Team:Calgary Entrepreneurial/Team


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Developing Our Team

In order to achieve our goals and develop FREDsense, we required a diverse background of skill sets. Seven members of the 2012 Calgary iGEM team joined forces to become part of the FREDsense team. Our skills represent a variety of technical specialities ranging from genetics, biochemistry, and microbiology to electrochemistry. To ensure our venture's success, we enlisted the aid of technical, business, and legal experts to our advisory board. This has aided in producing a dynamic team that will be able to deliver on FREDsense's goals and bring our technology to market.

Building the FREDsense Team

Our team is composed of seven students from diverse technical backgrounds, all who were members of the 2012 Calgary Collegiate iGEM team where this technology platform was initially developed from. To suppliment our skills we have also enlisted the aid of several key advisors from diverse technical, business, and legal backgrounds to sit on our advisory board and act to guide FREDsense Technologies as it develops.

Team Members

Our team consists of seven members from diverse technical backgrounds. Each member played a critical role in developing the technology from the 2012 Calgary iGEM team and has played a significant role in playing multiple roles in business development of FREDsense Technologies.

Iain George

This is my second year on our iGEM team at the University of Calgary. I am a master student in biological sciences at the U of C. My research is in investigating how RNA-binding proteins act to regulate various genes at the post-transcriptional level. Previously, I worked as a member of the Biofilm Research Group at the U of C, studying how bacterial biofilms could be applied to bioremediate environmentally contaminated sites. When I am not living/sleeping/supervising in the lab, you may find me in the mountains surrounding Calgary hiking and trying my hand at photography.

Emily Hicks

This is my fifth summer in iGEM, which probably means that I really, really need to get a life. This summer I am looking forward to stepping outside the lab and tackling an entrepreneurial project. I am incredibly excited to see what we discover and hopefully see our FRED project from last year move into the real world. I’ll no doubt still be enjoying the late nights in the lab, but will hopefully be able to gain a good perspective on the business side of things. In my spare time I enjoy beating David at flight control, collecting stuffed pandas as well as taking drinks from my favourite water fountain in the Health Sciences Centre.

David Lloyd

This is my fifth year being involved in iGEM in which time I have had the opportunity to work with the Alberta team for two years as an undergraduate, two years as a team advisor for Calgary Collegiate, and now with the Calgary Entrepreneurial Team. I have completed a BSc and MSc in Biochemistry and now am pursuing the FREDsense Technologies venture full time. I am very passionate for using my synthetic biology experience as a manager, entreprenuer, and educator and hope to merge these passions into an exciting career in the future. iGEM has been an amazing opportunity and I greatly look forward to another year in the competition!

Robert Mayall

I have just graduated with my Bachelors degree from the University of Calgary. This is my third year being involved with iGEM, and my first trip into the entrepreneurial category. I was heavily involved in the technical design of FRED and am the electrochemist for our group. I will continue my technical role as a member of FREDsense Technologies by focusing on the development of our platform technology.

Lisa Oberding

I graduated recently from the University of Calgary with a degree in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology, and am now pursuing my M.Sc. in Petroleum Microbiology. This is my second year with iGEM, which I got involved with as a chance to gain more research experience, learn about synthetic biology, and further define my research interests. I was involved last year with developing the sensor element of FRED, however moving forward with FREDsense I have found myself taking on more of a business focused role. I find that I am enjoying the experience of learning a completely foreign skill-set as well as getting to see science and research from a completely new direction.

Maggie Renaud-Young

I am in my fifth year of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology PhD program in the Southern Alberta Cancer Biology Research Group at the University of Calgary. The focus of my studies is the cellular response to obstructed DNA replication, and how disturbances to this process contribute to genome instability using the budding yeast model system. This is the third year that I have worked with iGEM but different from the past two years I am not an adviser, and the project is less about the bio and all about the business. It is has been a great experience for me to see the world from this perspective and I look forward to a future in research and development of a product I had a part in creating. The rest of my team and I hope that this is the launchpad for a successful business and we are excited about this opportunity to present our plan in this competition.

Patrick Wu

I am currently doing my Masters of Biomedical Technology at the University of Calgary. This is my fourth year as a participant of the iGEM competition, but my contributions this year are primarily towards construction of the Entrepreneurial team wiki. I am keenly interested in user-centered design and I am always amazed at how people can combine engineering and biology together in the iGEM competition.


Our advisory board consists of several technical, business, and law experts who were carefully selected to aid in devleoping FREDsense Technologies.

Dr. Sean Caffrey

I currently work for Genome Alberta and I manage a large genomics research project ( that is investigating how to use the microbes, genes, enzymes, and pathways indigenous to hydrocarbon resource environments to make energy extraction more efficient and less environmentally impactful. I obtained a Ph.D. in Functional Genomics from the University of Calgary and I am now working towards obtaining an MBA from the Haskayne School of Business. My MBA studies are focused on technology transfer and this is also how I hope to assist the iGEM team. This is my first year of involvement with the iGEM and it has a pleasure to be associated with such a motivated and creative team.

