Team:Cornell/team/bios

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Revision as of 03:05, 18 October 2014

Cornell iGEM

web stats

Bios

Team Members


Eric Holmes

Beware of Eric Holmes, the fearless leader of CUGEM who grew up in the hood. His disturbing character is immediately evident by his love for dead fish, as his latest kill is proudly displayed on his phone case. He relentlessly pursues these innocent creatures in the hope of wiping them off the face of the earth. Some call it fishing. Watch out for his killer jokes; you may shoot yourself after hearing them ten times. These also usually involve fish. In addition, he seems to enjoy trekking for days through miles of monotonous forest in order to …end up where he started. He occasionally drags innocent freshmen along for the ride. Despite all this, no one can dispute that Eric is a brilliant bioengineer, and so his curious hobbies have gone unquestioned.

Arun Chakravorty

Arun Chakravorty was found on the sandy shores of California, fully grown, in fetal position, borne from the sea foam of the great pacific. No one is sure how Arun came to be, but they have attributed his bubbly personality to the sea foam from whence he came, and his rich color to the sun, which he laid in for many days before he was discovered, giving him a tan that makes pale white girls cringe with jealousy. Arun, after rising from the gold sand on which he was found, then travelled the world, learning invaluable skills like cloning, a Capella, and FIFA. He needed strikers for his exclusively Argentinian FIFA team, so he travelled to Argentina and persuaded two men named Palacio and Milito to train and become world class soccer players. He then realized he could combine his three skills of cloning, singing, and FIFA, and become one of the most unique people to walk the face of the earth. He travelled to Ithaca, New York, and joined Cornell iGEM. Now, Arun spends his days cloning while simultaneously playing FIFA and singing songs of both praise and loathing (depending on the situation) for Milito and Palacio, with whom he plays as. Arun hates Palacio for growing a rat tail, but still enjoys his superior soccer capabilities. Arun’s hobbies include long walks on the beach and base jumping. He was also the inspiration for Tom Haverford, a character in the hit series, Parks and Recreation.

Samah Hoque

At first, Samah Hoque might seem like your ordinary iGem wet lab minion. But don’t be fooled by her innocent smile and kind demeanor. After graduating from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Samah turned down a job from the Ministry of Magic and came to Cornell University, where the eternal frozen tundra and endless days without sunlight constantly remind her of London. She spends plenty of time down in the basement lab space of Weill because it brings back her fondest childhood memories of living in a cramped cupboard under the stairs. With a single spell, Samah is able to bring bacteria to life by tricking them into thinking LB is delicious butterbeer. In dire lab situations, Samah must conjure her patronus, a rare form of Escherichia coli to ward away all evils from her precious bacterial colonies. When not in lab, Samah can be found dominating Quidditch games on the Arts Quad or reading about the dark arts in the library. 100 points to Samah Hoque for being iGem’s secret weapon.

Casey Zhang

Casey toils away in lab night and day, but only to feign a hardworking nature, as few are aware that this is because she prefers to remain discreet about her dwelling in the legendary interstitial space. (It has been heard that she unlocks it with a special pattern of light reflected by her carefully painted nails.) There is little known about the contents of this mysterious corner of our building, though we do suspect that it is filled with a surplus of baked goods, based on the delicious aroma wafting into the basement from a crack in its door. It is only fitting that the creator of these fine fragrances is none other than Casey, whose cream puffs will send you into the heaven of all food comas. But you must also be wary, for no one is quite certain of her recipes. The last iGEMer that recklessly wandered into the interstitial space reappeared weeks later as a half-eaten bag of dorito chips, so we are forced to wait for Casey to approach us with her offerings. Yet those, too, may be bewitched – any who cannot resist the goodness should fear transformation into a cuddly puppy. Unless you’re into that. Never fear, this adorable witch definitely won’t be able to eat you alive, though, because you would be long gone before she could finish chewing her first bite.

