Gokce Altin Yavuzarslan

Chemistry
Gokce Altin Yavuzarslan
Chemistry

As a graduate student in Professor Alshakim Nelson’s lab in the department of chemistry, Gocke is working on in situ production and continuous delivery of therapeutics by 3D-printed engineered living materials. She received the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey Scholarship in support of her graduate work and holds a B.Eng. and M.S. in Food Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.

Karl Anderson

Karl Anderson

Karl Anderson

Karl’s interests span synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and their applications in bioproduction. During his undergraduate years, he delved into enzyme engineering research. Following graduation, he contributed to the development of T-cell therapies for cancer treatment at Bristol Myers Squibb. He holds a B.S. in biology and chemistry from the University of Washington.

Gabrielle Balistreri

Chemical Engineering
Gabrielle Balistreri
Chemical Engineering

Gabrielle is a graduate student in Dr. Elizabeth Nance’s disease-directed engineering lab. She is interested in the sustainable applications of nanotechnology involving therapeutics and diagnostics for critical diseases. Her research focuses on the characterization and investigation of cellulose drug delivery systems to the brain. Her previous undergraduate work focused on porous silicon materials as an alternative imaging technique for human diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors. She received her B.S. in Chemistry at the University of California San Diego.

Reagan Beers

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Reagan Beers
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Reagan is a graduate student in Jessica Ray’s Aquatic Innovation in Materials Science lab. Her research focuses on synthesizing and characterizing a novel nanomaterial for degradation of persistent drinking water contaminants. Reagan is a recipient of the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute Director’s Fellowship for 2022. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from University of California San Diego.

Riti Biswas

Ritis Biswas

Ritis Biswas

Ritis is a bioengineering graduate from the University of Washington, is focused on utilizing computational protein engineering to accelerate bottlenecks in therapeutic biologics research. During her time as an undergraduate, she developed small tool proteins using Rosetta. She later contributed to protein engineering at Amgen by analyzing antibody protein structures and interfaces using computational tools like Rosetta, aiding research choices.

Stephen Blaskowski

Oceanography
Stephen Blaskowski
Oceanography

As a graduate student in Dr. E. Virginia Armbrust’s lab in the School of Oceanography, Stephen is developing computational tools for the discovery and characterization of novel molecular mechanisms in ocean microbial communities. Previously, he worked as a research associate on high throughput cell-based assays assessing the efficacy of HIV vaccine candidates in the lab of Dr. Victoria Polonis, and on the development of novel bacterial genome engineering tools at the SF bay area based biotech company Zymergen. Stephen holds a B.S. in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Samantha Borje

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Samantha Borje
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Samantha is working with Georg Seelig and Jeff Nivala as part of the Molecular Information Systems Lab. With Georg, she is working on scaling up DNA strand displacement circuit architectures for more complex computations. With Jeff, she is developing a CRISPR-based system for in vivo neural network computation. Both projects have potential applications in diagnostics and environmental monitoring as well as synthetic biology. She holds a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Pomona College, where she previously worked on chemical synthesis and synthetic biology.

Ryan Cardiff

Chemical EngineeringChemistry
Ryan Cardiff
Chemical EngineeringChemistry

As a graduate student in the labs of James Carothers and Jesse Zalatan, Ryan is developing CRISPR-based gene regulation tools to improve our ability to engineer microorganisms for the production of high-value compounds. Ryan holds a B.S. in Bioengineering from Stanford University.

Alex Carr

Institute for Systems Biology
Alex Carr
Institute for Systems Biology

Alex is co-advised by Drs. Sean Gibbons and Nitin Baliga at the Institute for Systems Biology. He is interested in how interspecies interactions and environmental factors facilitate the formation and functions of microbial communities as well as the ways by which these communities adapt to changes in their environment, and the roles they play in both the environment and human health. He hopes to develop a deeper understanding of the complex interspecies and evolutionary dynamics of soil and human gut microbial communities through the characterization of individual species and synthetic consortia. Alex holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.

