Student Members (in alphabetical order)

CHU Tsz Long Nelson

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I am entering my second year of biochemistry at HKU and i have a special interest in bio-gerontology. I join the igem2009 because i want to understand more about synthetic biology and to get some practical research experience. In my spare time i enjoy table tennis, archery and chess games. I hope to pursue my PhD program in the US after i graduate.

In this competition, I am responsible for biobrick construction and speed control. I learnt a lot of useful skills and hand-on experience of practical research. Though there were many failures, i managed to provide some possible explanations for the failures and discuss it with other teamates. I found myself addicted to scientific research after this competition. I hope I can be a successful scientist and contribute a lot to mankind in the future.

FU Zhong Zheng Brooks

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Brooks Fu Zhongzheng is a second year undergraduate student studying at the University of Hong Kong. Aspiring to be a successful researcher, he decided to choose biochemistry and physics as majors to train himself in reasoning skills and the ability of gleaning useful information from books as heavy as two bags of potatoes. He personally thinks knowledge of physics is indispensable for him to make sense of the abstruseness and intricacy of life. It is quite challenging to deal with these two majors that require different thinking patterns and learning methods, but his brain manages to develop an ability of quickly switching between 'biology mode' and 'physics mode'. He really enjoys himself when learning and attains satisfactory academic results. In the spare time, he usually plays the piano to get relaxed. He is a big fan of Bach and Prokofiev.

It occurs to him that 'all textbooks no experiments will make Brooks a dull boy'. Only will an opportunity of self-motivated scientific 'DIY' enable him to internalize what he learn from the textbook. When first introduced to the iGEM competition by Dr.Huang, he was totally fascinated by the idea of assembling ‘biological machines’ using standardized biological parts. He thinks it is time to exploit the intricate principles discovered by so many talented scientists after centuries of dutiful research to engineer man-made organisms that can ‘change the world’ and help people. He was thus motivated to join the HKU-HKBU team. In the team, he devotes a lot of time to generating ideas,designing the project,editing the wiki and manufacturing Biobricks. With enthusiasm and diligence, he succeeded in collaborating with his talented teammates to create a bacteria-powered motor. The argument that our future world will heavily rely on the motors we've built may seem ridiculous to some. It may or may not happen, but who knows? Nothing is impossible. iGEM is for people with imagination.

iGEM proves to be an invaluable learning experience for him. Thanks to the competition, he not only masters the necessary research skills, but more importantly, the spirit of teamwork and the importance of taking up responsibility.



I’m a second year student studying Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong. I have a strong interest in doing research and enjoy the process of trying new ideas. On the team I spent most of my time doing wet lab. Although I have been defeated for many trials, once I had positive results, a great sense of accomplishments made all the efforts worthy. Meanwhile, the variable possibilities in experiments display the fascination of synthetic biology. Another great thing is that I have met lots of like-minded friends in this IGEM competition. We exchanged our ideas, experienced failure and success together, which made us like a big family. Outside the lab, I’m an easy-going person with lots of interests. I usually do sports and go travelling in my spare time to relax myself.

LI Wei Han James

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My name is Weihan Li, and I am a year 2 undergraduate student from the physics department of Hong Kong Baptist University. I have been an undergraduate research assistant, under the supervision of Prof Leihan Tang, in Condenced Matter Theory and Biophysics Lab for over 1 year and a half. My research mainly aimed at quantatively understanding biological processes, especially metabolism. Attending different conferences and symposiums on synthetic biology, system biology and physics also opened my eyes. I also had the honor to give a 20-minute academic repeort, titled Biological Network Analysis: on oscillation and synchronization, on the International Conference on Complexity and Disciplinary Sciences, which is an encouragement and also a good start for me. In this iGEM project, we worked as a team to realize our dreams to engineer something we always long for with the help of bacteria. I am glad to be a part of the team where I gained not only the knowledge and the valuable wet lab experience, but also the precious friendship. I believe this iGEM project will be a great treasure through out my life!

Yan-Lin LI

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hailing from Hong Kong, is a second-year undergraduate reading medicine and surgery. He joined the iGEM team primarily because he sees synthetic biology as a powerful tool for inventing novel therapeutic strategies.

He has thus far taken up three roles in the competition: firstly as fund-raising manager, then as group leader of the Che-Z knockout (2443ompT) team, and now as leader of the Human Practices Advance team. Moreover, as one of the only two clinicians around (alas!), he is also responsible for imagining – and developing – the potential clinical applications of the Bacto-Motor.

