Cornell University Genetically Engineered Machines

Team Members

Tim Abbott

Tim knows who you are. And he knows what you want. If you're looking to unravel the secrets of the antisense RNA strand, he will falsely say that he doesn't know, but what he does know is a particular set of skills. Skills acquired over a long career that make him very dangerous to cells, so that they cannot hide their classified intel from him. Recruited by the the iGEM intercellular coalition (in a microcosm far away) to prevent worldwide biological warfare and Malthusian catastrophe, secret agent TR Abbott is armed with the cunning and intellect that parallels the legendary 007 himself. In the shadowy dark of night, he scales the highest chitin walls, dodges laser detection beams and disables all nucleus security defenses to deftly reprogram all cell circuitry before you can type In the stark light of day, the dapper gentleman woos women with his brilliant smile and golden locks, bakes Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes and makes dirty dishes disappear. He struts not walks, he dodges and frolics, and all his bills are paid. He sleeps once a week, and when he does, it is in front of his computer. With his eyes open. He's Tim. Timothy Robert Abbott. And he is always watching. He will look for you, he will find you, and he will ki--

Hannah Ajmani

Affectionately nicknamed Hanana, she is best known as the Caucasian whose actually 100% Indian, the CTB addict, and the girl who managed to burn a microwavable brownie. She hails from Jersey, produces movies in Cali (watch Sharknado, it's so bad... it's good). And guys, she can rap. Seriously, isn't this girl cool?! She's the last person you'd expect on Cornell iGEM, but the first person to lecture you on electroporation and/or inoculation if you ask. I think she has a secret liking for biology ...don't ask her though, she'll only deny it. When she isn't pretending to dislike biology, she puts on the most kick-ass outreach programs in iGEM history ( offense Swati). Hannah is an amazing person be around. Her giggles sparkle, her smile is contagious, you can't help but love her. If you ever feel a little down, read one of her emails (seriously guys, read her emails) and you'll be sure to see her motto... "Get excited people!"

Ryan Ashley

Ryan James Ashley, at first glance, seems to be a quiet, unassuming fellow. Often referred to as “the only one who’s actually working,” Ryan is known for his unwavering focus, matched only by his superhuman productivity. Little did we know, however, that Ryan had all of us fooled. Ryan is impervious to pain, insensitive to temperature fluctuations, and unlimited in his capacity for retaining knowledge. He had mastered every martial art form in the universe by his twelfth birthday. Since then, he has looked to dominating the dance floor. Having already prevailed over the more exotic varieties, he can now be found salsa-ing his way into onlookers’ hearts at every turn. In his spare time, he has been known to traipse about the Norwegian countryside with an army of mountain goats.

Nupur Bhatt

Standing in the purple light of the cave, something seems amiss. The beautifully morose bass music that drew you here, almost against your will, has faded to a single, wavering note in the darkness. A figure is approaching, a calm grin just visible atop her slight frame. Suddenly, you are afraid. You raise your longsword just as your vision succumbs to a fiery halo; then, you open your eyes groggily. A scene from Skyrim flickers from the screen on Nupur's Thinkpad; yet, during your nap, ninety-six minipreps were completed, the lab reorganized, and the wiki redesigned and updated. You grab a box of pipette tips to continue your mastermix, only to find an intricate design in the negative space. A calm grin rests on Nupur's face.

Arun Chakravorty

The ladies of iGEM once tried to expel Arun from the team for his distracting good looks. He simply
and they changed their minds. Armed with his sparkling smile, baby soft cheeks, and boyish charm, Arun will melt your heart (and your agar plates). But don’t be fooled. This dastardly devil will always surprise you. One moment he’ll be asleep, the next he’ll be chair jousting. One minute he’ll be serenading you with sweet sounds from his scrumptious, supple lips; the next minute he’ll be rapping B.I.G. One day he’ll be clean shaven, ten years later, he’ll maybe have a five o’clock shadow. Despite these bipolar tendencies, two things remain constant in Arun’s life: he has a flair for dramatic pipetting and the ladies love him. But I beg you ladies, calm yourselves and heed my last warning: he will take your grandpa’s style; he will take your grandpa’s style. If you ever need it back, he will still be in Ithaca. But actually though.