Jacob

Jacob Cavon

Jacob Cavon

Jacob aims to employ computational and experimental methods to construct comprehensive models of cell and molecular networks. Their goal is to utilize these insights to manipulate the behaviors of biological networks. During their undergraduate studies, they secured an NIH IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence grant, supporting their investigation into a group A streptococcus (GAS) virulence factor protein. Following graduation, they furthered their GAS research, playing a pivotal role in developing a novel intranasal infection mouse model. A recipient of the UW College of Engineering Dean’s Fellowship, Cavon holds a B.S. in cell biology and neuroscience from Montana State University, Bozeman.

Adam Chazin-Gray

Biochemistry
Adam Chazin-Gray
Biochemistry

Adam Chazin-Gray is a graduate student in David Baker’s lab. He is using computational protein design to expand the tools to communicate between cells. His project combines aspects of protein design, and synthetic biology to design synthetic cell signaling systems. This research has potential applications in treating a wide variety of human diseases, including many types of cancer and drug-resistant bacterial infections. He holds a B.A. in Biology & Neuroscience from Oberlin College.

Louis Chen

Bioengineering
Louis Chen
Bioengineering

Louis is interested in polymer science, smart biomaterials and tissue engineering. As a member of the Ratner Lab, Louis’ research focuses on developing engineered polymeric biomaterials for multiple applications. One of his projects involves synthesizing materials to prevent biofilm formation through surface modifications. He is also developing a biomaterial scaffold for better kidney organoid integration. He holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Washington.

Maggie Cook

Chemical Engineering
Maggie Cook
Chemical Engineering

Maggie is a graduate student in James Carothers’ lab. She is working on the cell-free bioconversion of carbon dioxide to high-value chemical commodities. This research will help enable the bioproduction of metabolically burdensome compounds and establish a new paradigm for the use of sequestered carbon as a biofeedstock. Maggie is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She received a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University.

Brian Darst

Chemical Engineering
Brian Darst
Chemical Engineering

As a student in the Carothers lab, Brian is developing tools and uncovering design rules for metabolic engineering in non-model bacteria. Brian is interested in leveraging this research to help address ecological issues ranging from chemical production to water pollution. Brian holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from North Carolina State University.

Olivia Dotson

Bioengineering
Olivia Dotson
Bioengineering

As a graduate student in the labs of Dr. Kelly Stevens and Dr. Cole DeForest, Olivia is developing a new 3D printed biomaterials that can serve as mechanically tunable and functional liver tissue to trigger regeneration in an injured or diseased liver. This research will offer a novel therapy to treat liver disease and advance the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. She holds a B.S in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Alyssa Easton

Institute for Systems BiologySchool of Medicine
Alyssa Easton
Institute for Systems BiologySchool of Medicine

Alyssa is a graduate student co-advised in Dr. Sean Gibbon’s microbial ecology lab at the Institute for Systems Biology and Dr. Abbie Schindler’s trauma and stress lab at VA Puget Sound. She is using data science to study the molecular gut-brain axis and how this system is impacted by trauma, stress, and aging. She is an NIH T32 Fellow in the University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Training Program. Alyssa holds a B.S. in Biological Engineering with a concentration in Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering from Purdue University.

Andrew Favor

Biochemistry
Andrew Favor
Biochemistry

Andrew is a researcher in the lab of David Baker, at the Institute for Protein Design. His research focuses on the design of symmetric protein complexes to serve as scaffolds for the development of new types of medicine and nanomaterials. In his previous research experience, in academia and industry, he focused on utilizing modified bacteriophage proteins to create drug-delivery vehicles and antimicrobial agents. He holds a B.S in Chemical Biology and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Stephen Fedak

Stephen Fedak

Stephen Fedak

Stephen is interested in using single-cell transcriptomics to characterize synthetic biology systems. During his undergraduate years, he contributed to characterizing initiation factors in the non-canonical translation initiation process (RAN) linked to repeat-expansion disorders. Following graduation, he engaged in gene editing at 2seventy bio. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Patrick Gerber

