MEET THE TEAM

Laurens

Marike

Michiel

Fopke

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Outreach

As a biomedical scientist, Fopke looks forward to come up with scientific ideas to make the world a better place. With her knowledge, problem-solving mindset and experience, she will contribute to the wet lab. Beyond the love for science, she loves to play music whenever she finds the time.

Illya

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Dry Lab

Illya likes to help and motivate others using the outside of the box thinking and having fun in his life like a child while “breaking the rules”. He is a part of our wet and dry lab activities. Illya joined the team to solve important local and global problems by making science fiction a reality.

Ismaël

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Outreach

To steal all the secrets of mother nature and use them to solve the mysteries of life itself is what keeps this young Bioscience Engineer going! With his previous experiences, Ismaël is a perfect all-rounder. At the weekends you usually find him chilling on his couch with his five cats or turtle Zippy.

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Finance & Business Relations

Laurens is a business engineering student who is attracted by the healthcare industry and in particular the biotech world. He looks forward to combining his passions for biotech and finance, working together with an amazing and motivated team to solve some real-life problems.

Rosa

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Outreach

As part of the iGEM outreach team and with a background in medicine, Marike’s goal is to enhance global health and knowledge in science. She’s continuously excited about working with the interdisciplinary team and expose the world to med-facts of the day.

Sarah

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Team Leader & Wet Lab

Outreach Captain

With a background in biochem and biotech, Michiel is fascinated by the molecular workings of a cell and how these can be engineered. Michiel is currently pursuing a master’s in education with the hope of combining research and outreach in the future.

Saphyra

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Wet Lab

Wet Lab Captain

With her background in microbiology and synthetic biology, Rosa is looking forward to contributing to this year’s iGEM wet lab team. She is fascinated by the natural complexity of biological systems, the more we understand these systems, the betterwe’re able to engineer them to create solutions to global challenges we face today.

Building a brand-new biotechnological project from the ground up and investigating its far-reaching implications in the world intrigues this next enthusiastic member of the team. On top of that, she is a volunteer at an exchange organization to help prepare the next generation of exchange students

Sybren

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Outreach & Dry Lab

As a pharmacy student specialising in drug development, Saphyra has a passion for healthcare and an interest in synthetic biology. She brings a unique perspective to the team and will be contributing to our wet lab. Since a lifetime love for being creative has further fuelled the ambition to work in research to help improve people’s lives, she is excited work on the iGEM project

Vika

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Wet Lab

With his background in Biochem and statistics, Sybren loves the fundamental complexity of biological processes and their experimental unravelling. He loves to convey data graphically in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. In his next life, he would like to be an octopus.

As a Biochem and Biotech student, Viktoriia will help the team bring a product from an idea on paper to a real working biological system. Finding the right tools and methods to bring our ideas to life while working in a team of amazing people from diverse backgrounds is what excites her the most.

Professors

Anthony

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Co-leader, Wiki Captain & Dry Lab

As an outgoing and social person, Anthony prefers to accomplish challenging goals in team. He has a background in physics and business, while he is now studying a master’s in bio-nanotechnology. Anthony will be contributing mainly to the dry lab, wiki and product design parts, where he will use his 3D-modelling and problem-solving skills.

Aparna

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Wet & Dry Lab

Motivated to make meaningful contributions to the field of healthcare, Aparna believes healthy people are happy people. As a biomedical engineering student, Aparna will be a part of the KU Leuven iGEM team’s dry lab and product design, showcasing her talent for creative solutions.

Dries

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Dry Lab Captain

Solving complex puzzles is one of the most exhilarating things to do according to Dries. Luckily iGEM is all about solving interesting biological conundrums. With a background in biochemistry and computer science, Dries is the In Silico support for the KU Leuven iGEM team.

Prof. Vitor Pinheiro

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Professor

Prof. Pinheiro is an Associate Professor at KU Leuven since 2018. His research focuses on directed evolution, ancillary technologies and its applications. He is still working to replace every natural enzyme in a cell and to rebuild molecular biology with an XNA flavor. He thinks iGEM students make very good PhD researchers. Outside work he collects nationalities that start with B.

Prof. Filip Rolland

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Professor

Prof. Filip Rolland received his PhD from KU Leuven, working on glucose sensing and signaling in yeast cells, and then got his post-doctoral training in Jen Sheen’s lab in Boston (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School), investigating sugar and metabolic stress signaling in plants. He returned to the KU Leuven Biology department and started his own research group (Plant Molecular Biology) to further explore the function and regulation of the conserved cellular energy sensor SnRK1 (the homolog of the yeast SNF1 kinase and animal AMPK). Filip is actively involved in teaching and outreach and since March 2021 is the first director of the newly established
interdisciplinary KU Leuven Plant Institute (LPI). Family, food and sailing are important passions.

Prof. Thomas Jacobs

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Professor

Professor Thomas leads the Plant Genome Editing group at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology. He is a toolmaker, focused on the development of genome engineering (CRISPR) technologies in plants. The group creates and modifies modular cloning systems to rapidly assemble new CRISPR vectors for CRISPR screens, base editing, prime editing and homologous recombination. The group works on a variety of plant species from models to crops and also a seaweed.

Robert

Roy

Former contributors

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Former Team Captain

As the team lead, Roy likes to make sure everything is running in order. With a background in Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering, he likes to find creative, but realistic solutions to problems in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Beyond that, he likes to spend his time with his Bass and watch Manchester United win.

Former Wet Lab

A Biology student from Ireland who will be mainly working on the wet lab aspect of our iGEM project. An early riser and fitness enthusiast, Robert is a fan of routines and maintaining a consistent work ethic. He hopes to support his teammates with cheer and motivation when the going gets tough.