Team:CAPS Kansas/Team


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Austin Chick
Austin Chick, a.k.a. Masta' Mix, has a strong passion for the world of biology. He spends the majority of his time in the lab whether it be learning the next big experiment or messing around with the 3D printer. In the short time when he is not in the lab, he spends his time stacking pears at Hy-Vee, playing video games, and watching romance movies with his girlfriend. The Masta' Mix is truly one of a kind.

Muriel Eaton
Muriel "Chaperone" Eaton fell in love with science through Science Olympiad in middle school. She will be a freshman at K-State this fall to major in biochemistry. When not doing science, Muriel is thinking about science. She also enjoys tearing up the floor with her expert DDR moves, dressing up her cat, reading of the marvels of chaperone proteins, cruising in her Camaro, and watching the exploits of NCC-1701. Her motto is "if you can't change it, don't complain."
Chloe Ortbals
Chloe Ortbals or better known as McFlow. From her Western blotting skills and to her mastery of her pipetting skils she has it all on lock down. In her free time she hangs with friends, listens to music, works at AMC and goes running on long and tiring distances. She loves animals (her favorite is a yellowlab mutt) and takes an interest in research of the cancer type. Chloe is the McFlowy.

Aiswariya Ramaswamy
Hello! My name is Aiswariya Ramaswamy. I go to Blue Valley Northwest, and I will be a junior this fall. I enjoy dancing, tennis, track and field. I participate in many clubs including KAY Club and Science Olympiad. My interest in life science began at a young age, and I especially like learning about biology. When I heard about iGEM, I was really excited to join and learn more about biofuels. In the future, I would like to do something in the medical field.
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Nithin Saripalli
My name is Nithin Saripalli. I go to Blue Valley Southwest and I am a sophomore. I am a tech enthusiast and enjoy working with technology when I am not doing science and homework. I love science because I like to know how the world around me works. I like biology because it is the study of life and it opens up a lot of opportunities. I am interested in iGEM because I like working with science. I like biotechnology and iGEM allows me to participate in Biotechnology. I would like to be in a career in Biotechnology. I do not know what college or exact career I will be in, but I still have time to decide.

Alexis Vance
This woman of many words is a sophomore at Blue Valley High (the Originals). This is what she has to say for herself: I have done competitive horseback riding for 9 years, I own a 5 year old Hanoverian Gelding named Encore. I love science and unhealthy amount. I wish to go into Biochemical Engineering. pGLO is my favorite plasmid. I hope IGEM will help me gain important lab experience and make important contacts in the Bio engineering world.
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Tiffany Chao
Tiffany Chao is a 12th grader that just graduated from Blue Valley West High School. She also has attended CAPS for four semester where she learned about biology and iGem. Tiffany is also called "Chao Chao" because she has many other friends named Tiffany. Altough she is learning about science research and is on the iGem Team, Tiffany will be going to Johnson County Community College for her undergrad and the University of Kansas to study pharmaceutical.  
Austin Chick - Blue Valley Northwest '15
Muriel Eaton - Blue Valley North '14 attending Kansas State University
Chloe Ortbals - Blue Valley West '15
Aiswariya Ramaswamy - Blue Valley Nortwest
Nithin Saripalli - Blue Valley Southwest '14
Alexis Vance - Blue Valley High'16
Tiffany Chao - Blue Valley High '14
(Left to right, 1st row to 2nd row)


Aron Fenton
Dr. Fenton researches Allosteric Regulation at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The results from his study will be used to direct future mutagenesis studies as a way of "tracing" which residues in the protein communicate the allosteric signal. To the same goal, his lab is also initiating D/H-exchange mass spectrometry experiments that will identify what regions of the protein have altered flexibilities due to the allosteric signal.
Qingling Tang
Ms. Tang is the chief laboratory technician in Dr. Fenton’s lab. Ms. Tang's ready smile brightens up the lab and her willingness to work brings extra positivity to the team.


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Eric Kessler
Mr. Kessler’s interest in biology can be traced to his youth on his family’s annual canoe trips where he was obsessed with catching turtles. He has earned three undergraduate degrees, in Education from UMKC, and Psychology and Zoology from the University of Texas. These studies were followed by a Masters in Biology from Emporia State University where he completed research on the retreat-site selection of woodland snakes. He began his foray into things molecular through participating in the Age of the Genome Woodrow Wilson Fellowship 2002 and has attended all three high school iGEM competitions. He enjoys photography and spending time outdoors with his family.

Joseph Whalen
Mr. Whalen began his adult life in biology as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. His interest in the outdoors led him to complete an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Kansas. From there he worked as a liaison between research and high school education as a GK-12 Fellow, and then completed three years teaching science at Blue Valley High School. Before returning to CAPS he completed his Masters in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Oregon State University, where he studied genome defense mechanisms in the fungus, Fusarium graminearum. Outside of school, Mr. Whalen enjoys rock climbing, and traveling with his wife and friends.

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Kelley Tuel
From a young age, Mrs. Tuel has enjoyed nature, the outdoors and figuring out how things work. Her love of all things living and amusement by high school students prompted her to earn undergraduate degrees in both Biology and Education from Kansas State University. Mrs. Tuel obtained her MS Degree in Biology from Emporia State University. Her graduate work was on the molecular genetics of Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, a salt-loving Archaean, and its instructional use in high school classrooms. During her research, she isolated and named two previously undescribed mutant strains of Halobacterium. Each mutant processes a novel transposon which disrupted the buoyancy vesicle operon (gvp). Mrs. Tuel teaches Veterinary Medicine at the Center for Advanced Professional Studies.

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