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The Team

Duke Team Photo.jpg

iGEM 2013 Team Duke Members (from top-left):

Matthew Farnitano, Hyun Soo Kim, Ashley Reid, Charlie Cooper, Matt Baron, Janan Zhu
Not Shown: Cameron Kim, Nick Buchler, Charles Gersbach


Matt Baron


Matt is a junior studying Biomedical Engineering and Finance. Along with iGEM, he is a member of Duke's E-Team Peer Advisers and a brother of Sigma Nu. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing intramural flag football, volleyball, basketball, and softball. Upon graduation, Matt is interested in pursuing a career at a biotech company or consulting firm.

Matthew Farnitano


Matthew is a sophomore studying Cell and Molecular Biology and Music at Duke University. He grew up in Northern California. In addition to iGEM, Matthew is involved with the Hoof'n'Horn musical theater group, the Duke University Wind Symphony, and Lutheran Campus Ministries. Matthew enjoys traveling, playing the piano, camping and hiking, and of course, pipetting. He is planning to pursue a Ph.D. in biology and become a teacher.

Cameron Kim


Cameron Kim is a senior studying biomedical engineering, mathematics, and genome sciences & policy. He is a Pratt Undergraduate Research fellow in Dr. Gersbach's lab where he utilizes synthetic biology for applications in genetic reprogramming and regenerative medicine. In his spare time, Cameron can be found on the quidditch pitch, where he serves as the president and coach of the Duke Quidditch team. He is also involved in theater at Duke and enjoys baking for others. He plans to attend graduate school to pursue synthetic biology research next year.

Hyun Soo Kim


Hyun Soo Kim is a junior from Seoul, Korea majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical/Computer Engineering. He plans to attend graduate school to pursue a ph.D degree. Besides the iGEM project, he is also part of Dr. Lynch's lab where he studies metabolic engineering. Hyun Soo is also part of a rock band at Duke that performs at the end of each semester. He is very excited to be part of the iGEM team, where he contributed mostly in mathematical modelling and designing the wiki-page.

Ashley Reid


Ashley is a sophomore from Charlotte, North Carolina majoring in Biomedical Engineering. In addition to iGEM, she is a part of Dr. Wax's lab focusing on biomedical interferometry and spectroscopy. Ashley is on the executive board of the nonprofit Girls Engineering Change, a member of Alpha Phi, and involved in religious life at the Duke Chapel. She enjoys being outdoors and running with the Club Running team.

Janan Zhu


Janan is a sophomore from New York, New York majoring in Biophysics and Mathematics. He hopes to work in a field that applies quantitative approaches in understanding biology and is excited to be part of iGEM as a way to explore these interests.

Grad Students

Charlie Cooper


Charlie Cooper is a graduate student in the Buchler lab developing tools to control biological processes.


Nicolas Buchler, Ph. D.


Website: Buchler Lab

The Buchler Lab is interested in the systems biology and evolution of epigenetic switches (bistability) and clocks (oscillators) in gene regulatory networks, two functions that are essential for proper patterning, cell proliferation, and cellular differentiation in biological systems. We use several approaches (experiment and theory, biology and physics, evolutionary systems biology and synthetic biology) to understand the diverse molecular and evolutionary mechanisms by which combinatorial control, ultrasensitive thresholds, bistability, and oscillation have evolved in gene networks.

Charles A. Gersbach, Ph. D.

Website: Gersbach Lab


The Gersbach Lab is focused on engineering new methods for directing cell behavior to regenerate diseased or damaged tissues and treat genetic diseases. We are particularly interested in developing and applying technologies that manipulate cellular processes at the genetic level. Our work capitalizes on the products of the Genomic Revolution and modern advances in the fields of genetic reprogramming, gene delivery, protein engineering, stem cell transplantation, and synthetic biology to create innovative biologic approaches to improving human health. These studies also facilitate a better understanding of complex processes including organogenesis, cell lineage determination, and gene regulation that will ultimately lead to improved design of drugs and biotherapeutics. Our efforts are catalyzed by interdisciplinary collaborations with investigators in engineering and medicine at Duke and other institutions.