secure lab space for the team, and began working in lab full-time with a focus on designing and implementing wet lab experiments. Additionally, Sarah was responsible for creating and designing the iGEM wiki, where her skills in science communication and web design were invaluable. She was also excited to apply her ethics experience to investigate the ethics of our project in the context of entrepreneurship.
Toby Frager spent a lot of time this summer reviewing literature on possible reporter systems to be used inside of B. subtilis. His research into RNA toeholds was incredibly valuable, and he was involved in designing toeholds with the software from the EPFL iGEM team. Beyond that, he modified the EPFL software tool to work for our purposes (in B. subtilis, not just E. coli) and improved upon their software, making it more versatile and user-friendly. He was also responsible for our project modeling, and developed equations to help us model our system's performance, and full models of the homologous recombination system.
Weston Gray dedicated substantial time at the beginning of summer reviewing literature related to bacterial competence mechanisms and nucleic acid detection. Subsequently, he designed constructs and experiments related to the recombination-based detection system, and provided help in other areas of the project whenever it was needed. He was also a mentor for the High School Mentorship Program. He was extremely grateful for iGEM experience and glad he was able to put his knowledge of Microbiology and Molecular Biology to use.
We are also extremely grateful to everyone else who helped us through our project this summer, each and every one of whom was helpful in different ways. We were just an inexperienced group of undergraduates, with an idea we thought could change the world. You all helped us to develop that idea and turn it into something that we can now see becoming a reality.
Drew Endy has given us his unwavering support every step of the way. It was his idea to use Bacillus subtilis as the host of our detection system, due to its natural competence. He has led us through experimental design, research staging, raising funds, team-building, and more.
Stanley Qi advised us on CRISPR technologies when we were initially doing research into different cellular detection systems, and he helped point us in the direction of using RNA toeholds, which we ended up using as the basis for our system instead of CRISPR.
Daniel Zeigler provided free cells from the Bacillus Genetic Stock Center as well as ideation feedback; his extensive knowledge on Bacillus subtilis was valuable to our team in learning about the organism are working with.
Elizabeth Libby & Pamela Silver have collaborated with us strategically and experimentally to complement our adjacent projects. They themselves are working on a nucleic acid detector in B. subtilis, using CRISPR as the basis for their cellular detection, which we discovered midway through our summer - after we had already come up with our own idea for RNA toeholds. Dr. Libby sent us the YFP and mCherry_bsu backbones for free, and was able to answer some of our questions about subtilis' natural competence.
Josh Tycko was always willing to refine our ideas with his expertise, and helped us by checking over our DNA constructs before we ordered them.
Peter Cavanagh was extremely insightful when reviewing our experimental designs and ideas.
Keoni Gandall was crucial in ideating for the homologous recombination detection system, as he was the one that turned us towards the paper that we drew inspiration for the ManP system from.
Alec Lourenco was incredibly helpful in reviewing and advising biological circuit design.
Eesha Sharma helped explain and optimize the RNA toeholds for our purposes, using her experience in studying RNA toeholds.
Stanford Medicine Catalyst provided us with funding after we applied to their program, and they helped us jump-start our strategic businesses cases.
Biocurious provided us with lab space, community reagents and supplies, and many members of the lab (Fabio, Innokenti, Ulli, Eric, Jay, Chris) were very supportive in helping us troubleshoot experimental problems.
Gary Olsem (from Biolabs at the Lundquist Institute) was very accommodating to our team as we looked for labspace, and although we did not use their labspace for this project due to financial constraints, we are keeping that possibility open.
NOTE ON ATTRIBUTIONS FOR THE WEBSITE CONTENT: The images on our website, promotional video, poster, and presentation were all ensured to be royalty-free images. All of the header images are from Unsplash.com, and the diagrams were made in Canva using their free templates and images only. Photos of the Applications page were obtained free from Pexels. Biological diagrams were made using Biorender (or made in Google Slides). We also want to give thanks to the 2019 Exeter Team; we liked their navbar and used their source code for it, linked from one of their templates.