Kevin Hui

Entering Kevin Hui's kitchen is a life changing experience. Whether it's an oven-roasted chicken, apple-crumb pie, or fancy biscotti served with ginger cheesecake that you desire, Kevin can make it, and he will leave you craving for more. His discerning tongue makes team socials far more savory. That said, this foodie from Long Island is also an aspiring assassin. If he's not busy cooking you dinner or wiping the floor in a Dota 2 match, he's probably plotting your murder. Each of his targets receives a uniquely catered ending. You better not get on his wrong side or the rice noodles you're enjoying may well be the end of you. One way to hold on to your precious life is to never mess with this man's pizza. He will eat only the finest NYC thin crust pies and will find anything below his standards offensive. Anyone from Chicago would be well advised to keep their distance from this conniver. If you are special enough to earn a spot on his hit list, instrumental music and Steam sales are known to pacify him. And if you somehow manage to survive, you'll find that this master chef, pizza connoisseur, and hobbyist assassin is an indispensable member of the Cornell iGEM team.

Gargi Ratnaparkhi

Gargi, standing at 3’7” and originally from the Shire, now resides exclusively in lab. She journeyed to Ithaca all the way from Middle Earth for the sole purpose of aiding Cornell iGEM. On any given day or time, you can find her staring angrily at the centrifuge while waiting for her minipreps or staring angrily at cells, trying to force them to transform with her mind. Although infamous for her skills in Ice Ball (patent pending) and her delicious cake, Gargi is less known for her not too terrible saxophone playing and her ability to crack boulders over her swimmer’s shoulders as though they were eggs. Although there is so much more to be said about Gargi Ratnaparki, this direct quote sums her up pretty well: “Five minipreps? I eat five minipreps for breakfast.”

Aaron Gittelman

In a land far, far away, where the grass stayed green and the water crystal blue, where minipreps worked and all was good, lived a young dragon-rider who soared the sky as carefree and lighthearted as the breeze that took him. Everywhere he flew over, music followed. The timbre and vibrancy of his voice, interwoven with the depth and complexity of his bass, spun even the simplest tunes into enchanting melodies. Oh how smooth and sweet they were! Everyone swooned at the mere echoes -- and did I mention his good looks? In the air, he and his dragon were one. But one day, his dragon fell ill. The deep emerald scales gave in to a pale sickly orange. For years, the rider searched for an answer, but what could it have been? Then, whispers came. "Look within." Hoping to hone his skills in the molecular world, he decided to join iGEM to first master the techniques of synthetic biology. Interviewers tried to stump him, but unbeknownst to the community, riders grew up around the art. The yellow tint in his eyes glowed as his intent gaze pierced through the dense air. His replies were as accurate as poised. By the end, he was not just any other newcomer. He was Aaron Gittelman – his name said it all.

Sharlene Dong

N Vrou van die raaisel, 'n vrou van raaisel. Ek sien jy dit durf waag om hierdie bio te vertaal haar donkerste geheime te ontsluit. Jy is gewaarsku.

Haar status: dodelik. Die P100 is haar wapen van keuse. Op 'n skaal van 1-4, Sharlene is Biosafety Vlak 10 Sy kan etanol steriliseer jou tenderest druk punte voor spuit haar vrag van dodelike gifstowwe. Wat deur die manier, is gesintetiseer gebruik om kennis oorgedra van antieke 5000-jarige Chinese alchemicy. Sy vlieg, nooit loop, het sy horlosies, nooit slaap. Jou enigste hoop op oorlewing is om haar te lei met 'n boeiende episode van Game of Thrones. Dit of blink voorwerpe.

Jy het dit so ver, jy is dapper.

Afrikaans filler text (or is it...), because Latin is too mainstream. Sharlene’s a fan.

Neema Patel

Neema Patel...how do I begin to explain Neema Patel? Neema Patel is magical. It's said that her legs are insured for $10,000. People say that she does bubble tea commercials in Taiwan. Her favorite movie is Mean Girls. Once she met Chris Pratt at an all-you-can-eat buffet. He told her to stop hoarding all the cupcakes. One time during Ice Ball (many times actually), she threw ice at me...it was not awesome.

