Debt of Gratitude

AtheroSHuffle is not the work of one person, but a whole team endeavor including our team members, our instructor, and our sponsors. Our team members each filled their own roles and contributed to an incredible team dynamic which allowed us to persevere in the toughest of times. Our instructor Dr. Kozminski taught us what we needed, guided us through the process of iGEM, and helped to secure the funds needed to make our project possible. Finally, our sponsors are the source of funds integral to the success of our project, and very little would have been possible without them. We would like to thank each and every one of the names listed below for making the 2022 Virginia iGEM AtheroSHuffle project possible.


Team Attributions

Yilun Zhou

Yilun is the iGEM Virginia 2022 Team Lead. She was involved in developing the original project design and heavily worked on the Wet Lab committee. She researched, documented, and taught the team experimental protocols, and became a great resource for all. She also had the important role of uniting and organizing the team, and ensured all committees worked together for the success of this project.

Miranda Khoury

Miranda is the Wet Lab committee lead. She oversaw and greatly informed the workflow of the lab, troubleshooting, and experiment design. Miranda also was the primary member involved in engineering our Biobrick sequences. She coordinated frequently with Modeling to improve the productivity of Wet Lab, including LFA design. She also started and led journal clubs for the team to discuss scientific literature.

Ivory Tang

Ivory is the Modeling Lead for our team as well as a Wet Lab secondary. Ivory organized and led the two major projects for our modeling team, those being protein modeling and developing an advection-dispersion-reaction equation to quantify our LFA design. She taught herself skills such as using the supercomputer to develop protein models, and helped others learn them too. She also assisted in many wet lab protocols and led the Modeling journal club.

Isha Patel

Isha is the Human Practices and Outreach committee lead. She searched for and contacted experts, helped get sponsors, planned our project implementation, and managed our social media presence to facilitate public education. She also kickstarted a podcast to interview health professionals and created heart-healthy recipe videos on social media to spread awareness about cardiovascular disease. She also assisted with running wet lab experiments and participated in the Modeling journal club.

Peneeta Wojcik

Peneeta is the Wiki lead for our team and was largely involved in the wet lab and modeling. Peneeta spearheaded the foundation of our wiki from early on, and taught herself web development skills and the use of libraries such as Bootstrap and WebGL to code and design the website. She also edited the project promotional video. In addition, she assisted in wet lab experiments and modeling journal club.

Marisa Guajardo

Marisa is the Graphic Design committee lead. She designed and drew the artwork on the wiki and designed our team shirts. She taught herself how to use software such as Adobe Illustrator, Figma, and SVGator to create animations and figures. In the lab, she assisted in both researching protocols and executing experiments.

Justin Orchard-Hays

Justin is primarily on the Wet Lab committee and assisted the Modeling committee. He served as Lab Notebook Historian and ensured all wet lab activities were recorded in full detail. He contributed to our understanding of the oxidation process of LDL. He also assisted in designing the antibody sequences and primers needed for cloning and led Wet Lab experiments. Notably, he single-handedly cloned and transformed the full sized IgG into SHuffle E. coli and sequenced the VHH nanobody, McPC603, and IK17 plasmids.

Jayati Maram

Jayati supports the Modeling, Wet Lab, Integrated Human Practices, Finance, and Wiki committees. She conducted interviews with professionals for the IHP podcast, helped write grant applications, found sponsors, created our survey, and created the app demo. She also helped conduct many wet lab experiments and research for the Modeling journal club.

Alyssa Dioguardi

Alyssa works primarily on the Human Outreach committee and Finance committee. She contributed to the group by reaching out to companies and potential sponsors, helped with grant proposals, conducted interviews for the IHP podcast, wrote the storybook for IHP, participated in Wet Lab journal clubs, assisted with wet lab work, and was part of the group who developed the initial project design.

