Team Members
Dr. Matthew W. Brewer

I received my PhD in Oncology in Wisconsin. I teach Molecular cell, Principles of Biology and I am the head of the IGEM team. I love my students. They rock like hello kitty.

Sarah Boyd

I am a PhD candidate in Applied & Environmental Microbiology under the guidance of Dr. Sidney Crow and Dr. George Pierce. My dissertation research primarily involves the industrial-scale genetic engineering of recombinant vaccines and vaccine adjuvants and their subsequent purification using Akta-based column chromatography. In addition to my time in the lab, I also enjoy teaching Biotechnology at Georgia State University and mentoring undergraduates in research endeavors. My husband and I reside in Cumming, GA and are expecting our first child to be born on Halloween. Needless to say, I won't be at this year's jamboree, but I am looking forward to hearing all about it from the GSU team.

Chris Cornelisson

I am currently working on my PhD at GSU and I teach Microbiology which I enjoy very much. I am part Irish and I like to hang with friends as well as go to science conventions.

Ben Poodiack

I am a senior biology student concentrating in microbiology. I hope to go into research after I finish with everything. I grew up in atlanta.

Krystle McMinn

I am a junior at Georgia State University pursuing a degree in Biology. My dream is to receive a MD/PhD and become a surgeon. I enjoy research that focuses on genetics and disease.

Khamani Robinson

I am in my final year at GSU and my future career goal is to become a Pediatrician. In my free time I like to watch, House, The Doctors, Dr. Oz, and the Food Network Channel. I consider myself a workaholic. I have gained much interest in the use of synthetic biology and become adapted into the research world of obstacles and challenges. I hope to continue doing different research and progress with time.

Alyssa Benson

I am a Senior at Georgia State University majoring in Biology. IGEM has been a great experience and has shown me that I really want to go into research involving microbiology/biotechnology. Last year, I shook Bill Nye the Science Guy's hand...Science rules.

Merhawi Yigzaw

I am currently a senior biology major at GSU. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya but have lived in Georgia the majority of my life. I joined the iGEM team to better understand synthetic biology and how it can be used to better improve the world. The student led research in the lab has helped me understand the theoretical and practical aspects of synthetic biology. I originally wanted to become a medical doctor but due to iGEM I want to get a master’s in molecular biology before becoming a MD and use synthetic biology to do medical research.

Payal Patel

I am currently a Senior at GSU and interested in various aspects of biotechnology which is why I am participating in IGEM. I love the fact that we can do so much in the field from attempting to create a better vaccine to fruits that produce alcohol. I plan on going to school to become a Physician Assistant and ultimately specializing in oncology because cancer does suck. I love tennis, dogs, hiking, and anything outdoors except insects.

Mary Yupari

I am currently a senior majoring in Biology at GSU in Atlanta. I am Peruvian and lived in Snellville, GA all my life. I plan on pursuing a career in Genetic Counseling. I joined iGEM because I wanted to know more about synthetic biology and engage in this kind of research. Whenever I get a break from school I enjoy traveling around the world and spending time with the family!

Dafna Lapidot

I am a senior at Georgia State University majoring in Psychology. I am doing a bachelor of science and am very interested in biosynthesis. I love working in the lab and working specifically in the field of biosynthesis. I started working at the lab over the summer and have learned many new things during that time.

Latara Northcutt

I am a graduate student with an undergraduate degree from Rutgers. I became interested in synthetic biology when I moved back home to Atlanta and took classes at GSU in order to gain more research experience. I fell in love with the concept of using molecular based biology to genetically engineer recombinant plants and vaccines. I plan on pursuing my PhD in the field of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. When I am not in the lab, I work as a gymnastics coach in Decatur, Georgia coaching competitive teams.

Kelsey Springer

I was born and raised in Loganville, Georgia. I am a graduating biology student at Georgia State University currently working with the Agrobacter team. I have enjoyed contributing to current research for GSU and iGEM so much that I plan to apply to various graduate programs in molecular biology for Fall 2014. I also enjoy gardening and baking.