Outside medicine, his other academic interests include philosophy, politics and economics and he has represented both Hong Kong and HKU at international debating competitions, advancing to the Octo-Finals of the Worlds Schools Washington DC in 2008. He is also editor-in-chief of Caduceus, the official journal of the Undergraduate Medical Society. While not preoccupied by other tasks, he enjoys classical music, jogging, table tennis and banter – where everybody gets a good laugh :)

SHENG Zi Wei Amy

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I am senior biology student of Hong Kong Baptist University. Mainly working on wet lab, I, together with teammates, take responsibility of measuring the swimming speed and categorizing the trait of polar expression after bacteria being modified. When James, one of our members, introduced me to this group, I had zero knowledge of what synthetic biology means or what we suppose to do. However, had gone through papers and handled wet lab work, I have started to understand the significance of this subject and its bright future and moreover exhibit great interest to it. I attained from this experience not only practical laboratory skills and knowledge of synthetic biology but also friendship and teamwork spirit. Other interests of mine include traveling, reading, growing vegetables and eating them.

SIN Sheung Man Alexander

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When I first heard about iGEM and the idea of synthetic biology, it really caught my interest. This is a chance where I can combine other’s work and findings and make the best out of them. This is what I have learnt recently from object-orientated programming – breaking ideas down into objects, manipulating and assembling them into one working machine.

Being in the second year of the Bioinformatics Programme, I am in the middle of learning how the knowledge of computer science can be applied on biochemistry. By participating in the iGEM competition, one would be able to gain hands-on experience on what biochemistry research is like, how the knowledge learnt from lectures can be applied to practical laboratory work, and the wisdom to work as a team – sharing results, joys as well as deadlines and pressure. I am glad and honoured to be a part of the team HKU-HKBU, and it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to work with students from another university in Hong Kong.

TSE Kwong To Paul

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I'm a second year student studying Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong. It is my first time to take part in an international competition about synthetic biology. After acquiring information from my other iGEM members, my strong interest drives me to participate into iGEM in summer. At the very beginning, I think this is just another means to kill my time in summer. However, after attending several meeting and assisting others to do different kinds of laboratory work, I find myself immersed in this competition. Some of the laboratory work like western blotting, PCR, electrophoresis and the like are very new to me and I never come across this stuff from Chemistry laboratory. Though repeated failure in the genes knockout, I never felt frustrated since I could learn new things from each failed experiment. Indeed, with the help of other iGEM members and supervisors, I acquire tremendous knowledge about the synthetic biology as well as biochemistry in this competition. My part of work in this iGEM competition is mainly dry lab, which include wikis work, human practice, some search for experiment stuff. Hoping our effort in this competition can pay off and earn the glory and reputation of HKU and HKBU.

WEI Ling

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Hi, I’m WEI Ling, a student member of iGEM09 HKU-HKBU team. I come from Department of Physics, Hong Kong Baptist University, majoring in biophysics. I graduated from Beijing Normal University this summer. As a physics student, biology is totally new for me. Frankly speaking, it is the first time that I hear so many biology terminologies and deal with some simple manipulations. Fortunately, with the help of friendly and amusing team members, I have learnt a lot in the lab.

Thanks to all the pretty girls and handsome boys in our team. They bring so much fun during the little bit boring lab life. No matter what the final result of this competition is, I enjoy the course and cherish our friendship. I have to say that I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Oh, by the way, although I’m interested in many things, songs of Westlife, movies of Leung Chiuwai, and also show of Lakers are my most favorite. If you are also their fans, please share your feelings and opinions with me. Thank you!

WONG Chi Kin Felix

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I am an MBBS student with immense interest in research. By research I would like to find solutions for healthcare and make the world better. Seems my aspiration is a bit far away from the contents of our project? In fact, I am still trying to learn experimental technique. I believe doing any kinds of biological experiment can enrich my understanding in research routines and insights. Meanwhile, I am responsible for the Human Practices Project. By letting people know about synthetic biology, they understand how it can contribute to the advancement of quality of life.

I was a late comer in this team, since I joined in September. In these two months, I have become good friends with all my teammates. May I grasp this opportunity to say thank you to all of them.

WONG Ho Yin Bosco

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Hi, my name is Bosco and i am a year 2 student at HKU reading biochemistry and chemistry. During these days working as a member in the HKU_HKBU team, i have learnt a lot about synthetic biology and yet made invaluable friendship from the other members.

I joined this competition not only for learning more about biochemistry, but also the essential lab skills that i need for my studies. Through these months conducting experiments in the lab and holding numerous meetings late, i am very surprised i have survived from all these.

Especially when some of the members went home and there were only few people here in hong kong, we have encountered a very great crisis in human resources. Yet, with all our keen devotion, we have resolved and learnt from problems to problems. I love the days being in the team and the days spent with my teammates, making fun of each other, hard working together without sleeping. Now i just wanna finish our current and can't wait to see us beating up the other teams at MIT (if we were able = =).

To be honest, actually i never emphasized i am the leader of the compeition. As i am a person who don;t want to make the other people shoulder a lot of pressure and i don't want think i am the person with good leading skills.

