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The Team

Nick Goldner

Nicholas is a senior biochemistry and philosophy major. He is currently applying to graduate schools and plans to obtain his doctorate in either biochemistry or molecular biology. In his free time he enjoys hiking, camping slacklineing and working in the lab. His favorite protocol is the DNA ligation and his favorite part is “The One Ring to Secrete Them All” because it means we actually finished the project. Cheesehead Dave’s Are his favorite lab gloves to wear even though they are no longer in production: he has a box of XL’s stashed away. The greatest song ever played was the entire movie “Dune” the 1986 version that started playing during shuffle. Apparently we only had the audio for the entire movie.

Nicholas served the function of team leader and primary lab techniques trainer. He is the founder and camp director of the Synthetic Biology Summer Camp. He is an integral part in the design process, assembly, troubleshooting and characterization of "The One Ring to Secrete Them All". He aided writing the security and safety information and, identified the necessary information for background research regarding human outreach. He also helped to establish a collaboration with MSOE-Milwaukee iGEM team.

Benjamin Tellier

Benjamin Tellier is a senior Biochemistry major with aspirations of becoming a doctor in the future. He has learned throughout the course of the project to split his time between studying for school and the MCAT, and his time spent working on the project. Ben, along with Nicholas Goldner, has performed research in Infectious Disease microbiology in the past and thought that the use of his talents for humanitarian purposes would not be ill-placed. Ben enjoys the simple things in life: protein shakes, power lifting, wrestling, and cinematic adventures.

If you were to ask Ben what his favorite part of working in the lab is he would probably respond that he enjoys differential media assays, the smell of fresh 70% ethanol solutions, and just about any protocol that he can do while listening to Hardstyle techno.

Over the course of this project Ben utilized his talents for the research and development of culture medias for differentiation and selection of the bacteria used throughout the project. Ben shared his knowledge of genetics as a lecturer during the summer camp. He also was a ever-present member in the lab (along with Nick Goldner) so he had ample opportunities to help with many aspects of the project.

Steven Van Alstine

Steven Van Alstine is a junior at Wisconsin Lutheran College pursuing a biochemistry major. As a founding member of the iGEM team he hopes to continue the iGEM team in future years. Steve is considering going onto graduate school to further his career in the realm of synthetic biology. In his free time he enjoys disc golfing and fishing. Steve’s favorite protocol is the transformation of plasmids into competent cells. His favorite part is BBa_J04450 since you can always tell when the colonies you have are correctly transformed. Steve typically likes listening to either epic music or hardstyle while in the lab. Steve is excited about iGEM this year and eager to see the outcome.

Steven Van Alstine was an active participant in the laboratory work throughout the project. He was also responsible for the safety portion of the project. This included interviews with two of the professors on campus about safety in academia and industry as well as safety with handling genetically engineered organisms in being conscious of a world that has the potential for biowarfare. Steve corresponded with a nutritionist to gain a better understanding of the use of the project in the context of human gut health.

Rachel Nolte

Rachel is in her final year as a chemistry major. Her on-campus job is team lead for the science hall workers, mainly working in the chemistry stockroom. She plans to work as a lab tech or assistant after college for 1-2 years before attending grad school for a PhD. She partakes in the culinary arts, reads fictional literary works, and strolls down the meandering byways around campus. She also enjoys being licked by puppies.

Rachel contributed to background information, future directions, and gene function. She also worked in the lab.

Her favorite protocols generally involve bunsen burners, fume hoods, and/or the infrared spectrometer. The pigmented BBa_K274002 is one of her favorite parts because purple is a pretty sweet color. The minty scent of the paraffin repellent is her favorite smell in the lab. Her favorite gloves are the black ones given to the iGEM team by the coolest janitor ever. Just about any song from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog or the song from Portal "Still Alive" are her favorite lab theme songs/world domination anthems.

Matthew Mortensen

Matt is a sophomore biochemistry major. He joined iGEM to gain experience with lab techniques. He is undecided about future plans. In his free time, Matt enjoys rock climbing, reading comic books, and gaming. His favorite protocol is Miniprep. His favorite part is "yesZ" because it is easy to remember. CardinalHealth powder-free Nitrile gloves are his favorite. The greatest song ever played in lab is "How Long Will They Mourn Me."

Matt often found himself doing basic lab protocols such as mini-preps, transformations, ligations, digestions... He also used what skills he had to make the wiki you are currently on. In addition to being a lab minion and wikimaster, Matt also served as the main camera-man (both videos and stills) for the Summer Camp.

Sierra Tackett

Sierra Tackett is a sophomore Biochemistry major who plans on using her degree to advance to medical school in interest of being a pathologist in the future. She joined iGEM in order to deepen her understanding of biology as well as gain experience in research. In her free time, she enjoys to golf and look for frogs at a pond nearby. Her favorite protocol is mini prep, and she enjoys the smell of N3 buffer. She can often be seen wearing size medium Esteem gloves, and jamming to “How Long Will They Mourn Me.”