Bioengineering
Patrick Gerber
Bioengineering

Patrick is a graduate student in Dr. Patrick Stayton’s lab. He is developing polymeric drug delivery platforms, with a particular interest in delivery systems that target specific tissues or cell types. This research will improve the stability and delivery efficiency of drug cargo, as well as reduce off-target effects. In his previous work, Patrick investigated the impact of intermolecular interactions between drugs and polymers on their loading, as well as drug release from polymer scaffolds. Patrick received his B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Jacob Gershon

Biochemistry
Jacob Gershon
Biochemistry

Jacob is interested in using the principles of synthetic biology and protein engineering to address prominent issues facing our world including environmental rehabilitation, clean water, and the sustainable manufacturing of textiles, goods, and chemicals. As a graduate student in the Baker lab, Jacob is working on developing deep generative models for protein design, hoping to someday use these tools to design new materials that support sustainable fashion. Traditional textile manufacturing generates toxic byproducts, but this may be alleviated with the use of de novo enzymes. In his free time he loves to eat tomatoes, make riddles, and watch F1. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from SUNY, Binghamton.

Gizem Gökçe-Alpkılıç

Medicinal Chemistry
Gizem Gökçe-Alpkılıç
Medicinal Chemistry

Gizem is a doctoral student in the laboratory of Gaurav Bhardwaj in Medicinal Chemistry and interested in de novo peptide design to inhibit the activity of macromolecules. She is currently designing cyclic peptides against protein targets including extracellular ones such as SARS-CoV-2 main protease because cyclic peptides have some advantages over linear peptides which are high stability, high specificity and their ability to bind protein surfaces that cannot generally be drugged. She is primarily interested in computationally achieving the best binders that reach global energy minima by analytical calculations and also to test & approve their binding by experimental analyses. She previously did one of her internships in the Baneyx Lab in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington and holds an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the TOBB University of Economics and Technology from Ankara, Turkey.

Marc Exposit Goy

Biochemistry
Marc Exposit Goy
Biochemistry

Marc is interested in using genetic engineering and computational biology approaches to increase our understanding of biological systems and precisely engineer new biological functions. His previous research experience includes both molecular biology work to accelerate the development of rapid antigen tests for emerging viruses (Gehrke lab, MIT) and dry lab experience in using machine learning to predict the outcomes of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing (GÃell lab, UPF). He also started a team to develop a gluten sensor for people with celiac disease, which was presented in the 2018 iGEM competition. He holds a B.S. in Biotechnology from University of Girona, a M.Sc. in Bioengineering from IQS School of Engineering, and a M.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics from Open University of Catalonia.

Anika Gupta

Institute for Systems Biology
Anika Gupta
Institute for Systems Biology

As a graduate student in Anna Kuchina’s lab at the Institute for Systems Biology, Anika is utilizing microbial split-pool ligation transcriptomics to study host-pathogen interactions. Transcriptomic analyses of single bacterial cells allow for high-resolution profiling of gene expression within systems where bacteria may act and exist as both a host for bacteriophages and pathogens against eukaryotic cells. Anika received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and enjoys hiking, road biking, and dancing in her free time.

Arielle Hancko

Arielle Hancko

Arielle Hancko

Arielle’s passion lies in engineering therapeutics, particularly targeting chronic diseases. During her undergraduate years, she dedicated her research to the field of cardiac tissue engineering. Following graduation, she delved into the realm of neuropharmacology research. Recognizing her potential, she was honored with an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Her academic journey culminated in a B.S. in bioengineering from UC San Diego.

Josef Henthorn

Bioengineering
Josef Henthorn
Bioengineering

As a graduate student in the Lutz lab, Josef is developing next-generation diagnostic tests for upper respiratory infections and HIV. Josef’s research focuses on using advanced molecular diagnostics on paper microfluidics to produce rapid, inexpensive, and highly multiplexed point-of-care diagnostics. His research will help to make diagnostic testing more accessible and comprehensive. He holds a B.S. in Bioengineering and Nano-Molecular Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington, and certificates in nanotechnology and data science.