Jonlin Chen

The Cornell iGEM team has a secret weapon. Her name: J-Chen. As a locally-grown, ‘hood-dwelling laboratory superhero, J-Chen skillfully navigates through the ins and outs of Ithaca in her Ganodermobile. Though seemingly unintimidating at first glance, beware: she can whip out her legendary ice cream maker at any given moment, and coat you in a lemony flavor of happiness so fast that you’ll forget what you were cloning. Not only is she powerful herself, her faithful minions, Solutions I, II, and III, are always within arms’ reach. Don’t dare question J-Chen’s seniority, either, or else she’ll hold your precious 97 cultures hostage, until you provide a box of those sacred yellow tips as ransom. And if there’s ever miniprepping to be done, don’t worry about it – J-Chen has already gotten started.

Rebecca Chew

The one and only Rebecca Chew,
From wetlab to drylab, there's nothing this chemical engineer can't do.
Her efforts to build the team's fungal growth chamber are so great,
That our fungi will soon grow taller than the Empire State.
Outside of lab, Rebecca enjoys chocolate desserts and midnight strolls through the park,
And secretly wishes she was either Rihanna or a great white shark.
So here are a few last words for Rebecca Chew,
You are amazing, where would we be without you?

Sharlene Dong

Ding-Dong! Who’s there? Bing-Dong! Hello? Ring-Dong! Who goes there? Ring-a-ling Dong! Surely, someone’s there? Lene-Dong! Sharley, please introduce yourself. Sharlene Dong! What could be said about Sharlene Dong? Apart from her jovial laugh and smile, she can salsa dance ‘till the cows come home, or rather, until 1am when the Big Red Barn closes. Regardless, she is an undergraduate Pre-Med Chemical Engineer that also happens to be a member of iGEM – makes one wonder how she has enough time for anything! Despite her hectic schedule, she still manages to conduct research on the calcium channels in the heart and enjoy the companionship of her iGEM teammates.

Sara Gregg

Sara is a fellow Clevelander who can aim for any goal like Hawkeye can hit all of his targets. One word, LEGENDARY. She has the endurance of a turtle but the speed of the rabbit to run for miles everywhere, beating all of us to Moosewood. Even more, she can consume a common frozen internationally famed desert faster than it takes for a sweetened, fluffy dairy solid to phase change into a pool of sticky coco-liquid. Looking past this girl's legendary fame, she's got a brightening smile which will command innocent looking mushrooms to transform into dangerous beautifully-colorful homes for the Smurfs. Watch out for this one...

Alex Han

Alex can whip up anything from multiple Asiago cheese dishes to fungi models with his mastery of statistics! He has traveled all over the world, from studying abroad in Denmark (learning the language and even more wonderful recipes!) to representing Cornell in Turkey! Also a jokester, he does not hesitate to creep on be friendly to other members to make their days that much better! :D

Eric Holmes

Unlike most humans, Eric T.S. Holmes was born from an orange flower on the tallest branch of the great sequoia in Oregon. At the moment of his birth, lightning tore across the sky only to strike his fragile body. He then grew wings, slew a few dragons, and then decided he wanted to be an iGEM member. His full name, Eric Taylor Swift Holmes, warned his interviewers that he was trouble when he walked in. And yet, the iGEM gods smiled upon him in his most desperate hour, knowing that the female singer (who had been named in his honor) would be devastated by the grief of her beloved. A master of all knots and traps, he has since conquered every terrain in the universe, including the fiery depths of the autoclave room. He now looks to the vast waters of Cayuga Lake in search of a legendary fish, one that has only been spotted once, by him of course. He captured only a picture but now thirsts for the creature's carcass, to avenge his lost left wing. In obsession, he surrounds himself with images of the deadly beast, Arunicus chakravorticum. He hopes that with his newly honed abilities from being an iGEM wet lab minion, he will be able to take down the creature.

