Who We Are

UT Austin


  • Dr. Jeff Barrick: Supreme Leader
  • Mike Hammerling: The Instigator
  • Neil Gottel: The Tall One


  • Kate Mortensen
  • Marco Howard: The Rockstar
  • Yousef Okasheh: Afro Man
  • Evan Weaver: iGEM 007
  • Jordan Monk: Smells Like p-Cresol
  • Ben Slater: The Sensei
  • Larry Huang: Sleeper Agent
  • Siddharth Das: Bearcat
  • Razan Alnahhas
  • Ryan Lannan
  • Areen Pitaktong



  • Dr. Robert Newman


  • Wy-Key Brower
  • Imani Sharpe
  • Ebony Stadler
  • Jetaime Miller
  • LaBraya Milton
  • Daniel Claiborne

Collaboration between North Carolina A&T and The University of Texas at Austin

UT Austin and NCA&T Geneious Tutorials

NC A&T and UT-Austin are part of BEACON, an NSF center that studies evolution. We teamed up in order to combine the principles of synthetic biology and evolution in our projects, and to lay the foundation for an independent NC A&T iGEM team for next year's competition.

In June, four team members from UT-Austin visted NC A&T for a week to present a series of molecular biology workshops. Each day’s workshop would start with a “dry-lab” component such as generating project ideas, experimental design, and computational tools for synthetic biology. This was followed by a “wet-lab” application, such as transformation, PCR, and cloning. In July, five members of the NC A&T team visited Austin for another series of workshops. These activities focused on how the Austin team applied the techniques covered earlier for the MAPs and p-cresol degradation projects. More advanced techniques were demonstrated, such as advanced primer design for plasmid assembly, and the use of non-canonical amino acids for protein engineering.




  • Prof. Jeff Barrick - faculty sponsor, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Prof. Robert Newman - faculty sponsor, North Carlina A&T.
  • Michael Hammerling - Project advisor for non-canonical amino acids and biosecurity projects.
  • Neil Gottel - D. odori project advisor.


  • Razan Alnahhas - Designing fp-151, MAPs cloning, biobricked tRNA-synthetase pair, built OSI plasmid, GFP fluorescence with different synthetases.
  • Ben Slater - fp 151-gfp library construction, site design, OSI graphic design, wiki guru, plasmid design.
  • Jordan Monk - D. odori cloning, construct testing, and p-cresol evolution experiment.
  • Ryan Lannan - D. odori cloning, biosecurity and MAPs cloning.
  • Marco Valencia - Secured two press releases and did a television interview, along with PCRs, gibson assembly and DNA purification for ncAA.
  • Evan Weaver - Biosecurity programming, MAPs plasmid construction, site design.
  • Kate Mortensen - FBI workshop organizing, various cloning for ncAA project.
  • Yousef Okasheh - D. odori and MAPs cloning.
  • Larry Huang - MAPs cloning and sequencing.

Special Thanks

  • Ellington Lab, UT-Austin - Plasmids.
  • Keasling Lab, UC-Berkeley - Plasmids.
  • William So - FBI Biosecurity presentation.
  • Daily Texan and KVR - News coverage.