Ellie James

Medicinal Chemistry
Ellie James
Medicinal Chemistry

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and ALS are characterized by the aggregation of disordered proteins. Recent discoveries suggest that these same disordered proteins also demonstrate phase separation behavior, in which disordered proteins prefer each other to mixing evenly in aqueous solution. Working with Professors Abhi Nath and Mike Guttman in the department of Medicinal Chemistry, Ellie seeks to understand the dynamics and structural intricacies that govern aggregation and phase separation. This knowledge may enable the use of small molecule drugs to influence disordered proteins on the pathways to aggregation or phase separation. Ellie holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Materials Science from Western Washington University.

Naveen Jasti portrait

Naveen Jasti

Biochemistry
Naveen Jasti
Biochemistry

Naveen is interested in using synthetic biology to develop biologic solutions in global health and is mentored by Neil King. He hopes to design protein nanoparticles that further vaccine development and provide insight into the role of specific interactions during immune responses. He received a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.  

Jihun Jeung

Jihun Jeung

Jihun Jeung

Jihun explores sequence-structure-activity relationships in proteins and applies computational methods to biocatalyst design and protein-based drug development. Formerly, he employed bioinformatics and deep learning for multi-omics and drug target discovery. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in life science from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea.

David Juergens

Biochemistry
David Juergens
Biochemistry

David Juergens is a doctoral student in the David Baker lab in Biochemistry. His work focuses on using deep learning and data science to solve problems in computational protein design. These problems include the prediction of protein structure, prediction of amino acid sequences that fold into a desired state, and the design of functional proteins. David holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington.

Paul Kim

Biochemistry
Paul Kim
Biochemistry
 @paultkim_ipd

Paul is a graduate student at the Baker Lab, working on development of novel deep learning methods for protein design. Specifically, he is working on methods for generation of novel DNA binding proteins. Previously Paul at Bayer (Berlin) and the Simons Machine Learning Center (New York) in machine learning research and development roles. Paul received a B.A. in Statistics from UC Berkeley.

Andrew Kubaney

Andrew Kubaney

Andrew Kubaney

Andrew’s focus is on utilizing deep learning and generative models to create novel proteins, including enzymes for plastic degradation, molecular sensors and mechanical proteins. During his undergraduate studies, he explored the use of ultrasound images for polymerization monitoring and developed software to control lab photoreactors. He also conducted image analysis on the collected data. He holds a B.S. in chemistry and computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.

LeAnn Le

Chemistry
LeAnn Le
Chemistry

As a graduate student in Professor Alshakim Nelson’s lab, LeAnn is working on the development and characterization of bio-hybrid materials, commonly known as Engineered Living Materials (ELMs). Using 3D printing techniques, LeAnn aims to design more responsive and sustainable materials for both the health and industry sectors. LeAnn is a recipient of the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute Director’s Fellowship. She holds a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Justin Lee

Bioengineering
Justin Lee
Bioengineering

Under the mentorship of Professor Andre Berndt in the department of bioengineering, Justin is developing molecular tools and methods for optical phenotyping of hiPSC-based disease models. Before joining the Berndt lab, his work encompassed mechanobiology and stem cell-derived tissue engineering for disease modeling. Outside of academia, Justin has extensive experience in biomedical entrepreneurship, and he cofounded UW spin-off startup Curi Bio. In 2022, Justin was awarded a prestigious F31 Fellowship from the NIH. Justin received a B.S. in Physiology and M.S. in Applied Bioengineering from the University of Washington.

Bonnibelle Leeds

Physiology and Biophysics
Bonnibelle Leeds
Physiology and Biophysics

Bonni is a PhD student in the Asbury laboratory in the Physiology and Biophysics department. She studies microtubules (MTs), which are long, hollow cylinders of repeating protein subunits that switch stochastically between phases of lengthening and shortening. In most eukaryotic cells, bundles of several MTs drive cell division by synchronously lengthening and shortening to align and segregate chromosomes. Uncovering how MTs remain synchronized to correctly separate the cells’ genome is critical to understanding how cell division goes awry, as in many cancers. Bonni’s thesis work will use optical trapping and Monte Carlo simulations to examine the role of mechanical coupling in MT coordination.  In addition to providing pathological insights, understanding MT mechanics will instruct the design of sophisticated synthetic nanomachines, which thus far cannot recapitulate naturally occurring protein nanomachinery. Bonni earned her B.S. in Bioengineering at the University of Washington in 2019.

