A core concept of iGEM is the collaboration within an interdisciplinary student team. Accordingly, students of different age, gender and field of study came together to found our team in Aachen, in order to realize our project with joint forces and enthusiasm for the overall goal. Working closely together, we therefore not only have the chance to learn from each other, but also to excel ourselves. Using our collective creativity and common responsibility, we will create something special in order to make our contribution to synthetic biology.


Dr.-Ing. Suresh Sudarsan

I'm working as a post-doc with Prof. Blank at RWTH Aachen University. In my Ph.D. I worked under the guidance of Prof. Andreas Schmid (2008-2012) at TU Dortmund, and Prof. Matthias Reuss (2009-2011) at the University of Stuttgart, with a focus on elucidating the link between the central and aromatic metabolism of P. putida using a systems biology approach.

I'm fascinated about understanding the collective behavior of microorganisms and their metabolic potential in different niches. In my research, I use tools in metabolic engineering & systems biology such as metabolomics, fast sampling, kinetic/dynamic modeling and metabolic flux analysis.

In iGEM, I enjoy working with a group of young scientists from Aachen to achieve our common goal of detecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa on hard surfaces. Besides science, I try to get myself involved in adventurous sports...but honestly... I just like to relax my day with a delicious meal and a good sci-fi movie!

Dr. rer. nat. Ljubica Vojcic

I am working as a Subgroup Leader in Prof. Schwaneberg research group at the Institute of Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen. The research area of the Schwaneberg group focuses on directed protein evolution by developing novel methods for generating diversity at the gene level, analyzing consequences of mutational biases on the protein level and developing novel high-throughput screening systems that will lead to improved biocatalysts for prominent applications in industry. In particular, my core expertise is development of high throughput screening systems for different enzyme classes in order to redefine the screening step no longer as bottleneck in directed evolution.

In iGEM, I enjoyed very much to work with highly motivated and ambitious young scientists from RWTH Aachen University. I truly believe that our collaboration has just started and that we will enjoy jointly solving the scientific challenges in the near future.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lars M. Blank

RWTH Institute for Applied Microbiology (iAMB)

Prof. Blank focuses his research on fundamental and applied aspects of microbial metabolism. Of specific interest is the interaction between the metabolic network and the introduced genetic and environmental perturbations. The research on in silico/in vivo metabolic network operations is aimed at a deeper understanding of cell function, with the ultimate goal of rational cell engineering.

In his teaching, Prof. Blank focuses on the integration of biological concepts with the tools from bioinformatics and engineering. He believes that a sound knowledge base in life sciences is the key for creative and thus successful work in the areas of Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology. Read more about Prof. Blank's work on the iAMB's website.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiechert

Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IGB-1)

Prof. Wiechert's main area of work lies within the field of applied systems bio(techno)logy of microorganisms with a special focus on methodological developments for quantitative biology. Characteristics of his research work are a close integration of experimental and theoretical work within multi disciplinary projects. As the head of the Systems Biotechnology research division at Forschungszentrum Jülich, he is developing methods for quantitative metabolomics, fluxomics and proteomics including model based mathematical methods for experimental design, parameter estimation, and process optimization in biotechnological systems. Future work will also incorporate micro fluidic methods for single cell analysis. In general, all research results are used to drive forward the process of gaining knowledge in the course of an iterative improvement of industrial production systems. This proceeds in close cooperation of all working groups at the IBG-1. Together with industrial partners also diverse examples from industry are investigated and further developed. Read more about Prof. Wiechert's work on the IBG-1 website.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg

RWTH Institute for Biotechnology, Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI)

The Schwaneberg Group seeks to be at the research frontier in the interdisciplinary field of directed protein evolution by developing novel methods for generating diversity at the gene level, analyzing consequence of mutational biases on the protein level and developing novel high-throughput screening systems that will ultimately lead to tailored-biocatalysts for significant applications in industry. They train students in the cutting edge technologies of laboratory evolution, biocatalyst engineering and high throughput screening methodologies. The Schwaneberg Group believes in integrating fundamental principles of protein design with environmental awareness in their research and seeks to promote international scientific collaborations. Read more about Prof. Schwaneberg and his work on the Schwaneberg Group's website.

This project would not have been possible without the generous help and advice from many great people and organizations. We thank all the partners listed below for their essential contributions and financial support that covered registration fees, travel costs, the organization of the meetup in September, laboratory materials and expenses for services and materials.


Bürgerstiftung Aachen
Genscript Eurofins Genomics Labomedic
m2p labs Carl Roth pro RWTH
Institute of Applied Microbiology - iAMB Institute for Molecular Biotechnology Helmholtz Association - Initiative on Synthetic Biology
Aachen Biology and Biotechnology - ABBt Forschungszentrum Jülich Fab Lab Aachen Schwaneberg Group

Attribution of Scientific and General Support

Great projects do not only depend on solid funding, but even more on the invaluable support by great people. We found great people not only in our 'home institute' the iAMB, but across many partner institutions.

  • RWTH Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (Biology VII)
    • Dr. Ulrich Commandeur for giving us access to essential resources of the bio7
    • Christina Dickmeis M.Sc. who answered lots of questions
  • RWTH Institute of Biotechnology (Biology VI)
    • David Schönauer and Alan Mertens M.Sc. who helped us to purify proteins
  • Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering
    • Prof. Dr. Lothar Elling and Sophia Böcker, M.Sc. for giving us access to their gal-3 expression plasmid
  • RWTH Institute of Applied Microbiology (iAMB/Biology IV)
    • Prof. Dr. Miriam Agler-Rosenbaum for scientific information on quorum sensing
    • Dr. Martin Zimmermann who counseled us on balancing iGEM with our studies
    • Dr. Andrea Germer for teaching us Gibson cloning
    • Erick Bosire Maosa M.Sc. who advised us on cultivation of Pseudomonas
    • Gisela Beissel, Annette Schreer and Kalle Hüser for their great patience with our entropy generation
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich
    • Marianne Heß who was and is essential for travel organization
    • Dr. Hanno Scharr for advice on image analysis
  • Fab Lab Aachen
    • René Bohne, Jan Zimmermann and Jan Thar who generously gave us access to the lasercutter and 3D printer
  • Others
    • Dr. Helen Rosenkranz, ABBt, for helping us with hundreds of administrative paperwork
    • Dr. Heinz-Albert Becker, NEAnderLab, for his help with the organization of the school project
    • Ulrike Eisel, Gymnasium am Neandertal, for her help with the organization of the school project
    • Fachschaft Biowissenschaften for food supplies and access to their rooms
    • Dr. Joachim Fröhlingsdorf, MakeLight, who inspired us to expand our OD/F project
    • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dott, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, for helpful feedback regarding fields of application for our biosensor

Finally, we want to thank Simon Unthan, Michael Limberg, Henrik Cordes, Sven Jager and Team Bielefeld for their advice guiding us through our first iGEM participation!

Special thanks to Dr.-Ing. Suresh Sudarsan for a final check for typos on our wiki!

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