Olya Spassibojko

No person is ever what they appear to be, and Olya Spazzabyolkajdksajfiodas is certainly no exception. Look under those perfectly placed spectacles and you’ll find an avid Anberlin advocate fluent in Ubbi Dubbi and prone to turning anything and everything turquoise. No one really knows how to spell her name, and people have learned it is better not to try. The brave souls who did were stripped of their sanity, never to recover. She has made a home out of the grand trees of Ithaca, and if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of her masterfully navigating them. It is rumoured that from her birth in the distant Russian mountains, she attained her nimble skills during her tutalage under the continent's most notorious ninja. She will purr if you pet her, but petters beware – stay too long and you too will find yourself infected with a deep love of domestic felines and working with yeast. She climbs, she meows, she takes her bunny out on walks. She is Olya Spazzabyolkajdksajfiodas: resident cat lover and professional monkey.

Sara Gregg

SaraGregg is Cornell iGEM’s resident celebrity power couple rivaling the firepower of Brangelina and the sheer intrigue of Kimye. When she’s not using her gazelle-like endurance prowess to ski across Ithaca or run to dry lab meetings on Sunday mornings (a little extra sleep never hurts, right?) she’s using it to put in late night hours at the machine shop or to swoon over Korean dramas until 4am. A master of the 3D printer, she’ll print a plastic cake and simply stare at it, willing the tasty morsel she’s been craving into existence. This girl from small-town Ohio is a true city girl at heart, and all you Gregory Sarah’s out there better watch out for her; Sara is ready to produce her very own SynBio drama and the first SaraGreggGregSarah power couple to rule them all.

Steven Li

Steven Li is a super hero. His power of course, is: ________. Despite being quite elusive to even his closest of team members, who haven't seen him in months, Super-Stealthy-Steven can be recognized by his iconic wooden cross necklace, from which he draws his power. Rumored to be a demigod born from the Western God Franisco-San Francisco to you- He has decided to leave his home, many leagues away, to solve the many crimes of current Eastern society the main one being: selfies. In a private interview, to which he never appeared, it is documented that Steven is diligently working on destroying the power of selfies by photo-bombing each and every one. Because of the plethera of selfies being taken in our day and age, Steven is rather busy and doesn't stay in one place for very long. So if you haven't seen Steven in awhile, don't worry he is off being the grand super hero that he is!

Joseph Fridman

The year was 1989. Even as the Cold War raged on, the USSR and the ideology it represented were in their death throes. In an act of desperation, the Politburo sought to develop a new propaganda apparatus, hoping that by effectively spreading pro-Soviet sentiment worldwide support for the enfeebled superpower would increase, and the tides would turn. To that end, Joseph Fridman was created. With a disarming kindness and an extraordinary intellect, he was capable of convincing anyone whom he spoke to that the path to prosperity was painted red. After a battery of evaluations, Fridman was sent to America with the goal of neutralizing it as an adversary to communism. However, upon arrival in the US, he was staggered by the wealth and majesty of the republic. After thinking it through, he decided to defect to the capitalist West. Without his assistance, the Soviet empire soon collapsed. Now an American citizen, the former sleeper agent has settled down, studying psychology at Cornell University (with the obvious purpose of honing his power of persuasion) and working to convince the population of Ithaca of the preeminence of CUGEM.

Ryan Ashley

There are rumors. People say things – see things – around our labs. Blonde-haired apparitions float in and out of the corners of our eyes. Visions of a gentle smile flash through team members’ minds. Perfect gels appear on the countertop, and despite the immaculate labeling, no one knows who ran them. One team member, who wishes to remain anonymous, says that on one quiet lonely afternoon as he walked by one of the sinks, he noticed it was dirty, caked with mud and beakers strewn about. Since he was the only one in the lab at the time, he decided to clean it up, but when he turned to look at the sink again, it was completely cleaned! There is agreement among the team that something … else lurks in our workspace. We’ve taken to calling our mysterious helper “Ryan” (the name just seemed to fit). We don’t know what it is or what it wants, but we do know our project wouldn’t be half as well done without it.