Godwin Oluwafemi

Godwin is the Chief Financial Officer for our team. Godwin met with financial contacts and assisted in writing grant proposals. He greatly advised budgeting and team spending and monitored our spending. He also participated in the Wet lab committee with experiments, and contributed to the development of the initial project proposal.

Alex Heise

Alex is a Wet lab and Modeling member. He has participated in Modeling journal clubs and read articles about oxLDL structure and characteristics. He also aided the wet lab committee in running experiments and in researching protocols.

Yasir Mahboba

Yasir is a Wet lab primary member. He assisted in researching protocols, and making competent cells. He also led the interlab study and presented our project progress at the Mid-Atlantic iGEM Meetup.

Dr. Keith Kozminski

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our instructor Dr. Keith Kozminski for both getting us involved in the iGEM competition and guiding us along the way. Dr. Kosminski taught the Synthetic Biology class we were required to take in order to participate in iGEM; there we learned what synthetic biology is, how the iGEM competitions work, and drafted project proposals. He constantly helped us troubleshoot our problems and provided us with necessary reagents. He also secured the funds and grants necessary for us to enter the iGEM competition and travel to Paris, France for the Grand Jamboree.

Our Sponsors

  • University of Virginia
    • MITRE has been a very helpful sponsor for Virginia iGEM for many years now, and this year is no different. Representatives from MITRE met with our team in the spring semester for lunch and we discussed each of our project proposals we were developing for the summer. MITRE covered our team’s registration fees for the iGEM competition, allowing us to focus more on our project and not worrying about raising funds to be able to attend iGEM. We thank MITRE for all of their financial support and hope to continue working with them in the future.
    • Special thanks to Kate Donovan and Caroline Kennedy for financial support and good advice on team organization
  • National Science Foundation
    • The National Science Foundation was a very important sponsor for our team, this year in particular. This iGEM competition is the first where the Grand Jamboree is being held in Paris, France, and the NSF has provided the funds necessary for our team to travel there. We owe many thanks to the NSF for their support, as presenting at the Grand Jamboree is the culmination of all our efforts.
    • Grant number MCB-2226331
  • Takeda Biosciences
    • Special thanks to Matthew Tucker from Takeda Biosciences for helping sponsor this endeavor.
  • Integrated DNA Technology (IDT)
    • The Integrated DNA Technology company provided us with $3000 worth of gene fragments at no charge. Their cutting-edge DNA synthesis technologies have been a major contributor to our project’s progress.
  • Cytiva Biosciences
    • Cytiva Biosciences provided us with an in-kind donation of nitrocellulose membranes so we could construct prototypes of our test strip.
  • Beckman Coulter
    • Beckman Coulter gifted us the CosMCPrep Plasmid Purification kit.
  • Snapgene
  • New England BioLabs
  • UVA Experiential Learning Fund

Special Mentions

Dr. Norbert Leitinger

Dr. Leitinger met with us multiple times to give us guidance on the structure and function of oxLDL. He influenced the design of our project in ways we would not have otherwise known.

Dr. Swapnil Sonkusare

Dr. Sonkusare supported our team by sharing the podcast and participating in cardiovascular disease activisim. We are grateful that he took an interested in our project and helped get the word out to others.

We give a special thanks to Reevu Adakroy. He is a sophomore at Cornell and majoring in Operations Research and Information Engineering. He dedicated his time towards the development of the Lateral Flow Assay model and was instrumental in constructing the MatLab script.

We give another special thanks to Ms. Kay Christopher. Ms. Christopher, Lab Preparator for Upper Level Labs at UVA, oversaw the preparation of various reagents, helped maintain general lab cleanliness, and handled all product and service orders for the team.

Lastly, we thank additional researchers and individuals we met with to discuss our project. They are: Dr. Jay Brown, Brett Ransegnola, Dr. Bindu Kalesan, Dr. Coleen McNamara, nutritionist Katherine Basbaum, Dr. Amy Taylor, Collin Marino, and Julia Ball. Your input and discussions with us have been invaluable.