Catherine Fan, Ph.D.
Catherine received her BS in Biological Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she participated in research projects involving biomaterials and biofuel production. Her interest in microbial organisms lead her to pursue a Masters in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge and studied the hypermutation phenotype of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in relation to cystic fibrosis. Catherine recently completed a DPhil in Engineering Science (PhD) at the University of Oxford. Her thesis involved the creation and characterization of minimal cells (chromosome-free bacterial cells) which were applied as synthesis and delivery agents for anti-cancer drugs.
It was due to these series of experiences that Catherine became interested in synthetic biology and the manipulation of microbes to solve challenges in the environment and medicine. This involves the biosynthesis of valuable molecules and biodegradation of environmental pollutants. The importance of genetics and evolution of microbial communities are becoming more apparent as we learn about their impacts on human and environmental health. For her postdoctoral work she intends to contribute to the endeavour of creating a cell from scratch. This international effort has the potential to expand our understanding of biology and give clues to the origins of life.
As a trained engineer as well as a scientist since her BSc, Dr Fan has experience in a few programming languages. She has an excellent ability to use and apply them for the analysis of large and complex data sets.
Maria Teresa Gómez-Osorio, Ph.D.
Teresa received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México where she developed an interest in environmental impact assessment and hazardous waste management. This led her to study an MRes and PhD at the University of East Anglia, UK regarding environmental impact assessment and its influence on decision-making for hazardous waste management facilities in Mexico.
Throughout her career she has been interested in protecting the environment and human health, understanding how environmental information influences decision making and how it can be further integrated in environmental policy. She worked as a contaminated land officer at the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources in Mexico where she gained experience in the assessment of land remediation proposals of contaminated sites and interpreting environmental regulations and their compliance. She has also worked for United Nations Development Programme in a project that focused on the sound management of wastes containing Persistent Organic Pollutants in Mexico. She is currently a postdoctoral research assistant in the project Resilient People, Resilient Ecosystems in Smart Cities (RESPiRES) which studies the resilience of blue-spaces (such as ponds, lakes, rivers and streams) in urban contexts.
Her research and work experience has given her the opportunity to thoroughly understand environmental regulations and their compliance, technical information, to formulate environmental programs and projects related to hazardous wastes and contaminated sites remediation.