Dr. Chris Dambrowitz

Chris Dambrowitz is Director of Bioindustrial Strategic Initiatives for the Alberta-based Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN), an industrial-academic collaborative network developing novel bioproducts and bioprocesses. He currently coordinates an initiative to establish the Alberta BioFoundry, utilizing synthetic biology and bioanalytical platforms to address economically-important opportunities within Alberta's resources-based industrial sectors. Joining BCN from his recent position as Director - Planning & Development with the Alberta Research & Innovation Authority (ARIA) Secretariat, Chris also served as Director of Alberta Ingenuity's Accelerators Program and was the founding Program Director of the Alberta Prion Research Institute. This complements his project management and technology development experience in the bioanalytical and biotechnology industries, including positions with MDS Sciex and Genome Prairie (Concord ON), Blue Heron Biotechnology (Bothell WA), Visible Genetics (Toronto ON) and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (Chalk River ON). Chris received his PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Alberta, performing his doctoral research in the bioanalytical instrumentation laboratory of Dr. Norm Dovichi.

Dr. Lisa Gieg

I have been doing research in the field of environmental microbiology for about 20 years. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, and worked for a dozen years as a PDF and Senior Researcher at the University of Oklahoma before coming to the University of Calgary as an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences. My research focuses on petroleum metabolism by microbes in the context of oil spill clean-up, microbial enhanced energy recovery, pipeline biocorrosion, and in oil sands tailings ponds remediation. This is my third year being involved with iGEM. It is a pleasure to work with dynamic, smart, and talented students and colleagues who are exploring the use of synthetic biology to develop products that can help solve real world problems.

Dr. Anwar Haq

A multi-disciplinary professional with over thirteen years academic and medical research, market development, Intellectual Properties (IP) and project management and business incubation experience. As an Executive Director to the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, Dr Haq’s primary role is to help create and then implement and evaluate strategic business plan of the Institute ensuring that programs stay relevant and operationally and fiscally sustainable. He provides successful leadership in advancing marketing and brand stewardship to best manage the stakeholders’ experience with the Institute. He is a primary resource person and point of contact for the Institute on the organizational, operational and fiscal policies and procedures related to the Faculty of Medicine at University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and its allies. Currently Dr Haq is also pursuing his Master in Public Policy at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. His major interest lies in healthcare research investments policy implications and innovation gap in the industry.

He is an active community volunteer for science outreach, community engagement-focused organization/s, Not-for-profit fund raising and social marketing. He is one of the 62 Senators at the University of Calgary where he sits on various committees. He also sits on Steering Committee for the Calgary Youth Science Fair and a founding member of Just-Vote – an organization aimed to promote the role of public in democratic process and importance of voting. He is member of Canadian Association for Management Consultants (CAMC), National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) and Canadian Association for Business Incubation (CABI).

John Mackay

John Mackay is Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mosaic Capital Corp. Mr. Mackay is also a partner of Agcapita Partners L.P., an agricultural investment firm. John has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur taking his first company public in 1988 which was ultimately acquired by Bendix. He spent 11 years as a lawyer, and was a Partner at McCarthy Tetrault LLP in the Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions group, where he was involved with over $1 billion worth of transactions. Over the past ten years John has been involved in starting, acquiring and running many successful private and public companies in a wide variety of businesses both domestic and international. Johns’ involvement in these businesses include corporate finance, strategic development, business plan execution, M&A execution and litigation. He is past Chair of the Securities Law Subsection of the Canadian Bar Association and is a past member of the Securities Advisory Committee to the Alberta Securities Commission. John received a Bachelor of Law (Honours) from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom in 1993 and has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1994.

Robert Lawrence Malach

Rob is a Law Instructor in the Business and Environment area at Haskayne School of Business. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Freshwater Ecosystems) from the University of Saskatchewan, a Diploma in Education, a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Laws (E-Business) degree from Osgoode Hall at York University. Prior to teaching at Haskayne, Rob spent 7 years as Associate Director Bar Admission Training where in addition to day to day course administration; he was involved in curriculum design and development, as well as the recruitment and training of volunteer faculty. Rob has instructed a wide variety of Law Courses in a variety of programs for Haskayne School of Business, SAIT, Mount Royal, Red Deer College and Bow Valley College. While in practice, Rob worked in-house as Counsel with Unocal Canada Ltd.

Dr. Navneet Sharma

Dr. Navneet Sharma is working as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary (Alberta). He has over 20 years of experience working in biotech / pharmaceutical industry as well as academia after completing his Ph.D. in 1993. He has worked in the areas of process development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs as well as bio-manufacturing. In research he has contributed a lot by publishing research papers in the journals of international repute like PLoS One, Biological Chemistry, Vaccine and Molecular Reproduction & Development. Besides he has been involved in teaching business aspects and regulatory affairs to biomedical technology students. He has helped a lot of students in their research & business projects and has co-guided many. He volunteers a lot of his extra time to the activities of organizations such as Calgary Youth Science Fair (CYSF), Heart and Stroke Foundation and Sanofi BioGenius Challenge Canada (SBCC).