I just think of myself being a normal member and try to do my best. I know i am not a good leader at all but anyway i feel very grateful for those who gave me support and forgave my wrongdoings during the hard times. I know i have said a chunk of stuff and i know it is clumsy. The last thing i wanna say is that i am very proud that i have spent time with my friends pursuing a dream during my most busy summer, pursuing a goal that to undergraduate students seems so far away and demanding yet it is the sweetest ,remarkable and memorable dream i have ever had in my life time.

I just love you all!

YIP Ka Ho Raymond

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2nd Year biochemistry and microbiology student. Was studying in UK for several years before coming back to the homeland and join the big HKU family. After spending a year doing nothing, skipping lectures (switched onto the “sleep” mood even do appear) and resting, I finally picked myself up to get some work done by registering to the iGEM team. Being the one who is responsible for the BIG fund-raising job, human practices activities and others wet lab experiments for our team. I must say that was the busiest summer I have ever had but also the one which I truly enjoyed.

It was an honor for me to work with many hilarious, “hard-working” fellow geniuses. Especially those weekly meetings that end at mid-night, meals time which we make fun out of each other and when the swine flu suddenly hit our lab. Many and many more memorable moments that we shared together throughout the past few months were totally awesome and enjoyable. Hope we shall get some good results this year and ROCK THEM!


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I am a second-year undergraduate at the University of Hong Kong majoring in bioinformatics, which is really a combination of two majors - in biochemistry and computer science. Being one of the earliest members of our team, I was responsible for writing and presenting our project proposal at the beginning, some wet lab experiments in the middle, and at last, perhaps the one I enjoyed most, our wiki's build-up work. Specifically, I converted our first two framework designs into code, though not the final one. It seemed to be quite a hard job for me at first since I started out as a complete newbie, even without knowing any HTML tags but only some if and while statements in programming languages such as C. However, driven by a burning curiosity in the field of web coding, I decided to give it a try and studied some HTML, CSS, and JavaScript online tutorials myself, and then embarked on an exciting journey of constructing my very first website. And I found it never less amazing than working with those traditional programming languages!

Besides coding, I also enjoyed undergoing the entire process of a scientific project as well as learning a bunch of basic wet lab techniques. And yet the thing I treasure most is the friendship with other team mates I have harvested. It has been a really nice experience to work with people with different backgrounds and distinct characters, from both HKU and HKBU. We had such a great time together in the past couple of months. We strived together, laughed together, and faced challenges together. I will never forget the time we spent together.

ZHONG Xing Xin Nova

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I am a year 2 student from the Department of Mathematics of the University of Hong Kong. I joined the iGEM team of HKU-BU at the beginning of this summer, and feel great honored to join in the jamboree representing HKU. As a mathematics students, I have never entered a Biochemistry lab before but the experience this time has enlighten me a lot. Actually, iGEM is the first time for me to touch the concept of synthetic biology.

Working together with the whole team, under the guidance of instructors, I am able to see my progress day after day. Those creative ideas in the brainstorm, rigorous spirit of setting controlling, and the ingenious designing of experiment have impressed me and changed my mind significantly.

During the summer, I mainly worked on controlling the speed of our bacteria-motor, and on measuring the expressing level related to a concentration gradient of the IPTG inducer, by the method of Western Blotting. Besides, I have tried on knocking out cheZ fragment of E.coli 2443 and spent some time in making bio-brick.

Generally, I have learned a lot in the iGEM and really enjoyed the project.

Student Helper

XUE Yuan Soso

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Yuan Xue is a senior high school student (graduating in 2010) currently pursuing study in La Salle Catholic College Preparatory located in Portland, Oregon. He developed an interest in the field of biology and chemistry after studying the corresponding courses at high school that soon attracted him to iGEM. After approximately two weeks of volunteering in a former iGEM project of iHKU team over the summer of 2008, he had an honor to pledge to working with university students as a HKU-HKBU team member this year in 2009. This precious opportunity gave him an insight into the application of principles of synthetic biology to contributing human welfare; furthermore, it inspired him to pursue further studies in the corresponding field of study as he found it to be intellectually provocative and intriguing.

He was assigned as a wet lab researcher tasked with activating the polar expression on Escherichia coli 2443 OMPT. His primary approach to tackling this task was transforming plasmids into 2443 OMPT. He learned a tremendous amounts of knowledge on regards to research techniques, data analysis, setting for experiments, and the mindset of research – to be both innovative and steadfast.

Instructors (in alphabetical order)

Dr. HUANG Jiang Dong

Dr. SONG You Qiang

Professor TANG Lei Han

Dr. WANG Jun Wen John

Advisors (in alphabetical order)

FU Xiong Fei

LI Xue Fei

LIU Chen Li



YU Bin