Team:BYU Provo/TeamMember


2013 BYU iGEM Team

Team Overview
Team Video

Team Video

Team Members

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Amber Brown

Amber is not the typical lab junkie that you would imagine. Rather than spending a lot of time indoors, she loves getting out! Between all of her hiking, rafting, and slacklining she manages to squeeze in several hours research time in the lab for the BYU iGEM team. Amber one day hopes to become a professor of microbiology, a good fit for someone who is so dedicated to her work. Amber has enjoyed the research opportunities offered by iGEM and found it to be a valuable experience!

Arick Christopher

Despite Arick’s creepy looking picture right here, he is actually a pretty cool cat. Growing up a redneck in Redding, California, he somehow joined the hipster phase when he moved to Medford, Oregon. While he is not studying exercise science, he is busy rafting, hiking, or playing Dungeons and Dragons. He aspires to one day become an oral surgeon and is apparently quite the cook (according to his girlfriend...).



Clarice Harrison

Clarice lives a life torn between the two loves of her life: Russia and molecular biology. Self proclaimed 'gene junkie' and русская сестра, she finally achieved a merger of these two worlds when she spent a month at the University of Moscow on a biotechnology internship. After that she didn't know what to do with her life. So of course she is going to apply for grad school. In her spare time she enjoys sleeping with her purple pillows, purple blanket, and copy of Eugene Onegin.

Kendall Kiser

Kendall Kiser is homozygous negative for the “get-PCR-right-the-first-time” gene. Labmates marvel that he was ever admitted to an institution of higher learning. He insists that he’s “like, way smart” and “if PCR were baseball, I’d go 1 for 20 and still make a million bucks, so there.” He sticks his tongue out like he’s three. This childishness is to blame for the entire children’s book text.

By other descriptions, he’s a Spanish-speakin’, piano-playin’ soccer-strikin’ neuroscience nerd. Kendall’s left-handed talent for calligraphy is legendary, and entirely useless in an age of word processing software.



Darren Lasko

Darren Lasko is from Reno, Nevada. He is majoring in Microbiology and wants to go to Medical School, because he thinks it's cool. Darren is always the person in the lab who picks up the slack and gets the job done. When everything goes wrong, he'll lighten the mood. Darren also enjoys watching the Bachelorette, and is a real ladies man!

Xiuqi (Jade) Li

There are only three parts to Jade's schedule: in the lab, on her way to the lab, or thinking about the lab. What can you say? She is a total lab junkie. Between iGEM and a Cancer Research Fellowship, Jade spent more time in the lab than outside it this summer. Being cooped up all day in a small room that most students are not aware of its existence, Jade is disappointed that she missed her chance of absorbing as much Vitamin D as possible during the best part of the year. But at least she got to make something "explode" safely in a biology lab (see picture on the right).

Jade challenges everyone to guess what she is holding in the picture. If you can get it right in one try, she will offer you a piece of the famous BYU mint truffles!



Bryan Merrill

Bryan is a bacteriophage aficionado. In addition to his phage research in iGEM, he works as a TA for the Phage Hunters class at BYU and does phage genomics research on the side. He is convinced that "phage" and "phun" begin with the same two letters.
Outside of the lab and school, you'll find him training for a half-marathon, tending his honey bees, gardening, and trying to impress his amazing wife. In a rare moment of free time, he is most likely watching a good movie, playing (or writing) music, or visiting family, or watching BYU sports. (Go Cougars!)

Kelton Peck

This biography is written in loving memory of Kelton Peck, whose remains were discovered one dreary morning on the top floor of the Widsoe lab building. Rigor mortis had eternally fixed his clutch around a pipet as he was loading his last gel. While living, Kelton loved playing the violin and ukulele, tearing up the soccer field, exploring the great outdoors, and spending time with a good book. Before his untimely death ended all worldly aspirations, he had hoped to pursue a career in specialized pharmacy and pharmaceutical research.

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Lindsey Perry

LJ (which stands for Lindsey Jackson Perry IV) is from Laguna Hills, California. He is a junior and studying Microbiology. LJ wishes that there was more time in the week as it's filled with iGEM lab, 17.5 credit hours worth of classes, all the homework that comes with them, a chemistry lab TA job, and volunteering at the hospital and a local hospice program. He is doing all these things in preparation for applying to Medical School next spring. In his rare free time, LJ likes to play hockey, go hiking, or practice the guitar.

Nathan Robert Sabin

Nathan always likes to have a good time. Before coming to BYU and joining the iGEM team, his only experience with bio-engineering came from learning about Mewtwo in Pokemon: The Movie. Needless to say, he has come a long way. Nathan is a sophomore microbiology student, but more accurately a rough, tough, farmbody from deep in the heart of Texas. Despite growing up on a farm, he never learned how to milk a cow. After three more years at BYU Nathan has plans to do the cool thing and go to medical school.



Michael Schellhous

Not your typical southern California guy, Michael has never been surfing. However, he has seen several movies that involve surfing, so we're pretty sure he'd be an expert if he ever tried. When declaring his major, he couldn't decide between chemistry and biology, so he made the only logical choice and chose biochemistry. This happened to turn out to be his real passion and he has a special interest in proteomics and lipidomics. He loves reading, racquetball, and just about anything outside.

Keltzie Westra

Keltzie Westra is a Senior majoring in Medical Laboratory Science from Sacramento, California. When she's not in the lab she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. Some of her favorite things to do are nap, eat lots of candy and vacation. While she is thrilled to be a newlywed, she is still having a hard time remembering her last name after getting married last July!


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Dr. Julianne Grose, Microbiology & Molecular Biology

Julianne Grose is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology. She earned a PhD in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah, in the lab of the Distinguished Professor John Roth, a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Prior to coming to BYU she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Jared Rutter as well as a Research Scientist for Bioenergenics, a small pharmaceutical company. Her studies have focused on the regulation of NAD(P) biosynthesis and glucose metabolism in Salmonella and the yeast S. cerevisiae.

Dr. David Kooyman, Physiology & Developmental Biology

David Kooyman is a professor in the Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology. He earned a PhD in a multi-disciplinary Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at Ohio University. Prior to coming to BYU in 1997, David worked as a Senior Scientist at DNX, a biotechnology company owned by Baxter International. Since coming to BYU he has served as a department chair and associate dean. For several years his research laboratory has been focused on studies involving molecular and cellular approaches to animal physiology and cartilage biology. He is the author of numerous manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals including the prestigious journals Science and Nature Medicine. He regularly includes undergraduate students in his research. Over the past two years, his publications have included 37 different undergraduates as co-authors. He has been invited to make numerous presentations at national and international meetings, three times as a plenary speaker and chaired the 3rd International Conference on Transgenic Animals. David’s reputation has enabled him to establish collaborations with senior scientists at universities and institutes around the world.


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