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Dr. Darren Nesbeth

Lecturer in Synthetic and Molecular Biology. Supervisor.

Philipp Boeing

Msc Computer Science. Human Practice Supervisor. I have been leading iGEM teams at UCL since 2011, including last year’s Plastic Republic team. This year, I principally supervise team Spotless Mind on Human Practice, as well as general iGEM best practice. Apart from iGEM, I spend my time on SynBioSoc and DIYbio. Diversity!

Yanika Borg

PhD Student. Bacterial Lab Supervisor. When I’m not working on my PhD in Synthetic Biology, I am supervising Spotless Mind’s bacterial team. My role is to oversee all experiments carried out on E. coli, to demonstrate molecular cloning techniques to the team, and to calm Andy down on a daily basis. This is my second year supervising iGEM at UCL, and I love the whole experience.

Alex Kinna

PhD Student. Mammalian Lab Supervisor. I am a 2nd year PhD student studying biochemical and protein engineering. My role is to advise and support mammalian cell culture, testing of circuits in mammalian cells and production of target proteins.


In the course of the development of our idea, we consulted synthetic biologists, neuroscientists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists and geneticists and took on board their feedback in order to develop our idea and add the detail to our genetic circuit. We show what advice we received here and how this advice was incorporated into our final project.

Dr. Jeremy Cookis a senior lecturer and the programme tutor for the Neuroscience Bsc at UCL. His research interests concern the development the visual system, including the embryonic emergence of retinal cell patterns. He advised us to carefully consider the neurosurgical implications of our project, noting the preferability of an autograph of microglia, and the need to design our circuit in such a way that the microglia only become de-activated at plaques, because a degree of activation is required for chemotaxis.

Dr. John Scholesis an honorary senior lecturer, and lectures on the Neuroscience Bsc course at UCL. He supported the idea of using BDNF in the circuit in order to stop cell cycle re-entry in AD and suggested ApoE as a possible circuit component, as it could increase the activity of our chosen protease.

Dr. Jennifer Pococks'research involves cell signaling in neurodegenerative dieseases and this onvolves the study of microglia in the context of AD. She advised the team on using microglia in the lab.