Rishabh Singh

They speak of a man learned beyond all others, unbound by mortal flesh. For eons, he wandered this plane, seeking new pleasures to satisfy his ageless conscience. Nothing was outside his grasp. In his wake, nations fell, civilizations flourished, and as always, the women swooned. Gradually, through the thousands of millennia, this man’s true name of power was lost to the shifting sands of time. But, word among the people speak of a him currently residing in Cornell University, assuming the identity of “Rishabh”, though veterans of the field know this is simply one of the many guises he has chosen. He currently dedicates himself to the Cornell iGEM team, lending an eternity of knowledge to this humble project team. When he is not gracing his presence in the iGEM lab space, he prefers the quiet sanctity of the indoors, proving himself among the best in the FPS gaming, his years as a skilled military tactician rendering his enemies little more than a mob of confused toddlers. Legend also speaks of his legendary pie making skills, though few live to tell the tale of a pie of such high caliber, as the sheer ecstasy of tasting one of these legendary morsels causes the human body to permanently cease function (in some parts of the world, death in such a way is considered an honorable one). This biography serves as more than just a record, it is a herald, a warning for times to come. The one named Rishabh is powerful beyond measure, though his current form may be unassuming. Woe to those that stand in his way, as he is not known to be merciful. The last recorded time his wrath was incurred, the Black Death occurred. Not even the very best of heroes can even dream of facing his final form, which is also known to be incredible sassy. So beware, beware to all those who hope to undermine his efforts. In even the most secretive of moments, do not forget. He won’t.

Ritvik Sarkar

What is the Ritvik? I'm glad you asked. Ritvik used to be our team's secret secret nonlethal weapon, until a series of not completely unrelated explosions and earthquakes alerted national media to its existence. Ritvik is the original prototype for our project, with its 20 micron filter hair outperforming all competition. We are still struggling to develop a successor that has even half the ability to make wet things into dry things. Capable of building models to ensure our team's success as well as other smaller ventures such as hostile takeover of midwestern states, Ritvik is an essential component of our team. Without its capabilities as a replacement pump system, we would be incapable of surmounting the one foot of head that stalls our team's inevitable victory.

Swati Sureka

You'd remember when you first met her, in lab. It's pretty striking at first: She [Swati] sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and she knows well every quiver of each of them. Beakers, notebooks, laptops, disembodied voices, bits and pieces of cardboard, flora and fauna of the like that have never been seen before on Planet Earth - all circle her in the air, flying around like so many transporters, enzymes, and cellular automata. She does little herself. She only plans. But her agents are numerous and splendidly organised. Is there research to be done, a paper to be abstracted, we will say, a block of DNA to be characterized, a project to be undertaken - the word is passed to the SWATi Team, the matter is organised and carried out. And if that all sounds a little intimidating, have no fear: Swati is sworn by oath to the Old Gods and the New to defend, advance, and justify through feats of meaningful scientific accomplishment the existence of human life. Just make sure you don't forget to pay your social dues...

George Danias

George Danias?
Many have dreamt and heard his name
Only to find themselves shocked and maimed
By his unputdownable creativity,
Ingenuity and alacrity,

His inventions rise from ground
Like his infinite wisdom that always astounds
His mechanical chess pieces guard his palace
Where he makes cells as radiant as the aurora borealis

Although only a part of the team since this year
Everyone seems to notice when he disappears
So treasure his presence, for he’s only nice
When you’re not one of his lab mice

Many wonder why he has chosen to impact our lives,
But to that question, he chooses to derive
A massive differential equation
Showcasing why it is the best and most valuable occasion

He often is staring at the sky
Not pondering when, where, or why,
But deciding the fate of planets and stars
Like a couple billion years ago, he decided on mars.

So in fact he didn’t apply to the team
But decided it would be good for our self-esteem

Tina Su

Date a girl who reads. Find her in a cozy coffee shop, Stella's, tucked behind the fall foliage in the bustle of Cornell Collegetown. Wherever you find her, she'll be smiling. Making sure it lingers even when people talking to her look away. Kiss her in the rain under the glow of a streetlamp because you saw it in a film. Remark at its huge significance. Date a girl who reads because she is a storyteller. You with Hemingway, Nabokov and Austen, in the library, on the metro platform at nine and three-quarters, in the corner cafe, perched on the window of your room. You, who makes my life so difficult.