Danielle Huang

Her second consecutive year in iGEM, Danielle has proven time and again that she's invaluable to the world of Biological Engineering. When she's not sitting in one of the many classes she's taking, you'll find her conducting complicated experiments in the lab. Already outclassing the Cornell biology labs by her junior year, Danielle spent 8 months doing an Engineering Co-Op at Johnson & Johnson as well as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, assisting in process development and antibody therapeutics analysis. Danielle is the person you want to bring with you on a nighttime walk; she will enlighten you about the stars and constellations, in addition to being a great person to hang out with. She is one of our team's highest commodities, being in demand by everyone all the time.

Daniel Leach

His stare is the most efficient selection marker. To transform, bacteria just ask him for plasmids. His pipetting thumb alone has made more progress than lesser scientists’ entire bodies. He doesn’t worry about being sterile; other organisms avoid his work out of respect. The parts registry accepted his genome as a standard part. He once failed a procedure, just to see how it feels. His scent grows E. coli faster than LB. He is the most interesting iGEM competitor in the world.

“I don’t always create new plasmids, but when I do, I prefer Biobricks."

Rafael Lizarralde

Rafael is a member of the latest generation of ninjas, and spends the majority of his time battling creatures from the seventh dimension. Not only has he mastered the art of dandelion decapitation, he also recently learned how to call forth the power of the heavens after many long hours studying rain dance simulations.

His interactions with other dimensions have left him with an uncanny knack for engineering. Some of his latest creations include the mobius bagel and a controller eerily reminiscent of the iPhone 5, but so dangerous that he won't let lesser mortals even approach the device. Any ideas about what exactly this controller does are mere speculation; however, since its invention Rafael seems to have developed an unhealthy obsession with spirals, and can occasionally be found talking to snails.

When not trying to save the world from impending doom, Rafael enjoys cuddling with his favorite glow-in-the-dark purple cuttlefish, crushing defenseless plushie Totoros, and tormenting young iGEMers with a gaze that makes even E. coli scream (research pending on how this affects transformation efficiency).

Oat Luengvarinkul

Portrayed by actor Jesse Eisenberg in the upcoming 2014 film TSN, Episode II, Oat is a Thai architect/computer programmer and internet entrepeneur. The film's production studio offers a spoiler-removed description of his biography/ the movie's plot: ""Together with his college roommates, Oat launched social networking site ******** from Cornell's dormitory rooms to great success before introducing ******** onto other campuses nationwide and relocating ******** to Palo Alto, California. But his hearty ******** payday would come at a price. Mired in legal disputes, Oat soon discovered that many of those he had befriended on and off ******** during his rise to the top were eager to see him fall. As ex-friends engage Oat in the courtroom for ownership of ********, it appears that the young entrepreneur might have let ********-based greed eclipse his better judgment. Director David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club) offers Oat's early life as an exploration into the meaning of success in the early 21st century from the perspectives of the innovative ******** founders who revolutionized the way we communicate."" Also, he dabbles in architecture. And Facebook.

Jeffrey Ly

From the moment Jeffrey was born, he knew he was destined to join the Cornell iGEM team. Two years later, he was successfully recruited. His youth isn't all drawback: his energy rivals that of his best friend and mentor, the energizer bunny, and it allows him to be more on top of things than most people. It has also earned him a place on the team as director of all things requiring enthusiasm. His other responsibilities include optimizing his teammates' vacation schedules and cheering up cells recovering from transformation. You may say he's a dreamer, but he is the only one.
Isn't he cool?