Ariel Lin

Chemistry
Ariel Lin
Chemistry

As a graduate student in Professor Ashleigh Theberge’s group, Ariel is working on developing and applying 3D cell culture platforms by utilizing open microfluidic principles to manipulate cell-embedded hydrogels. These platforms enable tissue models with multiple cell types, tunable stiffness, and a defined extracellular matrix, allowing for a more biologically relevant in vitro tissue culture method than the conventional 2D cell monolayer method. Ariel received her B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University, San Bernardino, and enjoys lifting and going to concerts in her free time.

Melissa Ling

Bioengineering
Melissa Ling
Bioengineering

As a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Suzie Pun, Melissa is working on drug delivery platforms, including biologically testing polymeric drugs bypassing the blood-brain barrier. This could improve drug targeting to the brain for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In addition, she is identifying biomaterials that will promote CAR-T cell therapy, which will improve this cancer treatment in the future. She holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University.

Yulai Liu

Biochemistry
Yulai Liu
Biochemistry

Yulai is co-advised by Professors David Baker in the Department of Biochemistry and William Catterall in the Department of Pharmacology. Yulai is interested in studying the physicochemical properties of transmembrane proteins. Based on this knowledge he aims to use computational approaches to design transmembrane nanopores for selective filtration, molecular sensing and sequencing. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Fudan University.

Peik Lund-Anderson

Biochemistry
Peik Lund-Anderson
Biochemistry

Peik is a graduate student in David Baker’s lab, where he is designing novel proteins for light-driven catalysis and electron transport in artificial photosynthetic systems. This research could enable them to harness light energy to produce fuels, fix CO2, and synthesize other chemical products. He holds a B.S in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Idaho.

Rory Majule

Computer Science and Engineering
Rory Majule
Computer Science and Engineering

Rory is advised by Jeff Nivala, an assistant research professor in the Molecular Information Systems Laboratory in the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. He is investigating digital microfluidics as a tool for automating bacterial and cell-free synthetic biology. The result of this research will be a versatile, high-throughput, and entirely open-source platform for automating and tuning synthetic biology experiments. He holds a B.S. in Biological Science from Cornell University, where he focused on microbiology research.

Cassandra Maranas

Biology
Cassandra Maranas
Biology

Cassandra is a graduate student in the Nemhauser lab in the Biology department. She is interested in using CRISPR dCas9 and serine integrase technology to build externally responsive genetic circuits in plants, genetically engineering them for eventual applications in agriculture, medicine, and climate resilience. She aims to advance the field of plant synthetic biology and use the multicellular nature of plants for novel and exciting applications. Cassandra holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UW.

Christina Maranas

Christina Maranas

Christina Maranas

Christina focuses on biomaterials, tissue engineering, and polymer chemistry for medical applications, aiming to enhance healthcare quality. During her undergraduate studies, she created drug-capturing polymer membranes for chemotherapy’s toxic side effects reduction. She also co-developed a portable bioprinter prototype for tissue regeneration. Maranas holds a B.S. in materials science and engineering from Penn State.

Yuhuan Meng

Chemical Engineering
Yuhuan Meng
Chemical Engineering

As a graduate student in Hugh Hillhouse’s research group, Yuhuan is investigating bismuth rudorffites, a promising new material for the top cell in solution-processed tandem perovskites. These lead-free wide bandgap semiconductors could potentially serve as a high-performance alternative to the lead-based materials in hybrid perovskite solar cells currently used to increase the power conversion efficiency of solar cells while lowering their overall cost. A deeper understanding of bismuth rudorffites could enable the development of low-cost tandem solar cells from non-toxic elements. Yuhuan holds a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Tianjin University and a M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington.

