Team:WalthamHS BioHawks/Team


Waltham High School

Waltham Public High School has a diverse student body of approximately 1,300 student and 125 teachers. Waltham is a city just west of Boston, MA with a population of 58,000 residents.



Our team consists of students currently enrolled in AP Biology and a few aspiring biology students. Once we were introduced to the idea of iGEM, people who enjoy science and wanted a hands on experience in laboratories came together to form the BioHawks team. Our team consists of 8 students, our biology teacher, and a parent who is serving as our advisor.


Rutvi Bhatt: Hi, I am Rutvi and I am a BioHawk. I love biology and learning about stuff we experience in everyday life. I find microbiology very interesting and lab work helps me understand the concepts. I love community service and I am involved in numerous awareness activities in India and Waltham. I am in charge of making the wiki for iGEM and helping plan the project. I look forward to presenting our project at MIT and making Waltham proud!! Besides this I love photography and Basketball. I also enjoy managing people and resources, I find it interesting to take charge. In conclusion, this project was a great idea, and I have learnt a lot.

Role: In charge of designing, editing, making the wiki, planning and organizing work.

Michael Perlow: I am a recent graduate of Waltham High School, in the class of 2014. Being naturally curious, especially in the sciences, I take a particular liking to biology. Last summer, I worked with a graduate student in the Biochemistry department at Brandeis University. Dealing with molecule-interactions (between RPS30B RNA and the u1 snRNP protein), we transformed bacteria and yeast to produce the desired nucleotides or polypeptides. Using that experience combined with the AP Biology class under Mrs. Maddox taken in the 2013-2014 school year, I have developed skills and experience highly adequate for use in synthetic biology.

Role: Lab technician, wiki editor of the Procedure page, and OmpA researcher

Edward Lo: Hi, my name is Edward Lo and I am currently a junior at Waltham High school. My hobbies include playing the piano and playing tennis. I decided to join the iGEM Club because it interested me in how high school kids could customize their bacteria to perform different tasks.

Role: Lab technician and wiki editor for the History of Waltham and Results pages

Mina Antic: Hi! I’m a junior at Waltham High School, and always been interested in the sciences (the reason why I’m working on this team). Biology is probably (read: definitely) going to be my major when I leave high school and I thought this project would be a good experience. But besides that, I enjoy playing volleyball, painting, and sleeping. Particularly sleeping, which I don’t do as much as I want to.

Role: Lab technician and wiki editor of the Safety and Human Practices pages

Molly Wack: My name is Molly Wack, and I’m a junior at Waltham High School. I joined this club because I think synthetic biology is a really cool field and it’s an exciting time to join it. I think that learning about synthetic biology can help us understand the world we live in. In my free time I like to nap and eat, and I play basketball and lacrosse as well.

Role: Enzyme researcher, wiki editor, project overview

Leon Mamish: I am Leon Mamish, take out the student and what do you get? Genius, Billionaire, Playboy (ok not really), Philanthropist. But seriously, I am a student at Waltham High School interested in the sciences, specifically biology and chemistry. I joined the iGEM team due to my strong interest in biology and plan to peruse a career in science. My hobbies include sleeping, watching movies, sports and eating. Also, sleeping.

Role: Lab technician and wiki editor of Human Practices page

Jason Gonsalves: I’ve always had a peculiar interest for science. I’ve completed Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry and AP Biology in high school and my interest has only grown stronger. When I heard about the iGEM team, I just had to check it out! I love biology and wish to pursue a carrier in it. My other hobbies are track and field, writing and sleeping.

Role: Lab Technician and blood thinning researcher

James Zanghi: Hello, I am James Zanghi! I am a sophomore at Waltham High and I really enjoyed biology this year.I wanted to expand my horizons with scientific experience and learn even more about the biology frontier. I am the Founder and President of the WHS History Club, hockey player, and academic. I am a student who appreciates learning and takes hold of opportunities by working hard with passion.

Role: Lab technician and public relations by interviewing the Waltham High School community.

Marisa Maddox: I have been teaching Introductory Biology and AP Biology at Waltham High School for seven years. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling and sleeping.

Role: Instructor

Edward Wack: I am an advisor to the Waltham BioHawks iGEM team. When I'm not coaching youth sports or gardening and doing yard work, I lead the Bioengineering Systems and Technology Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Role: Advisor, research librarian