Ritvik Sarkar

Born in Calcutta, India, Ritvik Sarkar is a world renowned Poké-master, best known for conquering the Elite Four with a level-7 Charmander. Growing bored with his constant victories, he chose to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Cornell University. As a member of Cornell iGEM, Ritvik can hold his own in the machine shop, and has also been a valuable asset during outreach events. As a Taekwondo black belt, Ritvik is also indispensable at the perpetually rambunctious iGEM social events. Ritvik enjoys listening to music and playing the cello, for which he also composes pieces.

Mac Sennett

Mac came to CUGEM by an unidentified aircraft that was claimed by Ithaca’s gorges. In order to repair his ship and travel back to his own galaxy, Mac joined our team as the Dry Lab leader in order to have access to the machine shop, where he quickly displayed his other worldly skills. Although initially intent on repairing his aircraft and returning home, Mac changed his mind upon realizing how amazing synthetic biology was.

When not leading the fabrication aspect of the project, Mac can be seen holding his own with the best of biologists. Despite his suboptimal pouring technique which he uses to discourage suspicion, many of us are convinced that Mac may be coercing his bacteria to follow his will with his supernatural powers.

Once an intergalactic mercenary, Mac has continued his desire for excitement by moonlighting as Ithaca’s own superhero. When not saving freshman from ill-advised gorge jumping and the bipolar weather, Mac can be seen answering the prayers of his fellow iGEM members, once appearing out of nowhere to give his stranded members a ride, delivering his catch phrase, “come to daddy.”

For the moment, Mac has decided to settle down in Ithaca to pursue his interests in neurobiology and biochemistry. For the sake of mankind, let’s hope he decides to stay here forever.

Prashant Sharma

Here we have spotted the rare Prashant Sharma in his natural habitat. Known as Shawn by the natives of these bleached-white halls, this elusive species is most easily sighted when mingling with others of its kind. Unlike previously examined organisms, those of the Prashant genus are capable of an untroubled manner granting them a unique niche in this high-stress ecosystem. However, also characteristic of the Shawn is an innate sense of humor that both its prospective predators and prey find startling. While researchers continue to study this enigmatic creature, there is much debate over the ethics and legality of their use as laboratory assistants, despite their seeming acuity at it.

Mark Simpson

Knighted as “the God of Electrocompetent Stocks,” Mark has aroused a growing religion among iGEMers worshipping his ability to create infinite stocks with the bat of an eye. He has astounded his followers with his ability to eat red bell peppers raw and his Pillsbury doughboy impression will leave you giggling on the outside, but crying on the inside…out of happiness of course. After winging…I mean, graduating in 3 years, Mark acquired the nickname “Turbo!”, also reflecting his godliness in the lab. Mark is a valuable asset to our team, having trademarked several widely employed lab techniques such as hand centrifugation and mouth pressurized column chromatography. His sense of humor brightens the room, providing zesty comedic relief to our meetings. "Meeting adjourned!"

Christine Soong

Christine is from Ohio. Enough said. But wait, there’s more…
In the U.S. government’s time of need, they turned to Christine. She did not let them down. Reluctant to leave the iGEM team, but knowing that country comes first, Christine heroically chose to spend her summer at a top-secret military intelligence base. She masquerades as a summer intern at NASA, but in actuality she is a member of the CIA. Of course if you ask her she would deny it; that is the mark of a true CIA operative. Christine spends her days intercepting and decoding satellite communications from not-so-friendly nations, and has prevented two world wars to date. An electronics genius and computer whiz, Christine is extremely talented, but that is only evident through her work, she’s quite humble. An animal lover, she plans to own 101 dalmations after she graduates Cornell in under four years. When she's not working, Christine enjoys running, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. Just as she stepped in to save the U.S., she will return in the fall to make sure the CUGEM team is a success.