Neil Chitrao

Deep beneath the Alamogordo testing range, the United States planned their most ambitious project yet. So shrouded in secrecy was this project, not even the President of the United States was aware of its undertaking. It was to be a grand culmination of centuries of research, dwarfing even the scale of the Manhattan Project. The premise was simple: to create a humanoid embodiment of the spirit of American patriotism. Nicknamed the N.E.I.L., or Nationalistically Empowered Intelligent Lifeform, he was to be an exemplar of the American standard and ingenuity. Unfortunately he was too modern for his time, and the team of scientists, fearing for another “Cold War” style confrontation, locked N.E.I.L. in stasis until the time was right to reintroduce him to American society.

That time is now.

Numerous field reports have triangulated his position at Cornell University, where he has subtly placed himself within Cornell’s iGEM team. Though he tries to mask his identity, his designs are unmistakable. He is fueled by twin-powered nuclear fission reactors, rendering sleep unnecessary, explaining the numerous hours he has been sighted in the lab working on inhuman hours of sleep. It is also nigh impossible to be in his presence without the word “America” being uttered at least once, a remnant of his circuitry from the highly patriotic wartime years. Delving further into conversation, you will find a vast database of knowledge of weaponry and military aircraft, an unsurprising find due to his production during the 1940s. Despite his advanced systems, he bides his time, remaining in his low-profile state until the time arises to take up arms to defend the American ideal once more.

Michelle Zhang

Now for Michelle there’s little I can say:
Her skill is matched by none; her scheming eyes
Do always flit betwixt pipettes, with ne’er
A microliter out of place. Oh my!

Above the busy humming of our lair,
Amidst the bustling team, her focus grows;
Her data gathers, as if out of air.
Graphs pop on screen; a smile begins to show.

Fluorescent lights now flicker, silence falls
Upon the lab… we just make out the clicks
Of Eppendorf tubes popping. Softly call,
“Who’s there?” Ms. Zhang emerges, oh so slick.

What more can I say of this wondrous fiend?
Her mysteries abound; ‘tis all I’ve gleaned.

Jonlin Chen

The shining light of the grand Lighthouse of Alexandria pierced through the ebony Arabian night, guiding the royal ships of King Ptolemy II Philadelphus to the safety of the Pharos shore. After departing the Eastern Desert with crates of spices, linen, and gold, Egyptian sailors bowed to the mercy of the Great Sea and endured Her thrashing waves and whipping rain on their way home. The darkness often consumed faith in reaching Great Alexandria, that is until the fire-burning Lighthouse parted the night sky and illuminated the secure Nile Delta and familiar shores. Jonlin Chen, although human and not 120 meters tall, is Cornell iGEM's guiding light and source of all hope during times of darkness. While we, less-skilled iGEM members, are literally drowning in incomplete minipreps and restriction digests and utterly clueless on where to begin, Jonlin is the one person we can count on to show us the way. Whether it is a frantic phone call in the morning before class or a 2am Groupme message of desperation, Jonlin is always ready to help. Her fire-burning passion for bioengineering and iGEM fuels our team and shines through the often gloomy labspace during exam weeks and consecutive weeks of unsuccessful transformations, and is an inspiration to us all.

Grace Livermore

Beyond the isles of man, in the shaded grove where the heavens gently caress the Earth sits the very heart of nature itself. It is here that the land retains its pristine landscape, unfettered and untainted by the influences of mankind’s expansion. The very natural order was under siege, and Mother Nature required a vanguard to fight on her behalf. Using primitive arcane energies that shaped the Earth itself, the very essence of nature was harnessed, coalescing into a single being. Thus, Grace came into being, so aptly named to be the saving grace of nature’s purity.