Abdul Moeez

Chemical Engineering
Abdul Moeez
Chemical Engineering

Abdul Moeez is working in the Pozzo Research Group and focuses on the development of high-throughput workflows for molecular engineering of materials by leveraging Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS). The research will enable structural optimization for different classes of materials including lipid nanoparticles, quantum dots, photovoltaic materials to achieve desired properties. Abdul Moeez is one of the Clean Energy Institute Fellows for 2023-2024. He is a Fulbright and Global UGRAD alumnus. He holds a MS in Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) from University of Washington and BS in MS&E from the Institute of Space Technology, Pakistan

Davi Nakajima An

Biochemistry
Davi Nakajima An
Biochemistry

As a graduate student in Dr. Frank DiMaio’s lab, Davi is developing machine-learning methods for modeling proteins and their interactions with other molecules. This research will enable new ways of analyzing and designing biomolecules. He holds a B.Sc in Computer Science with a Minor in Biochemistry from Georgia Tech. He was awarded the UW’s College of Engineering Dean’s Fellowship.

Phuong Nguyen

Nam Phuong Nguyen

Chemical Engineering
Nam Phuong Nguyen
Chemical Engineering

Phuong is a Ph.D. student performing her graduate research in the lab of Elizabeth Nance in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on characterizing and investigating the role of brain-derived extracellular vesicles in injury response in neonatal ischemia models. Extracellular vesicles are membrane-bound vesicles that have emerged as a new pathway of cellular communication and a valuable source for injury stage-specific information and as fingerprints of injury progression. They have become an exciting new research thrust in therapeutics due to their intrinsic capability to carry active biomolecules, endogenous bioavailability, and biocompatibility. The long-term goal of her research is to develop targeted therapies for neonatal ischemic injury, which is an underserved population in translational research. Phuong obtained her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Materials Science & Engineering at Stanford University and the University of Washington, respectively.

Dinh Chuong (Ben) Nguyen

Bioengineering
Dinh Chuong (Ben) Nguyen
Bioengineering

Ben is co-advised by Professors Suzie Pun and Patrick Stayton in the Bioengineering department. He is developing polymeric biomaterials for targeted drug delivery, with a particular interest in advancing the state-of-the-art of cancer vaccines and kidney therapeutics. The efficacy of promising drug candidates is often hampered by delivery constraints, such as rapid clearance from the body and/or off-target toxicity, more simply, they do not stay at the right place for the right amount of time to work. Ben’s work can change that incorporating drugs into polymers can help them stay in certain bodily compartments for longer, and adding targeting molecules to polymer chains can help them hone in on certain cells that they need to act upon. He likes to think of his work as bringing miracle molecules that kill cancer cells in a petri dish to full clinical approval and into patients’ hands. He holds a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Kira Olander

Chemical EngineeringChemistry
Kira Olander
Chemical EngineeringChemistry

Jointly advised in the Carothers and Zalatan lab, Kira is developing tools for gene activation, inhibition, and base editing in bacteria. She is applying this work in metabolic engineering to rewire bacteria for bioproduction. She holds a B.S. in Bioinformatics from Wheaton College (MA) and previously worked as a computational biologist in cancer immunology at the Broad Institute.

Evan Pepper

Institute for Systems Biology
Evan Pepper
Institute for Systems Biology

As a graduate student in the Baliga Lab at the Institute for Systems Biology, Evan is researching the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens and looking to reveal the mechanisms that facilitate this phenomenon. Through a systems biology perspective, Evan hopes to understand how to exploit new transcriptional or metabolic vulnerabilities in clinical pathogens that have evolved to resist a specific type of antibiotic. Evan holds a B.S. in Biomolecular Engineering from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Annika Philomin

Annika Philomin

Annika Philomin

Annika focuses on developing environmentally friendly polymers from renewable sources and creating custom-designed proteins for eco-friendly purposes like sustainable nanocomposite materials and bioplastics synthesis. During her undergraduate studies, she specialized in designing novel proteins that alter oligomeric states upon peptide binding. She also contributed to the structural analysis of these proteins using nsEM and cryoEM techniques. Philomin holds a B.S. in biochemistry from the UW

Ayumi Pottenger

Bioengineering
Ayumi Pottenger
Bioengineering

Ayumi is a grad student in Patrick Stayton’s lab within the department of Bioengineering. The Stayton lab explores novel polymer architectures to create prodrug platforms that target specific tissues while reducing peripheral effects. Ayumi is interested in infectious disease treatments, and currently studies polymeric treatments for the radical cure of Plasmodium vivax malaria. Her previous work focused on sub-anesthetic ketamine treatments for levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease. She received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona.

