Team:UC Berkeley/Team/Molly Allen


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MY NAME/NICKNAME Molly Allen (aka The Transformer, Dr. Frankenstein)

MY STATS Wet Team Undergrad Student, Senior, UC Berkeley, Bioengineering, Concentration: Cell & Tissue Engineering

WHAT LED ME TO SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY I had an awesome AP Biology teacher in high school who introduced me to the basics of synthetic biology, as well as the exciting controversies surrounding much of its practice. In college, several enthusiastic and inspiring teachers here at UC Berkeley further flamed my interest. I adore the complexity, applicability and room for creativity synthetic biology affords. DNA is the ultimate building block for an engineer!

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY: IN MY WORDS To me, synthetic biology is a scientific field seeking to better understand and harness the powers of biological life. Researchers in this field must bring together biology, chemistry and engineering in innovative ways to successfully understand, capture, exploit and imitate the biological phenomena occurring around us. For iGEM this year, we are utilizing known genes, as well as finding new genes, to put together in such a way that it would prove useful to researchers everywhere. We are seeking to make many of the often slow, mundane procedures executed in lab daily more efficient and significantly cheaper by borrowing bits and pieces of nature’s genetic code to design strains of E. coli that can do these processes for us.

MY POSSIBLE FUTURE WITH SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY I would very much like to continue in the spirit of iGEM in standardizing parts and procedures in hopes of further streamlining this field. Synthetic biology is still in its infancy, and there is so much to understand, and so many possibilities to explore. I am still debating which direction I want to go in this field, but I have no doubt it will involve cells, creativity and controversy!

MY GOALS WITH IGEM Aside from winning the Golden Brick, my goal is to gain more laboratory experience, knowledge, job opportunities and inspiration. (Cliché, I know, but so is the question!)

MY FAVORITE DNA SEQUENCE catcatcatcatcat (His-tag) I'm a cat person! :)

MY DUMBEST LAB MISTAKE/COMPUTATIONAL ERROR Letting Jin leave for soccer practice

MY FAVORITE CHILDHOOD CARTOON Childhood? There are some pretty good cartoons out there now…


A BOARDWORTHY QUOTE "I'm the Transformer. Don't question me." -me