Cornell iGEM features a talented and diverse group of individuals striving to use synthetic biology to solve some of our communities' most challening problems. We span almost every college and represent a variety of different majors and interests.



Our Team

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Deniz Sinar

Team Lead
Major: Biological Engineering
Hometown: Commack, NY

Deniz Sinar

Hi, I'm Deniz! I joined iGEM because I'm interested in doing synthetic biology research in the future. I love that in iGEM, all of our project ideas are student-based, and everyone on our team is so friendly! Outside of iGEM, I'm involved in Cornell Science Olympiad. In my free time, I enjoy learning new languages, listening to R&B, and cooking eggs!

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Jacob Novozhenets

Wet Lab Co-Lead
Major: Biological Engineering
Hometown: Rochester, NY

Jacob Novozhenets

Hi, my name is Jacob and I'm a freshman biological engineering major in CALS. I joined iGEM because I wanted to gain some experience with synthetic biology, meet new people, and work as part of a creative and collaborative team. Outside of iGEM, I love hiking, swimming, reading and having too many plants.

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Abraham Sinfort

Wet Lab Co-Lead
Major: Biological Sciences

Abraham Sinfort

I am a sophomore Biological Sciences in CALS. I joined iGEM because I an very interested in the many ways that synthetic biology can be used to address many problems in the world today. On campus I am a part of freshman orientation as an OL and am a course assistant for CHEM 2070.

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Daniel Morgan

Wet Lab
Major: Biological Engineering
Hometown: Potomac, MD

Daniel Morgan

Hi my name is Daniel Morgan and I'm a Sophomore studying Biological Engineering. I joined iGEM because I wanted to build upon foundational lab skills that will allow me to one day use genetic material to make a positive impact on my community and society as a whole. Outside of iGEM, I enjoy improving my skills on the slope with the Alpine Ski Team and being a social chair of Pi Kappa Alpha.

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Ishmat Hoque

Wet Lab
Major: Biological Sciences
Hometown: Queens, NY

Ishmat Hoque

Greetings, my name's Ishmat and I'm a part of wet lab. Something I really appreciate about iGEM is its interdisciplinary nature. Everyone on the team has the opportunity to work on various aspects of the project without being limited by which subteam they're on. Outside of classes & iGEM, I enjoy reading and finding the best burger places in town.

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Margaret Keymakh

Wet Lab
Major: Biological Science
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Margaret Keymakh

My name is Margaret and I am a Junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology. My hometown is Brooklyn, NY. Other than iGEM, I am involved with research in the Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics, I’m a tour guide, and I volunteer at Loaves and Fishes. Additionally, I’m a teaching assistant for a microbiology course.

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Xihang Wang

Wet Lab

Xihang Wang

Hello! I'm Xihang, and I was the team lead for the 2021 season. I joined iGEM because it combines research and engineering with entrepreneurship, and I love everyone's enthusiasm when working together to solve problems using biology. Besides iGEM, I am also involved with Science Olympiad @ Cornell and plant research. Outside of school, I enjoy bowling, walking around Beebe Lake, and raising chickens in my backyard.

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Siddhanth Bhatt

Wet Lab
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Acton, MA

Siddhanth Bhatt

Hi, my name is Sid and I'm a freshman in the College of Engineering. I joined iGEM because I think synthetic biology is a neat way to solve the world's problems and because of the welcoming community. For fun, I like playing basketball, listening to music, solving puzzles, reading, and collecting coins.

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Shohum Finkelstein

Wet Lab

Shohum Finkelstein

Hi! My name is Shohum. I'm a first-year Biological Engineering major from Berkeley, California. I joined iGem because it combines my passions for quantitative and qualitative problem solving, creativity, and making a positive social impact. Outside of iGem, I love playing ukulele and flute as well as sewing and jewelry making.

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Michael Constant

Wet Lab

Michael Constant

Hey guys, I'm Michael and I'm a chemical engineering major in the class of 2025! I joined iGEM to be part of a fun and social community that creates amazing projects that can help people and I fell in love with the genetic aspect of this team! Other than iGEM, I'm also in the marching band and Alpha Chi Sigma!

