Team:WashU StLouis/Team

Cam "Chloramphenicol" Phelan

Fundraising | Wet Lab | Corporate Relations | The Team Grandma-Baby

Sophomore, Major: Chemical Engineering, Favorite Food: Dried seaweed

Hi, I’m Cam, and I’m from the WASP nest of Fairfield, Connecticut, but I was born in Paget, Bermuda. The Connecticut Skills™ that I bring to the table include: field hockey, rudimentary sailing, country club attire, golf, and tennis.

Outside of my work with iGEM, I’m the Programming Chair of the Engineering Student Council, I give admissions tours for the engineering school, and I lead a small group of freshmen in a Problem Solving Team (PST) for Chemical Engineering.

In my rapidly decreasing free time, I enjoy running, playing League of Legends, not eating actual food, and making terrible puns.

Elizabeth Johnson

Human Practices Lead | Wet Lab | Profiling Project Design | The Team Cat Lady

Sophomore, Major: Chemical Engineering

I am from Cincinnati, Ohio, and am majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in classics. My favorite foods are cauliflower, weird meat substitutes, and literally any type of carbs, hence my enthusiasm for plants and our project (even though my mom likes plants even more than I do). Outside of iGEM, I can typically be found playing tennis, running/at the gym, or playing solitaire and dreaming of kittens, but my head is usually in my Latin dictionary and my legs are in my Latin sweatpants regardless. I also lead a chemical engineering PST. A few good decisions I’ve made include not going to middle school, playing soccer in a hurricane, and eating a lot of really good bread.

Havisha Pedamallu

Wiki | Wet Lab | Detecting Project Design | The Team Awkward Middle Child

Sophomore, Major: Genomics and Computational Biology

Hi I’m Havisha, and I’m one of those many people that say they’re from Chicago but actually live 45 min away from the city. My interest in this project comes from both my love of carbs and passion for public health alongside biological research. I am looking forward to learning more about food insecurity and hopefully taking steps towards alleviating it.

Other than iGEM, I am involved in translational cardiology research at WashU’s medical school and am on the exec board for MedX which is a club aimed at raising awareness for health disparities in St. Louis. As a member of MedX, I began volunteering at a free clinic and joined the exec board for Healthy Humans though which I help children learn how to cook easy healthy meals. At school, I also serve as a peer health mentor for fitness and nutrition, on the Arts and Sciences Council, and as an officer for CS40, the governing body for the residential area of most freshman and sophomores.

Kyle Nicholson

Human Practices | Device Design | Modeling | The Last Man Standing

Junior, Major: Biomedical Engineering

Kyle is going to be the only one to write his own bio in the third person.

Kyle brings a passion for the intersection of engineering and global health. This intersected with the team’s iGEM topic through food and financial security within the communities that Kyle partners with through Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

Kyle’s focus on global health during his undergraduate career has been through his work with Engineers Without Borders, where he currently manages their three international projects and local project in St. Louis. In his previous two years with Engineers Without Borders, Kyle has served on the Ethiopia Project team, executive board for the Washington University Guatemala Initiative at Roosevelt Hospital, and has led the creation of the Nicaragua Project. Most recently, he traveled to Uganda to conduct partnership building and lay the groundwork for a partnership with a primary school in Iganga. Kyle is also the representative for the Undergraduate School of Engineering and Applied Science to Washington Universities Global Health Advisory Committee. He also represents Washington University to the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

He is also an avid downhill skier who volunteers for the Disabled Athlete Sports Association with the Gateway Disabled Ski Program during the winter. Kyle also works as a PST leader for the Introduction to Biomedical Engineering course, serves as a leading member of the Student Advisory Board for the Biomedical Engineering Department, and serves on a financial task force within the University’s Student Union.


Diva Lahad

Junior, Major: Biomedical Engineering

Hi! I’m Diva, and I’m from Tokyo, Japan. Aside from being in iGEM, I’m also a residential advisor and am in WashU’s founding class for AIΓ, a pre-health fraternity. I love to cook, listen to podcasts, and sleep.

I am a solid plant enthusiast (go rice! go barley!! go wheat!!!) which is why this project was a no brainer. In terms of team contributions outside of iGEM, I introduced my team to hours of vine compilations.

This summer I saw a baseball game for the first time (because of free tickets). It… happened. And I was there! Go sports!!

Dr. Janie Brennan

Faculty Advisor

Lecturer of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering Dept. at WashU

Dr. Janie Brennan has been involved in iGEM for over 10 years, first as an undergraduate team member, then as a graduate mentor, and now as a faculty advisor! Outside of iGEM, she is a Lecturer of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses related to chemical engineering. Professionally, her primary interests are related to engineering education and iGEM, and her hobbies include reading, playing the piano/trombone, and collecting/writing with fountain pens.

Jeff Czajka

Graduate Mentor

Jeff is a 3rd year PhD student in the department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at WashU. His research focuses on fermentation scale-up, metabolic characterization, and metabolic modeling of engineered microbes (supported by the NSF (IIP 1722313) and Arch Innotek (Founder: Dr. Yechun Wang)). Outside of research, Jeff enjoys running, swing/salsa dancing, and hiking. His goal is to hike parts of every major mountain range in the world.