Olya Spassibojko

While many are left spinning like a centrifuge at 15,000rpm and scratching their heads as they attempt to follow our mycelium-like meetings where team members never fail to branch off each other’s ideas, Olya calmly captures the pertinent points in her impeccably kept minutes. When not typing and uploading the team’s never ending stream of minutes, she can be found in the wetlab running PCRs and secretly wishing that the loading dye was a few shades lighter and turqoise in color just like everything else she owns. Have we mentioned that the “Bio-philic Olya” absolutely adores her fluffy, hypoallergenic, turquoise kitty which listens to Anberlin too?

Tina Su


2 Whole Dill Pickles
A cup of oatmeal
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
3 thirds of a cup roasted chili pepper hummus
.786 baby carrots
A dollop of mayonnaise
1 aliquot of honey

Sweet, Delicious, and Expensive. TinamiSu is a must try. Although very sweet, it certainly doesn’t lack a bit of a kick. Acclaimed for its creamy texture, it is sure to get all your friends talking—maybe even a little too much. Regardless, TinamiSu is always tasteful and a fun dish. Served both hot or cold, you know you can turn to it on your happy days, your difficult days, or even your rainy days.
This dish is best consumed very slowly with a pipettor.

Swati Sureka

When we accepted her onto the team last year, Swati was an unassuming freshman. Little did we know she was a ticking time-bomb just waiting to go off. Her rapid rise to power makes perfect sense in retrospect: she is well-versed in four different martial arts and has received training from two separate intelligence agencies. She has no need for competent cells because she has developed her own martial art, clonejutsu, which allows her to punch, kick, or elbow DNA directly into the cells of any organism. She possesses great strength, cunning, and ruthlessness, and will be the most difficult adversary you ever face.

Yoshiko Toyoda

Yoshi is the muse of our iGEM team. She comes in the early mornings to set up PCRs to prepare everyone else’s day in lab. Her awe-inspiring penmanship on primers and mini-preps brings clarity to our otherwise chaotic assembly of reagents. Faster than a green dinosaur or a trusty mid-sized automobile, Yoshi works with great diligence and grace, even when under pressure. When she is done for the day, she relaxes with some of the finer works of culture, such as her history readings or Japanese soap operas.

Lydia Wang

Still using Snap Chat? That is going to be outdated soon for college students. Our electrical & computer engineering genius—Lydia—is working on developing super advanced mobile apps for the iPhone 11 that can literally read your mind and plan your life for the next 50 years (…or more). As a co-op in GE Intelligent Platforms in 2013, Lydia has already started her master plan. She joined iGEM in the spring of 2012 to gather information on what smart people in Cornell do in their daily lives for her project, but was disappointed to find that they are actually not robots, but a bunch of kids playing with bacteria and pipettes. So she decided to stay and help out with the Dry Lab, while secretly incorporating microcontrollers in whatever systems the team develops to monitor and control iGEMers, slowly turning them into real robots by the end of 2013. Even though a few people on the team know of her plan, they are more than happy to accept whatever Lydia put into the Dry Lab components because they make the systems work like magic. And ultimately, they accept the fact that they will become robots someday.

Kyle Wheeler

Kyle Wheeler is Cornell iGEM's resident cyborg. After failing to ride a century as a wee babe, Kyle, in his infinite infant wisdom, had an epiphany: to succeed, he must genetically engineer himself to become one with the machine. Thus began his interest in iGEM. Surrounded in a shroud of mystery, Kyle tries to protect his secret identity through seemingly innocuous activities like coding and eating lots of organic produce. Hailing from a long line of iGEM Risley-ites, he keeps himself in physical shape by casually biking 40+ miles around lakes and mentally fit by perfoming wet lab voodoo and concocting business plans on the sponsorship subteam. Ladies, try to keep up with this man's genius, but don't worry too much - no matter how slow you go or whatever torrential thunderstorm you find yourself in, Kyle's the kind of guy that rides by your side.

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Xiling Shen - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Xiling Shen has been an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University since August 2009.