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Pedro Pablo Vera Perez

Wet Lab

Pedro Pablo Vera Perez

I am a Biomedical Engineering major, class of 2025. I joined iGEM because I was interested in working with and assembling genetic circuits. Also, I found the idea of collaborating with other students to work on creative solutions for real-world problems exciting. Outside of iGEM, I like to read, practice Latin dances like salsa and bachata, and hang out with friends.

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Adithya Prabakaran

Wet Lab

Adithya Prabakaran

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Emma Taigounov

Product Development Lead
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Bridgwater, NJ

Emma Taigounov

Hi! I'm in the graduating class of 2024 and currently am majoring in Biomedical Engineering. I joined iGEM because I want to gain experience outside of everyday classes and to meet more people with similar interests. I love playing ice hockey and eating ice cream!

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Kaitlyn Beiler

Product Development
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Hazleton, PA

Kaitlyn Beiler

My experiences with a high school medical program and STEM has led to my interest in electronics and biology. Through iGEM, I am able to explore both aspects along with designing and creating user-centered products. Moreover, iGEM has introduced me to a group of people who make each meeting fun and unique. In my spare time, I like to paint landscapes and read science fiction. I also enjoy playing soccer.

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Daniel Bilezikian

Product Development
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Hometown: Warwick, NY

Daniel Bilezikian

Materials Science, Class of '23. I joined IGEM because I am interested in taking complex systems from biology and exploiting them for engineering purposes. Currently trying to understand how mushrooms think, what quantum vibrations are up to in microtubules (sus), and at the Estroff Group researching how nanoscale structure of animals interact with light. Outside of biology I'm interested in ancient history and the use of magic, saucing up delicious meals, hiking, and camping in the great outdoors.

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Rocky An

Product Development
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: NY

Rocky An

I am a class of 2023 Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering major, interested in systems, synthetic, and mechano-biology as well as space biosciences. I joined iGEM because I like exploiting bacteria. I also like guitar music, microtonal music, and bicycling. I am an iGEM 2021 Ambassador to North America as well as an adviser to Cornell iGEM.

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Sun Lee

Product Development
Major: AEP
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Sun Lee

Hi I'm Sun, like the Sun! I'm a sophomore AEP major. I joined iGEM because I like phospholipids and it's been cool being around so many big brain people that are passionate about constantly learning and working together to engineer biological solutions. Outside of iGEM I like being lactose intolerant and reading picture books.

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David Xiang

Product Development

David Xiang

Hi, I am David and I'm a biomedical engineering. I joined iGEM because you get to make cool stuff that does cool stuff :). I like to play tennis but not in Ithaca because the weather sucks and love reading books.

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Rena Park

Product Development

Rena Park

Hi! I'm currently a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering. I joined iGEM to share my enthusiasm about engineering for humanity; I am proud to be part of a team where we share our own unique perspective about synthetic biology and work together towards one united goal - a better future. In my free time, I love going to grocery stores and cooking gourmet food!

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Nayal Zaidi

Product Development

Nayal Zaidi

I'm Nayal, a Biomedical Engineering graduating in 2024! I joined iGEM so I can get really hands-on and make cool products that can help people. On campus I'm also a Peer Advisor and a Consultant for CS1112 (yay Matlab!) Outside of academics, I enjoy playing video games with friends, drinking Boba, and watching bad movies.

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Joan Rong

Product Development

Joan Rong

Hi! I’m Joan from Beijing, China. I’m a freshman studying BME in CoE. I joined iGEM because I want to explore the possibility of bio in interdisciplinary areas, and I like to meet cool people. Outside of iGEM, I love to play sports, drawing, and watch musicals and animes :)

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Catherine Liu

Product Development

Catherine Liu

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Grace Gentner

Policy & Practices Lead
Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Portland, OR

Grace Gentner

I am a first year chemical engineering student. I joined iGEM because I found the projects from the past few years incredibly interesting and I loved the team energy! In addition to iGEM, I'm a member of the EYES club and the Ithaca chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. My favorite hobby is antiquing with my friends.

