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Dr. Mayi Arcellana-Panlilo

Mayi Arcellana-Panlilio has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Ucalgary) and after a 3 year stint with a biotechnology firm, returned to academe to engage in pediatric cancer research. She was instrumental with establishing microarrays as a research tool at the University of Calgary, managing the Southern Alberta Microarray Facility for 10 years.

She has been involved with teaching/mentoring in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program since 2003, primarily to develop and deliver the Honours Cell & Molecular Biology course, a core requirement in the curriculum. She has taught every offering of that course and has received numerous accolades from the Faculty and the students, most recently winning the Teaching Excellence Award for 2010-2011 from the University of Calgary Students Union. This is her first year as an iGEM Instructor and her interest in the program springs from her belief in the value of inquiry as a means to getting students engaged in the pursuit of knowledge and developing habits of becoming lifelong learners.

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Dr. Anders Nygren

I have a PhD from Rice University, Houston, Texas, and MSc degrees from the University of Houston, Texas and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. I am an Associate Professor in the Centre for Bioengineering Research & Education and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Calgary. My main research interests deal with the electrophysiology of the heart, using a combination of experimental measurements and computer modeling. I realized a few years ago that the modeling methods used in this research also can be applied to an area I knew nothing about at the time: Synthetic Biology. This is the third time I am involved as one of the facilitators for a U of C iGEM team. The idea of applying engineering methods to biology just keeps getting more fascinating to me the more I learn about it. This year, I am particularly excited about the fact that we have built a team with students from three faculties joining forces to address a problem of great relevance to our local economy.

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Dr. Lisa Gieg

I have been doing research in the field of environmental and petroleum microbiology for 20 years. I obtained my BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Alberta, then worked as a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oklahoma for a dozen years before returning to Alberta as an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. My research has focused on the aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation of hydrocarbons in the context of oil spill bioremediation and microbially enhanced energy recovery. Since arriving at the U of C, I’ve also been examining the microbiology of oil sands tailings ponds with an eye towards how microbes can be used in their bioreclamation. This is my first time being involved in iGEM. I am very excited by the possibility that tools of synthetic biology can be used to help in the tailings ponds biotreatment and hope to learn a lot about all aspects of iGEM from our dynamic and diverse group of students!

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Dr. Anthony Schryvers

Dr. Schryvers is currently a professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and director of the O’Brien Centre for the Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta in 1981 and graduated with an MD from the University of Calgary in 1984. Dr. Schryvers has been involved in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program since its inception in 2005, responsible for overseeing the laboratory facilities and serving as associate director of the program for two years.

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Dr. Doug Muench

I am a Plant Cell Biology Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. I completed a PhD in Genetics at the University of Alberta and spent a few years as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University. My main research focus is on the study of subcellular dynamics, however, this past year my research group initiated a project on the identification of plant genes that are important in the reclamation of tailings ponds. As an iGEM rookie myself, it’s exciting to see a group of students with diverse backgrounds come together and use their individual expertise to approach an important environmental problem.

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