Nick Bohmann

Institute for Systems Biology
Nick Bohmann
Institute for Systems Biology

Nick is a graduate student in Dr. Sean Gibbons lab at the Institute for System Biology. He is interested in using computational tools to enhance the predictive capability of models of the microbiome, eventually using insights from these models to develop interventions for disease. Ultimately, he hopes to apply new understanding gained through a systems biology approach to translational medicine, improving human health and wellness in the process. He was selected as a College of Engineering Dean’s fellow in 2019. Nick holds a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Christina Savvides

Biochemistry
Christina Savvides
Biochemistry

Christina is a graduate student in David Bakerss lab at the Institute for Protein Design as well as a trainee in the University of Washington’s Medical Scientist Training Program. She aims to use computational methods to design new therapeutics that will more precisely modulate the immune system. Christina holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University.

Enisha Sehgal

Enisha Sehgal

Enisha Sehgal

Enisha aims to use synthetic biology and protein engineering for a sustainable future. With a passion for collaborative molecular engineering, she looks forward to addressing sustainability challenges through innovative projects at UW. During her undergraduate years, she led structural biology research in her lab, pioneering cryo-EM sample preparation protocols and obtaining novel ribosome complex maps. Sehgal, a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, holds a B.S. in molecular, cell and developmental biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Yangwei Shi

Chemistry
Yangwei Shi
Chemistry

As a graduate student in the laboratory of David Ginger in Chemistry, Yangwei  is interested photovoltaics, energy storage, synthesis and characterization of functional nanomaterials. He is currently working on a project that focuses on developing new methods to alleviate the impact of defects in perovskite solar cells. This research will help improve the efficiency of perovskite solar cells. He holds B.E. and M.E. in chemical engineering from Dalian University of Technology.

Janis Shin

Bioengineering
Janis Shin
Bioengineering

Janis is a member of Dr. Herbert Sauro’s lab. She collaborates with Dr. James Carothers to develop a method for systematically reengineering metabolic pathways in microorganisms. Specifically, she utilizes machine learning to build kinetic models from perturbation data. Her research will decrease humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels by lowering the cost of sustainable industrial chemical production. She holds a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. 

Ria Sonigra

Ria Sonigra

Ria Sonigra

Ria is focused on cell-free CO2 bioconversion, innovative drug delivery and molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases. Her experience includes yeast evolutionary genomics and creating an HIV drug resistance diagnosis algorithm. She holds a B.S. in biochemical engineering and biotechnology, along with an M.S. in biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi.

Amy Stegmann

Chemical Engineering
Amy Stegmann
Chemical Engineering

Amy is co-advised by Jim De Yoreo, Chief Scientist for Materials Synthesis and Simulation Across Scales at PNNL and an affiliate professor of materials science and engineering and of chemistry at the UW, and David Baker, Director for the Institute for Protein Design and a UW professor of biochemistry. Amy is investigating the self-assembly and nucleation of hybrid organic/inorganic nanostructures. She is specifically studying protein directed mineralization in order to facilitate the rational design of self-assembling hierarchical structures for clean energy applications. Amy was named a 2020 Clean Energy Institute Graduate Fellow and previously received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2018. She holds a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Washington.

Mattias Tolhurst

Computer Science and Engineering
Mattias Tolhurst
Computer Science and Engineering

Mattias is a graduate student in the Molecular Information Systems Lab (MISL), in Jeff Nivala’s group. He is interested in developing new techniques for recording the inner workings of cells. He is currently working on leveraging synthetic biology tools to develop a molecular recording device that can measure the age of important enzymes and proteins within cells. Mattias is an avid skateboarder and runner and received a B.S. in Mathematics and Biotechnology, a Bachelor of Biomedical Science in Pharmacology & Medicinal Chemistry, and a B.S. with first class honors in Biotechnology from Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington. He is on a Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award.

