Team:Aberdeen Scotland/Team


Team:Aberdeen Scotland/Team -

The Team

Ana-Maria Cujba

Hi, I am Ana and I come from Transylvania (Romania), which you might now from the movies as Dracula’s home (creepy, right?). Since moving to Aberdeen to study Biochemistry with Immunology, I came across a lot of unexpected opportunities. In that sense, iGEM has been both a really intense and new experience: great fun, brilliant instructors and tons of exciting experiments. As part of the team, I do a lot of wet lab-work (it relaxes me, as geeky as it sounds), I am in charge of parts description and currently work on Antigen 43 (autotransporter protein) as a platform to express peptides on the cell surface of E.coli. I love being creative and coming up with new ideas. I am one of the optimistic members of the team and awkwardly enough, the one who will always get easily excited (honestly, like a kid!) when experiments work as planned. I love Spanish culture, latino dances, travelling and teaching kids. If you don’t find me in the lab, I might be on the dance floor!

Konstantin Gizdov

Hi! I’m a third year Physics student at University of Aberdeen. I’m originally from a small town in Bulgaria, where my grandfather got me excited about technology and engineering. I came to Aberdeen in search for a chance to meet and collaborate with people at the frontiers of science. So then, you can imagine how I excited I was when I got offered to take part in the uni’s iGEM team and work on a cutting edge science project. So far it’s been amazing working with everyone and trying our best at the world’s biggest problems. As per my experience with mathematics, problem solving and computers, I am mainly involved in modelling and simulating our system in order to optimize the design and make it function as we want. Parallel to this, I’m building an optical fluorescent detector to conceptualize our disease testing method. I’m also involved with the design of our Wiki and take part in the public outreach. When I’m free from my duties, I like to travel, take pictures and ride my bike.

James Long

Hello, I’m Jamie and an undergrad student of Immunology studying at the University of Aberdeen. Originally from Sandwich Kent, I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland when I was young. In my spare time I like building and playing with bikes and computers. I am fortunate that I was offered the opportunity to take part in iGEM with my uni, and glad that I seized it. I turned down a paid summer placement in the U.S. for iGEM, but have no regrets about doing so. iGEM is much more fun and interesting than I was expecting. My role on this project was (with Joseph) to take the BioBrick produced by the iGEM Edinburgh team in 2011 and insert a FLAG/His Tag inside a multiple-cloning-site, onto the end of YFP. This would allow future teams to easily insert a gene for a protein which the cell would then surface express.

James McAvoy

Hi I’m James, originally from Hertfordshire near Cambridge. I have a BSc in Pharmacology from Portsmouth University. I am now entering Honours for a second BSc in Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Biology).

I am involved in the designing and testing of the quorum sensing system, for this I need to know about how cells can communicate with molecules, signal transduction and its resulting impact on gene expression. I have a keen interest in experimental design, developing novel ways for finding out information for the team they wouldn’t otherwise be able to know. For instance how can you simulate how binding of cells to a target will determine their relative distances and resulting signal output? I try to see the bigger picture and guide the team towards its end goal of a viable diagnostic system.

In my spare time I read science fiction and philosophy while blasting ‘Crystal Castles’.

Joseph Mackinnon

I’m a third year undergraduate in microbiology. I am the ‘local person’ on the team as I have lived near Aberdeen for most of my life. I joined the team as I realised how unique an opportunity participating in iGEM is. The role I have been fulfilling in the team is one of the lead human practices contacts, and working on the modification of Ice Nucleation Protein. As well as being interested in microbiology I also enjoy spending time outdoors and have spent some time working for Outward Bound in South Africa. In the future I hope to find a way to combine these interests in some way.

Martyna Sroka

Hey! My name is Martyna and I study Biomedical Sciences specializing in Molecular Biology at the University of Aberdeen. Although I started off with Medicine, I soon discovered that it is the science behind medicine that fascinates me the most. Although my main field of interest is cancer and stem cells, I decided to participate in iGEM as I like the interdisciplinary aspect of the competition. I think synthetic biology is a very interesting field which in the future may answer a lot of questions we struggle with nowadays. Plus hey, what's better than spending your holidays in the lab! ;) My role in the team was to engineer Ag43 autotransporter in order to allow easy insertion of foreign peptide sequences for expression on the cell surface of E.coli. I also took active part in organizing public outreach activities. In my free time, I enjoy aggressive roller-skating, rock music and long walks with my German shepherd. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the Gigant Jamboree at MIT!​