Born in Shanghai, China, Dr. Xiling Shen went on to receive his BS and MS degree from the Electrical Engineering Department of Stanford University in 2001. He then worked at Barcelona Design Inc. for two years, specializing in analog circuit design and optimization, before joining Professor Mark Horowtiz' research group in the Electrical Engineering Department at Stanford in 2003. In the first two years of his PhD, he collaborated with Professor Joseph Kahn on using adaptive spatial equalization to compensate modal dispersion in multimode fibers. From 2005 to 2008, he worked with Professor Harley McAdams, Professor Lucy Shapiro, and Professor David Dill on modeling and analyzing the asymmetric division of Caulobacter crescentus. Xiling’s postdoctoral work focused on synthetic biology with Dr. Adam Arkin in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley prior to joining the faculty at Cornell University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. B. Gillian Turgeon - Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology

Gillian Turgeon is a fungal geneticist studying molecular mechanisms by which fungi cause disease on plants and the evolution of diverse reproductive strategies. Both are recognition questions. For pathogenicity the issue is how cells from different organisms, i.e., the fungus and the plant host, communicate with each other to cause or prevent disease. For sexual reproductive development, fungi either require a partner of opposite mating type to mate or can self-mate, thus the issue is how fungal cells recognize self from non-self. Using the filamentous ascomycete plant pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus and close relatives for comparison, the Turgeon lab pioneered molecular genetic, genomic, and phylogenomic tools for filamentous fungi and has deployed these to illuminate the roles of secondary metabolites in plant pathogenesis and host specificity, reproductive development, iron metabolism and oxidative stress, and niche adaptation.

Dr. Shivaun Archer - Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Shivaun Archer is a Senior Lecturer in charge of the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Instructional Laboratories. She designs and teaches undergraduate instructional labs for five biomedical engineering courses: BME 131, BME 301, BME 302, BME 401, and BME 402. The labs are designed to illustrate the course material and bring research to undergraduate education whilst exposing students to cutting edge technology and research methodology. A significant emphasis in all the labs is biomedical nanotechnology. Each of the five courses has a hands-on lab module that focuses specifically on nanobiotechnology. Overall, the lab modules enhance the hands-on training of Cornell students in the areas of microfabrication, microfluidics, biosensors, nano/microbiotechnology, and drug delivery. In recognition of her efforts in undergraduate education, Dr. Archer has received a prestigious College of Engineering Teaching award.

Before coming to Cornell, Dr. Archer worked for five years at Lynntech, Inc. a small research company specializing in biotechnology, biomaterials, chemical and biological sensors, medical biotechnology, and environmental remediation. Her work on wastewater treatment for long term space missions resulted in her receiving two NASA Inventions Space Act Awards. She also holds a joint appointment as a Research Associate in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Her research interests include nanobiotechnology and tissue engineering.

Dr. Matthew DeLisa - Chemical Engineering

Matthew DeLisa received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1996; his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2001; and did postdoctoral work at the University of Texas-Austin, Department of Chemical Engineering. DeLisa joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University as an assistant professor in 2003 and was promoted to associate professor in 2009. He recently served as a Gastprofessur at ETH Zürich in the Institut für Mikrobiologie.

Professor DeLisa's research focuses on understanding and controlling the molecular mechanisms underlying protein biogenesis -- folding and assembly, membrane translocation and post-translational modifications -- in the complex environment of a living cell. His contributions to science and engineering include the invention of numerous commercially important technologies for facilitating the discovery, design and manufacturing of human drugs and seminal discoveries in the areas of cellular protein folding and protein translocation. DeLisa has received several awards for his work including an NSF CAREER award, a NYSTAR Watson Young Investigator award, a Beckman Foundation Young Investigator award, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award, and a NYSTAR Distinguished Faculty Award. He was also named one of the top 35 young innovators (TR35) by MIT's Technology Review in 2005 and was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Wiley-Blackwell Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang award, which honors a distinguished young researcher in this field. Most recently, he was honored with a Cornell Provost's Award for Distinguished Scholarship and was the recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society's BIOT division.