But where to start? The damage done is great, but like all great heroes, small steps come before giant bounds, and Grace knew the perfect place to start. She now works tirelessly on Cornell’s iGEM team, conducting research that can rectify the contamination that grips this planet. Despite all her continuing dedication to the team, she never fails to forget the roots from which she came. An avid rock climber, she enjoys scaling the formidable walls to attune herself with the Earth. She is also learned in song and dance, particularly the style of Bhangra, for which she has joined Cornell’s Bhangra team and has had much success. But above all, she is a defender of nature; a hero to us all.

Jeffrey Ly

Future billionaire playboy philanthropist, Jeffrey can do it all. An acting virtuoso, it was said that he once challenged Batman to the lead in Les Miserables and the loser had to wear their underwear on the outside for the rest of time. Indeed, Jeffrey is the reason that Leonardo Dicaprio has never won an Oscar. Once, when counseling Dicaprio after not winning the Oscars again, Jeffrey told Dicaprio a joke about the Oscars to cheer him up… needless to say, he didn’t get it. When he’s not off fundamentally transforming our perceptions of superheroes for the better or the worse, Jeffrey is the life of the party at Cornell iGEM, forever cheering up people in those late night cram sessions.

Tim Abbott

Tim Abbott was the original cybernetic organism from which James Cameron based the terminator upon. He was sent back in time from a post-apocalyptic future in an effort to protect members of the Cornell iGEM team which would go on to design a novel metal sequestration fiber reactor. Once the war would break out between artificially intelligent machines and humans, humans would hold their own for a surprising amount of time. But their greatest downfall would come when the machines contaminated all the world’s water supplies with heavy metals. By successfully aiding the 2014 iGEM team in completing their metal sequestration fiber reactor, Tim effectively has ensured the future of all of mankind.

Prashant Sharma

In a spectacular laboratory experiment (similar to the one that created the Powerpuff girls), researchers managed to combine the wisdom of a great redwood tree with the humor and wit of Kanye West to produce the artist formerly known as Prince, currently known as Prashant “Shawn” Sharma. As a senior member of Cornell iGEM, Shawn imparts his vast stores of worldly knowledge onto the ‘youngins, sometimes dropping some advice on a sick double clutch fadeaway he saw Kobe perform once, other times, schooling teammates on the intricacies of synthetic biology. As a chemistry/biology double major, Shawn is clearly a mad-man and should not be approached under any circumstances, unless you come bearing naval oranges, his favorite fruit. Perhaps one of the more intriguing facts about Shawn is that every car model with an “S” in the name is named in honor of Shawn, including the Toyota Corolla S, the Tesla Model S, and obviously the Mercedes S Class.

Rebecca Chew

She's no bird, not an airplane...she's Rebecca Chew, the super ChemE that dabbles in modeling, dry lab, and wet lab! One day she's in goggles, another creating insane models, either way, nothing can move forward without her. How does she do all this? Two words: BUBBLE TEA. The consumption of glucose and caffeine molecules is her secret potion. One sip of this delightful beverage is enough for her to become a machine.

Nupur Bhatt

Thousands of years ago, nature spirits and humans coexisted as one. They walked the ground we walked on. They lived in the valleys we lived in. Until humans began harming their homes, their families. That was when gods split their world with ours. The Night of Crystal Rift. We only know about Karuna from ancient scriptures, this alternate dimension on Earth. It is said the spirits still walk the ground we walk on, but we don't see them. We don't hear them. Then two decades ago, the gods decided to give humans a second chance. Scyllarus. That's what they call her. When she was born into Karuna, sages on Earth saw the dark night glow. An orange aurora streaked the sky. She is the daughter of the wild, destined to synthesize the bridge between the human world and the spiritual world. The day she stepped into the human world, she took the name of Nupur. Her spiritual powers took form in tangible human abilities. Her strong base notes. Her swift coding skills. Her quiet demeanor hides her true powers, but she is observing...finding ways to mend the past.

Mac Sennett

He doesn’t always operate heavy machinery, but when he does, the finger of God once again touches the earth through his work. He once purposefully maligned one of his creations, just to see what failure felt like. After he drove his car off the lot, the value increased. He once got a compliment on his appearance from his reflection. Raw materials he uses and BioBricks assemble themselves for him. Police frequently pull him over to ask for his autograph. He makes all cloning strategies succeed, even GoldenGate. The “College of Sennett” was founded at Cornell because he asked them to. He has taught old dogs every trick in the book, even the ones that aren’t written. Each night, the Sandman dreams of Mac.

