Penn iGEM

About the Team

The Penn iGEM 2013 team is made up of 5 undergraduate students and various advisors and mentors at the University of Pennsylvania. The team comes from various academic disciplines such as math, bioengineering, and computer science. The team works out of the undergraduate bioengineering laboratory and is rumored to live there.
Interested in joining the team? Submit your application for Penn iGEM 2014 here.

The Team Members

Brad "Big Dark" Kaptur


"Screw minipreps, gotta get big."

Josh Tycko

Mathematics and Biology

"Don't worry, I know a guy."

Danielle Fields


"I have a Starbucks Gold Card. Literally."

Danny Cabrera

Computational Biology

"Yo, [mumble] you pour [mumble] that gel yet?"

Mahamad "Dusty" Charawi

Management and Computer Science

"Hi my name Mahamad, from Penn iGEM."

The Advisors

Brian Chow, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Chow's laboratory aims to create technological innovations to enhance therapeutic interventions in CNS disorders, and to this end, focuses on engineering tools to elucidate, diagnose and treat the diseased brain. He was instrumental in the direction of the team, teaching us science, organization, and leadership.

Spencer "STG" Glantz

Bioengineering (PhD Student)

Spencer helped found the first iGEM team at the University of Pennsylvania and has been lending us his deep knowledge and experience with synthetic biology ever since. He helped us every day and truly made this project possible.

Orkan Telhan, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Interdisciplinary artist, designer, and researcher whose investigations focus on the design of interrogative objects, interfaces, and media, engaging with critical issues in social, cultural, and environmental responsibility. He greatly assisted the team with our efforts to properly communicate synthetic biology to the public.

Jordan Miller, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Rice

Jordan has been an advisor to Penn iGEM teams for the last three years. He has given us insightful scientific advice and words of wisdom, and he sends the best emails.

Avin "Shiii" Veerakumar

iGEM Guru

The Penn iGEM Godfather. He sent us great GIFs and drew a computer.

Michael Salvatore "Gumbaicci Margaricci" Magaraci

iGEM Guru

Cloning Master. Diagram Master. He was a huge help.

Nothing would be possible without these guys

Sevile Mannickarottu

Director of Bioengineering Instructional Laboratories

The 2013 Penn iGEM team would like to thank Sevile for providing his facilities and equipment for use during the project.

Henry "HMFM" Ma

Bioengineering (Masters Student)


Thank you to Henry for his wonderful support throughout this whole process.

We could not have succeeded without the help of all these incredibly talented people. We are extremely grateful for their help.

Generously donated interesting organisms and scientific expertise by Dr. Mark Goulian

Advice on epigenetics by Drs Marisa Bartolomei and Rebecca Simmons

Advice on methylation assays by Chris Krapp

Computer Vision algorithm by Eric Kauderer Abrams

Graphic Design by Micah Kaats

Assistance developing MaGellin user interface by Morgan Snyder

Video editing and Animation by Dylan Petro

Cinematography and Photography by Jake Whritner

Music by Ben Brodie

Photography by Erica Sacshe

Web development by Dylan Petro and Stefanie Alfonso

We would also like to thank David Gdula of NEB for being so personally invested in the team's success