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Bella Valdez

Policy & Practices
Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: New Rochelle, NY

Bella Valdez

I am a Junior studying Chemical Engineering. I joined iGem to see how I could impact the world around me with what I have learned in school. In my free time, I like to hang out with friends or family.

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Tram Huynh

Policy & Practices
Major: Science & Technology Studies
Hometown: San Jose, CA

Tram Huynh

Hi! I'm Tram and I joined iGEM because I was attracted to the culture of work that was established among the team, it felt more than just another school-extracurricular. I absolutely adore the sciences, and within PnP, I hope to ensure that all stakeholders are considered when creating new technology. Given free time, I'll play tennis, attempt to cook, and dream some nice dreams.

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Elizabeth Becker

Policy & Practices
Major: Biological Sciences
Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Elizabeth Becker

Hi! I'm Elizabeth and I'm a sophomore studying biological sciences in CALS. I joined iGEM because I wanted to be part of a student led research team with projects that have a positive influence on both a local and global scale. My hobbies include hiking and skiing, and I am also part of Food Recovery Network and Beekeeping club!

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Elena Joseph

Policy & Practices

Elena Joseph

Hi, I'm Elena! I'm a sophomore studying Information Science. I joined iGem to work with likeminded peers to further explore my interests in biology and policy. Outside of iGem, I am also involved with GlobeMed, Social Enterprise, and a research lab. In my free time, I enjoy making playlists, trying new foods, and hanging out with friends.

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Pallavi Kondayapalepu

Policy & Practices

Pallavi Kondayapalepu

Hi! I'm Pallavi, a freshmen at Cornell studying Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. I joined iGEM because I was eager to work collaboratively on creating synthetic biology solutions to address local issues. On campus, I'm involved with PATCH, the Smart is Strong Foundation, and the Ithaca Health Initiative. Outside of iGEM and classes, I enjoy reading, playing Minecraft, watching tv, playing basketball, and napping :D

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Aindri Patra

Policy & Practices

Aindri Patra

Hi! I'm Aindri, and I'm a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Biological Sciences. I joined iGEM for the chance to work on a student led team that works on projects that can have a positive impact on the community, while learning more about synthetic biology. In my free time, I enjoy reading, painting, and playing tennis.

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Hrishika Gogineni

Policy & Practices

Hrishika Gogineni

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Tarun Vallabhaneni

Business Lead
Major: Biology and Society
Hometown: Hyderabad, India

Tarun Vallabhaneni

Hey, my name is Tarun and I'm a junior studying Biology and Society. As someone hoping to explore the intersection of business and healthcare, IGEM offered me the perfect opportunity to create innovations in the field of synthetic biology, and create an actual plan to enter the market, while also giving me a network of peers in various fields. Outside of IGEM, I love listening to new music, playing basketball and watching standup.

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Brian Li

Business
Major: Biology and Society
Hometown: Whitestone, NY

Brian Li

Hi! I'm Brian. I was first drawn to Cornell iGEM by its many pursuits and projects, but my favorite part of the team has got to be its wildly ambitious and inventive members! My personal goal is to provide CU iGEM with adequate funding and resources and expand our team beyond competition and towards a future of making a difference for our local community and the world. Besides fundraisers in Duff and meetings in Biotech, you can find me filming for various dance organizations on campus and volunteering at Cayuga Medical!

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Andrew Pei

Business
Major: ILR
Hometown: Edison, NJ

Andrew Pei

Hi! My name is Andrew and I'm a sophomore studying Industrial and Labor Relations. I joined iGEM because I wanted to contribute entrepreneurial and marketing ideas to allow the rest of the team to focus on the technical aspects and make the best project possible. Outside of iGEM, I love to play sports, spend time outside, play board games, and eat fast food (Chick-fil-A #1).

