UTK Knoxville Igem Team 2014
Left to right: Sergio Garcia, Adam Thompson, Julie Hipp, Brandon Wilbanks, DJ Conner, Dr. Cong Trinh (Not Pictured: Dr. Gladys Alexander)


Julie Hipp

Prior to this years events, Julie had been involved in two other IGEM Events. Julie is
often found in the lab trying to perfect her biosensors and working hard to generate and
obtain data. She is a senior in Chemical Engineering and hopes to go to Graduate school
prior to obtaining a Ph.D and studying advanced energy storage materials. For fun she does
yoga, plays outdoors, reads, hikes, and enjoys lounging in her hammock .

Brandon Wilbanks

   Brandon is a sophomore in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a concentration in Biomolecular engineering. He began to participate in iGEM with UT as a senior in a local high school, and this is the third University of Tennessee iGEM project he has participated. He plans to go into a career in research after graduate school. His hobbies include basketball and video games.

Sergio Garcia

   Sergio is a Chemical Engineering visiting student from University of Murcia, Spain. He carried out his junior year at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. Currently he works as an undergraduate researcher with Trinh Lab. Besides iGEM he is involved in other projects related with the areas of Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology. After graduating he plans to attend graduate school to continue studying the areas related with Molecular Bioengineering. His hobbies include music,cinema and literature.

DJ Conner

   DJ is a senior in Chemical Engineering with a Biomolecular Concentration. He works as an undergraduate research assistant with Trinh Lab focusing on mathematical modeling of cellular metabolism. His hobbies are chess, biking, recreational shooting, and model making. His main role in Igem was developing and curating the website. After graduating, he plans on attending medical school to pursue a career as a physician.

Graduate Advisor

Adam Thompson

   Adam was born and raised in Canton, GA before obtaining a B.S. in Biochemistry from Georgia Tech and a M.S. in Chemistry from Georgia State University. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Energy Science and Engineering through the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. His current work combines computational and experimental approaches to optimize the production of renewable fuels and chemicals. When not in lab, he enjoys hiking, playing soccer, and becoming a craft beer connoisseur.


Cong Trinh Ph.D

   Cong T. Trinh received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering (with summa cum laude, honors thesis) at the University of Houston and earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. To continue his interests in biofuels research, he has worked at the Energy Biosciences Institute, University of California, Berkeley as a postdoctoral scholar. His research interests focus on understanding and engineering cellular metabolism with the ultimate goal to design, construct, and characterize cells with optimized metabolic functionalities. These engineered cells are utilized as efficient and robust whole-cell biocatalysts exhibiting only desirable properties specifically tailored for biotechnological applications related to energy, health, and environment.

Dr. Gladys Alexandre

   Dr. Gladys Alexandre is an associate professor in the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her B. S. in biology, her M. S. and Ph.D in microbial ecology from the Universite of Lyon 1, France. She worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Loma Linda University and Medical School, California and at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Alexandre’s research interests include bacterial chemotaxis signal transduction in non-model bacteria and mechanisms of sensory information processing, using a combination of molecular biology, biochemistry and microscopy.