Sierra was a communications director and group leader at the science summer camp. She then delved into the lab, and performed mini preps, ligations, restriction digests, and ran electrophoresis gels, or whatever needed to be done in-between those processes. Sierra coordinated the background research for the iGEM project, focusing on things like GMOs and their implications on the world.

Logan Friedrich

Logan Friedrich is a Junior Biochemistry major planning on a doctorate who joined iGem in 2012 to continue enhancing his lab and biological research skills. He loves music and is in a band and several choirs. Logan enjoys running agarose and SDS PAGE gels. The smell of a Bunsen burner ignited is all that it takes to get him excited. He uses extra-large gloves and listens to Scientist by Flux Pavilion while working in the lab. Logan was responsible for compiling every single protocol that an iGEM team had on their wikipage since the wiki pages started. He also contributed to the overall angst of the lab.

Anna Garvey

Anna is in her sophomore year as a Biology major. She aspires to one day receive her M.D./Ph.D. In her medical career she plans on specializing in cardiothoracic surgery. In addition, she hopes to conduct stem-cell research in relation to the heart and brain. Through-out her life she always wanted to be a part of something that has the potential to better people’s realities, shape societies, affect cultures, and change the world. For these reasons she joined iGEM. In addition, she thought it would be a wonderful way to experience novel research first-hand and meet individuals that shared the same passion for science as she did. In the lab, her favorite protocol is the Restriction Digest Protocol, her favorite lab smell is ethanol and sharpies, and she enjoys listening to the thug life album. Outside of school, and lab work Anna enjoys reading and writing novels and short stories. She dreams to one day be a published author.

Anna was a group leader in the 2013 iGEM summer camp. In the lab she contributed to lab work by preforming PCR, mini preps, electroporations, ligations, digestions, and mathematical calculations that were coupled with those procedures. In addition, she researched and designed all the graphs used in the background research.

Arlensiu Novelli

Arlensiu Novelli was born and raised in Venezuela and moved to Milwaukee in 2008. She is a Communicative Arts major with emphasis in PR and Digital Cinema and Media minor graduating on May 2014. She plans to work with PR after graduation, but hopes to work on more little projects in the cinema industry, main reason she joined the iGem team. She loves dancing/teaching salsa. Arlen was responsible for helping coordinate the editing and filming of the summer camp.

Jack Albert

Jack Albert is double majoring in both a Digital Cinema and Media major (DCM) and also an English major. He is currently a junior on track to graduate in May of 2015. He joined iGem because he has an interest in covering a wide variety of topics via filmmaking, but also because he enjoys helping people. He plans on working in or around a film studio in the near future, if he doesn't decide to go independent from the start. His hobbies include running, singing, and Super Smash Bros.

As lead video producer, Jack oversaw the execution of recording, storage, and management of videos. He also organized and ran the editing process on the videos as they were being finalized. He conducted interviews used in the project and helped with the scheduling for his editing team and the delivery of the finalized videos.

Kendalyn Thoma

Kendalyn Thoma is a junior majoring in biology. She joined the IGEM team to advance her biology lab skills and learn research procedures in order to do her own research in the future. She plans on attending graduate school to study forestry and water ecology. Making linearized plasmid backbones is her favorite protocol while listening to Dr. Horrible Sing-Along songs. The smell of fresh medium size lab gloves is her favorite lab smell. Kendalyn was responsible for public outreach and helped in the summer camp fulfilling the role of lab manager. She also wrote article to be placed in the school news paper much to the consternation of more religious members of the school.

Jessica Zaher

Jessica Zaher is a senior and a Psychology major. She plans to go to graduate school for her Master's degree in forensic psychology. She hopes to one day work for the FBI. Jessica joined iGEM and the WLC team to lend a hand finding a survey and doing the analysis while also getting more experience working on a team. Her favorite hobby, when the time allows, is reading.

Jessica's job was to initially create a survey, geared toward the summer camp and assess the students attitudes toward science before and after participating the the camp. Instead of creating a survey, something that would be unreliable as far as analysis goes, she found a known and reliable survey that assessed attitudes toward science. After the summer camp and once the surveys were collected, Jessica used SPSS (a statistical analysis program) to enter the data and run the frequency statistics on the demographic questions of the survey.

Christa Winslow

Christa Winslow plans to graduate with a biochemistry major and a mathematics minor in 2016. She hopes to attend graduate school and have a career working in a lab and doing genetic research. Christa joined iGem to get more experience in research and to push her scientific knowledge and skills in an enjoyable, non-classroom setting. When she is not engaged in the lab, Christa enjoys sketching nature or sitting down with a good novel in her spare hours.

Christa Winslow was an active member of the team. Her primary role involved researching and composing the ethical component of the project.She also contributed to the project directly by working in the lab as well.