iGEM Concordia 2014

iGEM Concordia 2014 Team Members

Amit Malhotra

B.Sc. Computer Science - Web Applications
B.Sc. Microbiology and Immunology

Amit graduated from McGill University with a major in Microbiology and Immunology, however, his career saw him on a completely different path. After running his own business for 13 years in sales, marketing and information technology, he decided to do a second bachelor's degree, but in Computer Science, a subject he had grown fond of during his business venture. He is currently studying Computer Science with a focus on Web Applications at Concordia University and works full-time at Radialpoint Inc. as an automation developer. Sort of a workaholic, he enjoys the pressure full time studies combined with full time employment brings on and is always looking to combine his love of microbiology with his love of computers.

David Oram

B.Sc. Biology, iBBA, SCS

Hey, I’m David Oram from Newfoundland, Canada and am entering the last year of a B.Sc Biology at Concordia University. Before joining Concordia, I obtained an iBBA from Memorial University and gained my Canadian Securities Course (CSC) certification while working in investment banking.
Since returning to the sciences I am become enthralled with synthetic astrobiology and the promise of exponential technologies. I am honoured to be apart of the only iGEM team from Quebec and am looking forward to representing Concordia on the International stage!

Dilan B Jaunky

B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology

"The world is my Oyster".
Cleverly written, this proverb has been a great mental moto to stimulate my desire to understand the world around me. My quest for a better awareness of myself seems to be tightly entwined with the Science of the living and Synthetic biology has granted me the opportunity to build upon this bond.

Elena Boueiri

B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology

I am Elena Boueiri, an undergraduate student at Concordia University. I am currently undertaking my last year of studies in the Cell and Molecular Biology program. This year, I am part of the Wet lab team and helping with external sponsorships for IGEM Concordia 2014. Working with such a diverse group of students, advisors, graduate students, and professors to make a huge project stand out at this year's competiton will definitely put all of my 3 years of studies at concordia into practice.
In my spare time I like shopping, watching movies, swimming, travelling, and enjoying the company of my friends who are like family to me away from home. On the other hand, in science, I am mostly interested in the Biotechnology and biochemistry fields. Looking forward to compete!
"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Hessam Kareimian Rad

B.Sc. Computer Science
B.Sc. Specialization in Biology

Hessam Kareimian Rad, Graduated from SBU university of tehran in computer sciences in 2009. While working as system designer at BRB trading company, he studied digital photography and design at Mahe Mehr school of fine arts in parallel. While working as a photographer for photo agencies and a freelancer on the side, he has found interest in natural sciences, which led him to move to Canada to continue his career in biological sciences at Concordia University of Montreal. Having the basis in computer science enables systematic approach, while recent studies in Genetics has inspired him with a whole new realm to be discovered. Holding the key to this great combination, provides him a precious chance toward his future career as a researcher in the field of Biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Lisa Walker

B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology

Lisa Walker is a 2nd year undergrad completing a bachelor’s degree in Honors Biology at Concordia University and received her DEC in Pure and Applied Sciences from John Abbott College. Concordia welcomed her with an Entrance Scholarship for high academic achievement as an applicant. During her years at Concordia University, her enthusiasm and fascination lead her to tailor her program of study towards Genetics and Cell Biology. Before graduating in May of 2015, her goal is to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible in the field of synthetic biology as an undergraduate in order to pursue a career in research.

Marta Bakinowska

B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology

I had a life of creation - art, graphics. I had studied architecture, web design and computer graphics. Then in short span of three months I lost a friend to leukaemia and my focus changed. Now I am a Cell and Molecular Biology undergraduate student at Concordia University. I hope that my studies and my future work in synthetic biology research will help in our fight with disease.

Melissa Gurnagul

B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology

My name is Melissa Gurnagul and I am a second year undergraduate student currently doing a Specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology. My main interests involve inherited disorders and the way they are treated. The ability to combine Synthetic Biology to these treatments is fascinating! Feel free to contact me at :)

Nicole Cappadocia-Assaly

B.Eng. Computer Engineering
B.Sc. Biochemistry

I am a Computer engineering student in my second year of studies at Concordia University, with a previous degree in biochemistry from McGill University. I hope to be able to combine my two fields of study in some way to make important advances. I’m really excited to compete in iGEM this year.

Valerie Hayot-Sasson

B.Sc. Computer Science - Computer Systems
B.Sc. Environmental Biology

Hi, my name is Valerie Hayot-Sasson and I am a 2nd year Computer Science student at Concordia and have a previous bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology. I’ve always been very interested in the computational applications to biology and hope to eventually become a computational ecologist.

Victor Yuan

B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology

Victor is currently completing a degree with honours in Cell and Molecular Biology. He is excited about being a part of the field of synthetic biology, and seeing what can come from it. In his free time, Victor enjoys learning new languages, and climbing mountains.

iGEM Concordia 2014 Primary Investigators and Team Leaders

Nawwaf Kharma, PhD

Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

My research interests are diverse, but may be placed into two large bins. First, at Concordia Computational Intelligence Lab (CCIL) we research and develop solutions to problems in Artificial Intelligence and Evolutionary Computing as well as Pattern Classification and Image Processing. More specifically, we use tools including well-established methods from Machine Learning and Genetic Algorithms to solve problems of written pattern classification and biomedical image segmentation. Our work has resulted in new methods for multiple ellipse detection in images, as well as new means of scheduling tasks on heterogeneous multi-processor machines.