Christine Soong

Having retired from saving the world as the country’s top CIA agent, Christine returned to scout for potential successors. While not training her prodigies, she casually works on the circuitry to control our top secret fiber reactor. Her ultimate goal in life is to adopt 101 Dalmatians to accompany her on her long runs and kayaking trips!

Rafael Martinez

Now this is a story all about how Rafa’s life got flipped – turned upside down And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there I’ll tell you how he became a prince and a billionaire A town called Ithaca’s where he stayed Inside Milstein is where he spent most of his days Drawin’ and plottin’ relaxin’ all cool And all Building some dragons outside of the school When a couple of guys, who were up to some good Started building towers in the neighborhood He got a great little job and a title with flair Now he’s master architect he makes his projects with care

Erica Alonzo

In a world oppressed by the bland and mundane, where creativity is stifled in the wink of an eye. Where uniqueness is punishable by death. Societies have all devolved into nothing but brainless servants of The Man, and there is only one person who can stop them. Join Erica, an unlikely heroine, as she utilizes her wit, charm and sass to bring an end to The Legion of Tropes and their dastardly (albeit trite) plans of enslaving the human race. One woman will help bring the light of excitement back into this dismal planet. This Fall, prepare to get your creative juices flowing in 'Dee Zine: And The Legion of Tropes.' This film is not yet rated.

Faculty Advisors


Dr. Shivaun Archer - Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Shivaun Archer is a Senior Lecturer in charge of the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Instructional Laboratories. She designs and teaches undergraduate instructional labs for five biomedical engineering courses: BME 131, BME 301, BME 302, BME 401, and BME 402. The labs are designed to illustrate the course material and bring research to undergraduate education whilst exposing students to cutting edge technology and research methodology. A significant emphasis in all the labs is biomedical nanotechnology. Each of the five courses has a hands-on lab module that focuses specifically on nanobiotechnology. Overall, the lab modules enhance the hands-on training of Cornell students in the areas of microfabrication, microfluidics, biosensors, nano/microbiotechnology, and drug delivery. In recognition of her efforts in undergraduate education, Dr. Archer has received a prestigious College of Engineering Teaching award.

Before coming to Cornell, Dr. Archer worked for five years at Lynntech, Inc. a small research company specializing in biotechnology, biomaterials, chemical and biological sensors, medical biotechnology, and environmental remediation. Her work on wastewater treatment for long term space missions resulted in her receiving two NASA Inventions Space Act Awards. She also holds a joint appointment as a Research Associate in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Her research interests include nanobiotechnology and tissue engineering.

Dr. Matthew DeLisa - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Matthew DeLisa received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1996; his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2001; and did postdoctoral work at the University of Texas-Austin, Department of Chemical Engineering. DeLisa joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University as an assistant professor in 2003 and was promoted to associate professor in 2009. He recently served as a Gastprofessur at ETH Zürich in the Institut für Mikrobiologie.

Professor DeLisa's research focuses on understanding and controlling the molecular mechanisms underlying protein biogenesis -- folding and assembly, membrane translocation and post-translational modifications -- in the complex environment of a living cell. His contributions to science and engineering include the invention of numerous commercially important technologies for facilitating the discovery, design and manufacturing of human drugs and seminal discoveries in the areas of cellular protein folding and protein translocation. DeLisa has received several awards for his work including an NSF CAREER award, a NYSTAR Watson Young Investigator award, a Beckman Foundation Young Investigator award, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award, and a NYSTAR Distinguished Faculty Award. He was also named one of the top 35 young innovators (TR35) by MIT's Technology Review in 2005 and was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Wiley-Blackwell Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang award, which honors a distinguished young researcher in this field. Most recently, he was honored with a Cornell Provost's Award for Distinguished Scholarship and was the recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society's BIOT division.