Marti Tooley

Biochemistry
Marti Tooley
Biochemistry

Marti is jointly advised by Drs. Neil King and David Baker within the Institute for Protein Design. She aims to use computational methods to design new nanoparticle cages that will direct specific immune responses. Her goal is to understand more about the complex role of immunity and help generate a vaccine platform with long-lasting protection. She previously worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center engineering B cells in their Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division. Marti holds a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Quoc Tran

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Quoc Tran
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Quoc is developing high-throughput technologies in Georg Seelig's lab to construct and characterize biological networks. This work could one day enable scientists to implement complex, programmable control of gene expression in live cells for applications in disease therapeutics or metabolic engineering. Outside of the lab, Quoc invents foods and develops riddles. He holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UC San Diego.

Sarah Wait

Bioengineering
Sarah Wait
Bioengineering

As a graduate student in the lab of Andre Berndt, Sarah is interested in optimizing protein function by coupling machine learning algorithms to directed evolution. This research will help advance the field of protein engineering and develop optogenetic tools that can be used in studies of addiction, pain, and emotion. She recently received the Herbold Data Science Fellowship to continue her work in machine learning. Sarah holds a B.S in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah.

Roni Weissman

Roni Weissman

Roni Weissman

Roni’s focus lies in drug delivery systems and immunoengineering. During her undergraduate studies, she concentrated on SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A Virus research. More recently, she contributed to the development of virus-like particles mimicking IAV for targeted genetic therapy delivery to challenging cells. Acknowledging her achievements, Weissman was awarded the MolE Director’s Fellowship. She holds a B.S. in bioengineering from UC Berkeley.

Kingsley Wong

Kingsley Wong

Kingsley Wong

Kingsley aims to utilize DNA for data storage and molecular computing, employing computational techniques to design specialized molecular structures and strategies for DNA synthesis and sequencing. Previously, he focused on silicon-based DNA synthesis for data storage applications. During his master’s studies, Wong developed conductivity measurement devices for engineered proteins using micro- and nano-fabrication tools. He holds a B.A. in nanotechnology engineering from the University of Waterloo and an M.S. in chemical engineering from McGill University.

Xiaofeng Xiang

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Xiaofeng Xiang
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Photovoltaic devices are important for the renewable clean energy system. Today, silicon-based solar modules keep dominating the market, but various emerging techniques based on thin-film inorganic semiconductors are rapidly developing. Among thin-film technologies, chalcopyrite Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (CIGS) shows excellent light conversion efficiency. As a graduate student in Dr. Scott Dunham’s lab in the department of electrical & computer engineering, Xiaofeng is developing predictive models for the design and optimization of CIGS solar cell fabrication and device operation processes. These predictive models will help engineers and scientists design the material structure of solar cells to optimize performance. Xiaofeng was selected to be a 2021 Clean Energy Institute Graduate Fellow. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Nankai University, China.

Jingyi Xie

Institute for Systems Biology
Jingyi Xie
Institute for Systems Biology

As a graduate student in Dr. James Heath’s lab at the Institute for Systems Biology, Jingyi is developing new methods to analyze antigen-specific T-cell populations by incorporating multiple biomolecular technologies. These technologies were applied to improve personalized cancer immunotherapy and understand the host immune response against SARS-CoV-19. She holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Southeast University (Nanjing, China) and an M.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington.

Muna Yase

Muna Yase

Muna Yase

Muna focus is on creating custom proteins that enhance immune responses and have therapeutic potential. She is intrigued by engineering proteins to surpass natural limitations for innovative medical solutions. During her undergraduate studies, she researched the impact of receptor positioning and ligand affinity on cytokine receptor signaling. With a B.S. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the UW, she aspires to advance groundbreaking biomedical research.

Marlo Zorman

Chemical Engineering
Marlo Zorman
Chemical Engineering

As a graduate student in the Pfaendtner Research Group, Marlo uses molecular dynamics simulations to investigate protein dynamics at interfaces. He works closely with experimentalists to characterize the structure-function relationships that dictate protein roles, and hopes to contribute to protein design methodology. Marlo holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Vermont.