Dr. Julius B. Lucks - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Julius B. Lucks is Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University, and a James C. and Rebecca Q. Morgan Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow. After attending the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics for high school, he became an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he performed research in organic synthesis and the application of density functional theory to studying the electronic properties of atoms and molecules as a Goldwater Scholar. After graduating with a BS in Chemistry, he spent a summer working with Robert Parr before obtaining an M. Phil. in Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge University as a Churchill Scholar. As a Hertz Fellow at Harvard University, he researched problems in theoretical biophysics including RNA folding and translocation, viral capsid structure and viral genome organization, under David R. Nelson. As a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley in the laboratory of Adam P. Arkin, he engineered versatile RNA-sensing transcriptional regulators that can be easily reconfigured to independently regulate multiple genes, logically control gene expression, and propagate signals as RNA molecules in gene networks. He also lead the team that developed SHAPE-Seq, an experimental technique that utilizes next generation sequencing for probing RNA secondary and tertiary structures of hundreds of RNAs in a single experiment.

Professor Lucks’ research combines both experiment and theory to ask fundamental questions about the design principles that govern how RNAs fold and function in living organisms, and how these principles can be used to engineer biomolecular systems, and open doors to new medical therapeutics.

Dr. Bruce Land - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Bruce Land is a Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell. He teaches three courses in ECE and advises masters of engineering projects in ECE and Biomedical Engineering. When time allows, he does some neural modeling and spike train analysis. He has been in this position since 1998.

Land received a BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1968 and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Cornell University in 1976 . He was a Muscular Dystrophy Association postdoc in NBB at Cornell for three years, then a lecturer in NBB for seven years. During this time he worked with Miriam Salpeter on the coupling of activity at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction, both experimentally and by computer modeling. In 1987 he moved to the Cornell Theory Center as a computational research associate, then started supporting graphics and animation. He was visualization project leader at the CTC from 1989 to 1998. From 1992 to 1998 he taught an introductory computer graphics course in Computer Science at Cornell. From 1998 to 2007 he taught computer programming and electronics courses in NBB and was a Senior Research Associate in Neurobiology and Behavior.

Graduate and Post-Grad Advisors

  • Dongliang Wu
    Turgeon Lab
  • Bradford Condon
    Turgeon Lab
  • Taylor Stevenson
    DeLisa Lab
  • Jennifer Fricke
    Clark Lab
  • Daniel Kolbin
    Clark Lab
  • Aravind Natarajan
    DeLisa Lab
  • Jason Kahn
    Luo Lab
  • Devin Doud
    Angenent Lab
  • Matthew Russell
    March Lab

Corporate Advisors

Gavin McIntyre - Ecovative Design

Gavin McIntyre is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of Ecovative Design. He received a dual B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Since the company's start in 2007, he has led all material and biological process development.

Gavin has served as the principal investigator on grants received from the US EPA, the USDA, the NSF, Empire State Development, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. He serves on the board of directors for Ecovative, the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute, and the Rensselaer Center for Automation Technology and Systems. He has also served on Technology Roundtables hosted by former NYS Governor David Paterson, NYS Governor Cuomo, the US DoE, the NSF, and the US EPA.

Sam Harrington - Ecovative Design

Sam Harrington is Ecovative's Marketing Manager. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design & Innovation. After joining the firm shortly after it was established, Sam spent two years as Ecovative's Environmental Director. Sam has conducted Life Cycle Assessments of the production system to inform engineering decisions and minimize Ecovative's environmental footprint. Sam now leads the marketing and sales team at Ecovative and has worked with several Fortune 500 customers to develop award winning sustainable packaging solutions. He is a two time winner of the Change the World Challenge and a winner in the international Dyson Eye for Why Design Competition.