Dr. Bruce Land - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Bruce Land is a Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell. He teaches three courses in ECE and advises masters of engineering projects in ECE and Biomedical Engineering. When time allows, he does some neural modeling and spike train analysis. He has been in this position since 1998.

Land received a BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1968 and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Cornell University in 1976 . He was a Muscular Dystrophy Association postdoc in NBB at Cornell for three years, then a lecturer in NBB for seven years. During this time he worked with Miriam Salpeter on the coupling of activity at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction, both experimentally and by computer modeling. In 1987 he moved to the Cornell Theory Center as a computational research associate, then started supporting graphics and animation. He was visualization project leader at the CTC from 1989 to 1998. From 1992 to 1998 he taught an introductory computer graphics course in Computer Science at Cornell. From 1998 to 2007 he taught computer programming and electronics courses in NBB and was a Senior Research Associate in Neurobiology and Behavior.

Dr. Julius B. Lucks - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Julius B. Lucks is Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University, and a James C. and Rebecca Q. Morgan Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow. After attending the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics for high school, he became an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he performed research in organic synthesis and the application of density functional theory to studying the electronic properties of atoms and molecules as a Goldwater Scholar. After graduating with a BS in Chemistry, he spent a summer working with Robert Parr before obtaining an M. Phil. in Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge University as a Churchill Scholar. As a Hertz Fellow at Harvard University, he researched problems in theoretical biophysics including RNA folding and translocation, viral capsid structure and viral genome organization, under David R. Nelson. As a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley in the laboratory of Adam P. Arkin, he engineered versatile RNA-sensing transcriptional regulators that can be easily reconfigured to independently regulate multiple genes, logically control gene expression, and propagate signals as RNA molecules in gene networks. He also lead the team that developed SHAPE-Seq, an experimental technique that utilizes next generation sequencing for probing RNA secondary and tertiary structures of hundreds of RNAs in a single experiment.

Professor Lucks’ research combines both experiment and theory to ask fundamental questions about the design principles that govern how RNAs fold and function in living organisms, and how these principles can be used to engineer biomolecular systems, and open doors to new medical therapeutics.

Dr. Xiling Shen - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Xiling Shen has been an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University since August 2009.

Born in Shanghai, China, Dr. Xiling Shen went on to receive his BS and MS degree from the Electrical Engineering Department of Stanford University in 2001. He then worked at Barcelona Design Inc. for two years, specializing in analog circuit design and optimization, before joining Professor Mark Horowtiz' research group in the Electrical Engineering Department at Stanford in 2003. In the first two years of his PhD, he collaborated with Professor Joseph Kahn on using adaptive spatial equalization to compensate modal dispersion in multimode fibers. From 2005 to 2008, he worked with Professor Harley McAdams, Professor Lucy Shapiro, and Professor David Dill on modeling and analyzing the asymmetric division of Caulobacter crescentus. Xiling’s postdoctoral work focused on synthetic biology with Dr. Adam Arkin in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley prior to joining the faculty at Cornell University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. David Wilson - Molecular Biology and Genetics

David Wilson is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) at Cornell. He is a member of the MBG, Microbiology, and Toxicology fields and serves on the graduate committees of students who minor in Biochemistry of Microbiology.

He received his B.A. from Harvard in 1961, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford Medical School in 1966, and did postdoctoral work at the Department of Biophysics at Johns Hopkins Medical School from 1966-67 before coming to Cornell as an Assistant Professor in 1967. He is a member of the American Society of Biological Chemists, the American Society of Microbiologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and is director of the Cornell Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology.

The Wilson laboratory studies the enzymology of plant cell wall degradation with a major focus on cellulases, which are important industrial enzymes and have potential in the production of renewable, non-polluting fuels and chemicals. Members of the Wilson Lab use a combination of genomics, protein engineering, and molecular biology their research.

Graduate Advisors


Nathan Kruer-Zerhusen

Wilson Lab

Aravind Natarajan

DeLisa Lab

Jason Kahn

Luo Lab

Taylor Stevenson

DeLisa Lab

Aljosa Trmcic

PhD, Food Science Lab

Devin Doud

Angenent Lab