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Iris Li

Business

Iris Li

Hiii, I am Iris Li. I joined Cornell iGEM because I believe synthetic biology is definitely one of the most prospecting and competitive topics in the current and future markets. Outside of school, I enjoy playing switch games (botw is the best game ever) and some other video games, photography, etc.

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Srishti Khetan

Business

Srishti Khetan

Heyy I'm Srishti and I'm a sophomore studying BME with a minor in business. I joined iGEM because I find using synthetic biology to solve everyday problems so cool. I loved everyone I talked to on the team and love working with a student-run group to potentially create a life changing product. I'm also big into running, climbing, singing with my a cappella group, and chef-ing up new recipes with my roommate.

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Steven Zgaljardic

Business

Steven Zgaljardic

I am a junior in the ILR school with a minor in business and a concentration in Law. I joined iGEM because I want to learn how to navigate regulations and policies surrounding the implementation of synthetic biology projects. I spend my free time snowboarding, skating, surfing, and doing yoga.

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Pedro Da Silveira

Business

Pedro Da Silveira

Hey, my name is Tarun and I'm a junior studying Biology and Society. As someone hoping to explore the intersection of business and healthcare, IGEM offered me the perfect opportunity to create innovations in the field of synthetic biology, and create an actual plan to enter the market, while also giving me a network of peers in various fields. Outside of IGEM, I love listening to new music, playing basketball and watching standup.

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Amber Zheng

Wiki Lead
Major: Biological Sciences and Info Sci
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Amber Zheng

Hi, my name is Amber, and I'm a sophomore double majoring in Info Sci and Bio in A&S. Two things I love about iGEM: 1) I'm inspired by the way so many distinct and motivated individuals come together to create one giant project, and the endless possibilities that come with it. 2) I love the strong sense of family iGEM provides; everyone is so welcoming and supportive! Outside of iGEM, I am also an Info Sci researcher, a lead in Scientista Cornell Chapter, a REACH tutor, and a soprano in the REAL A Cappella group who can sing the high C.

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Maggie Wan

Wiki
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: St. Catharines, ON

Maggie Wan

Hi, I'm Maggie! I'm a freshman in the College of Engineering, planning to major in Computer Science. I'm from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. I joined iGem because there are so many opportunities to learn new things about both synthetic biology and computer science. The team is very friendly and welcoming, making it easy to work together to explore new ideas. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, watching movies, listening to music, and baking.

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Vernetta Huang

Wiki

Vernetta Huang

Hi! I'm a freshman in CoE (still undecided). I joined iGEM because I hope to be apart of something meaningful; to help solve problems with the limitless possibilities of synthetic biology. In school, I'm also involved with E.Motion (apart their media team, I'm not athletic enough to be a dancer) and SWE. I love videography, crafting, reading, and most of all, sleeping.

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Derek Huang

Wiki

Derek Huang

Hello! My name is Derek Huang and I'm a freshman from Tulsa, Oklahoma double majoring in Computer Science and Statistics in Arts and Sciences. I joined iGEM because I've always wanted to combine my interest in computer science with a bio component, and I really like the connection I've developed with my teammates. Outside of iGEM, I enjoy playing piano, cooking, and eating cheesecake!

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Parth Vakil

Wiki

Parth Vakil

Hey everyone! My name is Parth and I am a sophomore studying Computer Science. I joined iGEM because I'm interested in learning about new research in synthetic biology. I am also part of Cornell Blockchain and I enjoy playing tennis in my free time.

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Shara Shanmugasundaram

Wiki

Shara Shanmugasundaram

Hi! I'm Shara and I am a freshman majoring in Computer Science in the College of Engineering. I am from Chantilly, Virginia. I joined iGEM because I wanted to explore deeper into the connections between computer science and synthetic biology. Outside of classes, I love reading novels and taking pictures of literally anything.

Our Alumni

Out alumni have gone out from iGEM into a variety of fields. Check out where they are now: