University of Illinois iGEM Team
Team Members
Team Navigation

Who We Are
Amanda Chang
"A watched gel never runs"
Mary Brown
Mary Brown

Mary is a senior in Molecular and Cellular Biology and this year’s iGEM secretary. She enjoys cloning cell cultures and using the microcentrifuge because as she says, "It’s like a very small, deadly merry go round for E. coli." She likes to eat hard boiled eggs and read long Russian novels. This is her first year on the team, having joined for world peace.

Amanda Chang
Amanda Chang

Amanda is the Operations Director for this year's iGEM team. She joined iGEM because she wanted to learn how to conduct research in a laboratory environment and have the opportunity to work with other undergraduates with similar interests. She loves how iGEM gives students the chance to apply their knowledge and skills as biologists in the lab while learning how to engineer biological systems at the same time. She is fascinated with how so many different fields and disciplines have come together to form the field of SynBio, and being a student at the University of Illinois constantly reminds her how important interdisciplinary collaboration is!

In her free time, she enjoys going on adventures, playing guitar, snowboarding, surfing Reddit, and learning guitar and ukulele. She also likes to read about transhumanism, which has only somewhat contributed to her slight obsession with cyborgs. She loves XKCD and Dinosaur Comics. She thinks writing about herself in the third person is strange.

Angela Chen
Hsiao-Han Chen

Angela is a second year student majoring in Biological Engineering. This is her first year in iGEM and also as a publicity director. She joined iGEM because she thought artificial gene circuits were pretty awesome and researching with undergrads would be a great opportunity to learn.

Throughout the year, in addition to the research activities in the wet lab, she learned the most from coordinating events to enhance community awareness of synthetic biology and general biology issues.

Besides iGEM, she travels and does all kinds of volunteer work.

David Chen
David Chen

David is a senior in Molecular and Cellular Biology and is the webmaster for this year's iGEM team. He joined iGEM when a friend of him told his about how it was a completely different lab experience from any other one on campus. "It's the only lab on campus that is undergrad run." That grabbed his attention and off he went to join the team. He learned more than he was in store for, including how to deal with the wiki format. What a ride that was.

Throughout his year as a member of the team, he learned to appreciate the difficulty of planning ahead for the unknown, and learning to troubleshoot when the unexpected happened. He has gained a new appreciation for synthetic biology and is looking forward to seeing the work of all the other iGEM teams.

In his free time, he enjoys running through town, paintballing, snowboarding, and drinking some nice peach tea. I can tell you weren't expecting that one.

William Jones
William Jones

Will is our 2011 Science/Research Director. This is his Senior year as a Biochemistry student here at UIUC and his first experience on iGEM. He was drawn to iGEM by the enthusiasm he noticed from past members and the dedication they showed.

Along with class work, he is pursuing a senior thesis, and shepherding cultures for iGEM. He enjoys running, eating PB and Js, and taking awesome naps (which he finds particularly enjoyable when performed in that order). He plans to pursue a career in Medicine.

Madhav Khanna

Senior in Electrical Engineering. I love reading, riding bikes and hiking. I joined IGEM because I thought it would be fun and a great learning process.

Katie Murzyn
Catherine Murzyn

Katie is a junior in Bioengineering and this year’s iGEM Corporate Chair. This is her first year on the team, and she joined because she was intrigued by the stories about iGEM she heard from past members. She really enjoyed spending time with such spunky lab partners these past couple of months and has loved all of her experiences with iGEM. When she is not doing schoolwork, she loves to swim, watch horror movies, go dancing with friends, and read.

Jaimie Pepping
Jaimie Pepping

Jaimie is a Junior majoring in Agricultural and Biological Engineering with a Bioengineering minor at UIUC. For her, being a part of iGEM has been such a privilege as she feels constantly surrounded by motivated, intellectual individuals who have similar interests in this realm of science. Although this is her first year in iGEM, she has learned so much and has grown more confident in her dreams to become a biological engineer. While setting iGEM and school aside, she enjoys practicing yoga and meditation, cooking, painting, and traveling. She is also mildly obsessed with fruit and granola. And that is all :) She would like to thank you iGEM for this awesome opportunity!

Jinyu Sun

Jinyu is a senior student who is majoring in MCB. This year is his first experience with iGEM. He says it provides him with the perfect chance to challenge himself and to do a real science project in a modern lab. (He still can't believe we worked "with" Carl Woese for half a year).

He was a member of basketball team in high school. He used to play a lot until a big dude broke his arm. He started learning to play the piano when he was 5 and obtained the Chinese National Piano Grading Test level 7 certificate, but rarely plays since he is determined to get straight As in college . Guess what is his favorite activity now? Yes, iGEM!

Joseph Weber
Jaimie Pepping

Joe is a Junior in Molecular and Cellular and Biology and this is his first year on the UIUC iGEM team. He joined iGEM to gain valuable lab experience and to be a part of some cutting edge science! He has really enjoyed his experience on the UIUC iGEM, so much that he may actually get some sick satisfaction out of getting a whiff of the 37˚C grow room, not to mention a full plate of successful transformants. Outside of iGEM he enjoys running, hiking, and skiing.

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