Team:Bay Area RSI/Team


Every year over 1.2 million people suffer myocardial infarction (MI). The resulting heart damage requires new approaches for effective repair. Stem cell therapies provide hope. However none of the stem cell therapies currently in clinical trials addresses the need for efficient stem cell targeting to cardiac tissue or the need to replace efficiently dead tissue with new cardiomyocytes. To address these problems, we have built several genetic circuits that work sequentially to repair the heart. First, we have built an inducible differentiation circuit that closely resembles the endogenous differentiation pathway, to program cells to become cardiomyocytes. Second, we have built circuits that use the extracellular domains of chimeric proteins to target cells to damaged cardiac tissue. Upon binding, novel receptor-coupled intein-mediated signaling domains activate effector genes that then aid in integration, inhibition of cell death, and the alteration of the tissue microenvironment.
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Home The Team The Project Parts Submitted to the Registry Notebook


Who we are


  • Advisor: Andrew Mendelsohn


  • Pokie: Jennifer Lei
  • Joshua Resa
  • Sean
  • Simina

What we did

Dr. Andrew Mendelsohn graciously provided laboratory space and project guidance.

Pokie served as team leader and helped in project planning, cloning, performed all cell culture experiments, and created the team wiki and its contents.

Joshua Resa helped in project planning, cloning, team fundraising, and the wiki.

Sean Allen helped in project planning, cloning, and team fundraising.

Simina Ticau helped in project planning and cloning.

CRP System

Planning - Omar Khan

Cloning - Omar Khan, Pokie, Anastasia Shabalova

Cell Culture Experiments - Omar Khan, Pokie

Differentiation System

Planning - Pokie, Joshua Resa, Sean Allen, Simina Ticau

Cloning - Pokie, Joshua Resa, Sean Allen, Simina Ticau

Fundraising - Joshua Resa, Sean Allen


Pokie Joshua Resa

Where we're from

Andrew Mendelsohn

Dr. Andrew Mendelsohn is an Assistant Professor at Regenerative Sciences Institute and has sponsored a co-university iGEM team consisting of UC Berkeley and Stanford University students for the last two years. His goal is to expose young minds to cutting edge research in the fields of molecular and synthetic biology. He hopes that the iGEM team's project will serve as the springboard for research that will eventually translate into real world therapies. Through Dr. Mendelsohn's efforts, RSI also offers year round undergraduate programs to continue research of promising iGEM projects.


"We are unknown to ourselves, we men of knowledge-and with good reason" - Nietzsche

In the pursuit of the truth we look towards ourselves. And each in our our own way, in our own time, on our terms, and some not at all - we shall end full circle - at the beginning of nothingness.

Ego sum veritas, veritas von liberat.

Science as my conduit to freedom, affords me the chance to give my imagination a corporeal existence. And therefore, allows me to be truly free.

Joshua Resa

Joshua is a senior at Stanford University, deviously working on a master plan that will enable him to stay in school forever. Hs is fascinated by the universe, by science, physics, chemistry, and biology (ignoring math, in order of the xkcd comic, you know the one). He wonders at the amazing intricacies of how stuff works and frustrated by what doesn't. He hopes to figure out the former and, with luck, fix what's broken. This project and IGEM in general have provided a wealth of experience and ideas, of problem solving and problem belly flops (you must imagine how that feels). It was a great experience.

Sean Allen

Sean Allen is a 4th year Molecular and Cell Biology major with an emphasis on Immunology. After graduating in the Spring of 2009, he plans on taking a year off to work and study for the GRE. From there on, graduate school and research are his primary goals.

Simina Ticau

I'm currently a third year Bioengineering student at UC Berkeley. I'm interested in synthetic biology and am planning on going to graduate school after I graduate. This project was an amazing experience for me and has taught me a lot about a field I'm currently thinking of pursuing.