Malcolm Whiteway, PhD

Professor and Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics

Our ongoing research investigates the medically important fungal pathogenCandida albicans, with the ultimate goal of identifying new treatment options for patients suffering from Candida infections. We use an array of genetic and genomic approaches to investigate pathways involved in various C. albicansfunctions. As part of these efforts we collaborated with various international research teams in the assembly and annotation of the C. albicans genome. We are now using genome-based tools such as transcriptional profiling and ChIP-chip analysis to investigate regulatory circuits in the pathogen. We have identified dramatic cases of transcriptional rewiring of central metabolic pathways, synchronized cells and established the transcriptional profile of theC. albicans cell cycle, and investigated the regulation of the fungal mating system.

iGEM Concordia 2014 Graduate Advisors

Anas Ambri

B.Eng. Computer Engineering

My name is Anas Ambri, and I am an an aspiring software developer (‘humble software developer’ was already taken, so I went for the next coolest title). I am a final year Computer Engineering student at Concordia University, and expected to graduate in May 2014. When I am not writing software to solve problems at Radialpoint, you can usually find me working on some personal projects, mumbling some words on my website, or learning new things. My ultimate goal is to own a pet tiger. PS: I know I am not supposed to tell you what to do, but, you know, you could always follow me on Twitter

Lance Lafontaine

B.Eng. Software Engineering
B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology

Hi there! My name is Lance Lafontaine. I am a student at Concordia University in software engineering, with a previous degree in molecular biology. I enjoy all things tech, science and startups, but I especially love beautiful web design, computational biology, and camping (outdoors). I would describe myself as a hobbyist, a freethinker, and enthusiast for anything that catches my interest. Chat with me @LanceLafontaine, I love meeting new people in virtual and physical settings.

Jeremy Glass-Pilon

Graduate Advisor, Molecular Biology

My name is Jeremy Glass-Pilon. I am a first year MSc student in Molecular Biology at Concordia University, working on vesicular transport and neurological disease. I have been involved in various fields of research throughout my academic career, however my ultimate interest is applying synthetic biology to human health. I am proud to say that I was one of the pioneering members of Concordia University’s first iGEM team in 2013 and am thrilled that I get the chance to mentor the current iGEM team. I am also passionate about music, playing both the Piano and Violin in the little free time I have. You can follow me on twitter @JerGlassPilon.

Melissa Valente Paterno

Graduate Advisor, Molecular Biology

My name is Melissa Valente Paterno and I am currently undertaking my first year in an M.Sc Biology, having already done a B.Sc. Honors Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in multidisciplinary studies. Being a member of iGEM Concordia 2013 team, I will serve as an advisor for this year’s team. I am very proud of our previous team and have high hopes for this iGEM Concordia 2014! I hope to be able to guide the 2014 team by using; my previous knowledge of the competition, the work involved, the best work oriented schedule, and all of the wet lab skills I have learned throughout my academic carrier. My favorite hobbies, when I’m not working on iGEM, are; reading, singing, figure skating, and spending time with my loving friends and family. I can be contacted via Facebook at Melissa Valente Paterno.

Zach Wiltshire

Graduate Instructor, Metabolic Engineering

Zach Wiltshire is a graduate student working on engineered cyanobacterial systems. He completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Alberta, gaining a background in synthetic biology, biophysical systems, and cell biology. He is interested in the design and manufacture of tangible biological products for the future.
Zach's startup, Hyasynth Bio, was a member of the initial cohort of the world's first synthetic biology accelerator, Indie.Bio.

Marshall Timmermans

Graduate Instructor, Metabolic Engineering

Marshall Timmermans is an MSc. student studying synthetic biology and metabolic engineering at Concordia University. Marshall's background is in plant molecular biology and commercial microbial biotechnology, the expertise from which he applies to his current research developing novel tools for metabolic pathway engineering in yeast. Sometimes he wonders if anyone ever actually reads to the end of biographies on websites like this.

Shoham Mookerjee

Graduate Instructor, Metabolic Engineering

Shoham Mookerjee is a metabolic engineering graduate student with a background in molecular biology. He is interested in developing practical solutions to problems using tools developed by synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. He also wants to buy real estate in imaginary places.
His startup, Hyasynth Bio, was a member of the initial cohort of the world's first synthetic biology accelerator, Indie.Bio.

Alex Campbell

Graduate Instructor, Metabolic Engineering

Alex Campbell is a biochemist and chemical engineer. He loves fusing biology and engineering and, was awarded the 2012 Canadian Industry Association of Canada Responsible Care Award for his methanol synthesis process.
His startup, Hyasynth Bio, was a member of the initial cohort of the world's first synthetic biology accelerator, Indie.Bio.

Lauren Narcross

Graduate Instructor, Metabolic Engineering

Stay in touch with the iGEM Concordia 2014 team: