Dr. Karmella A. Haynes, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor
Ira A. Fulton School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering

Biosketch: Online at SciENcv
E-mail: karmella.haynes at asu dot edu

Bio: Karmella Haynes is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University. She earned her Ph.D. studying epigenetics and chromatin in Drosophila at Washington University, St. Louis. Postdoctoral fellowships at Davidson College and Harvard Medical School introduced her to synthetic biology. Her Davidson HHMI postdoc fellowship project on bacterial computers was recognized as “Publication of the Year” in 2008 by the Journal of Biological Engineering. Today, her research aims to apply the intrinsic properties of chromatin, the DNA-protein structure that packages eukaryotic genes, to engineer proteins and nucleic acids that control cell development. As an assistant professor at ASU, Dr. Haynes received an NIH Young Faculty Award (K01) and a Arizona Biomedical Early Stage Investigator Award (AZ ESI). She is a SynBioLEAP leadership development alum, a founding instructor of the Cold Spring Harbor Summer Course on Synthetic Biology, a Councilor of the national Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC), and Advisor and Judge Emeritus for the annual International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition. She is also a two-time featured guest on PRI’s Science Friday.


Cassandra Barrett, B.S.

Ph.D. student, Biological Design c/o 2019

Dean’s Fellow (2015)

Cassandra is from Lawrence, KS, USA.



Stefan Tekel, B.S.

Ph.D. student, Biological Design c/o 2017

Stefan is from VA, USA.




Daniel Vargas, B.S.

Ph.D. student, Biological Design c/o 2018

BRIDGE Fellow (2014-2016)

Daniel is from Mesa, AZ, USA.



Fatima Hamna, B.S.

M.S. student, Biomedical Engineering c/o 2019

Fullbright Fellow (2017-2019), MORE Fellow (2018)

Hamna is from Karachi, Pakistan.



Luis Sanchez De La Vega Covarrubias

Undergrad researcher; Genetics, Cell, and Developmental Biology c/o 2021

Barrett Honors College

Luis is from San Luis Rio Colorado, SON, Mexico



Jennifer Delgado

Undergrad researcher; Forensic Science c/o 2019

WAESO Fellow (2018)

Jennifer is from Mesa, AZ, USA



Morgan Milke

Undergrad researcher; Biology c/o 2021

WAESO Fellow (2018)

Morgan is from Blythe, CA, USA.



Gabriela Palomo

Undergrad researcher; Biology c/o 2020

WAESO Fellow (2018)

Gabriela is from Peoria, AZ, USA.



Christina Smith

Undergrad researcher; Biomedical Eng. c/o 2019

FURI Fellow (2017, 2018), iGEM (2017)

Christina is from Scottsdale, AZ, USA.



Cassidy Slusser

Undergrad researcher; Molecular Biosci. and Biotech. c/o 2020

Barrett Honors College, WAESO Fellow (2018)

Cassidy is from Gilbert, AZ, USA.



PhD Rotation Students, Fall 2018

None this semester

MS Applied Project Students, Fall 2018

None this semester

Undergraduate Volunteers, Fall 2018

Margarito Hernandez Fuentes

Alumni & Past Members


Jiaqi Wu – BS 2018 Computer Science, Barrett Honors College, FURI Fellow (2016), iGEM (2016); MS student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Rene Daer – PhD 2017 Biological Design, ARCS Scholar; Research Scientist at Progenity
Ernesto Luna
– BS 2017 School of Molecular Sciences, iGEM (2016)
David Nyer – Research Technician (2014 – 2017); Research Associate at Caribou Biosciences
Jimmy Xu – BS 2017 Biomedical Eng., Barrett Honors College, Flinn Fellow (2014), FURI Fellow (2016), iGEM (2016)


David Barclay – BS 2016 Biomedical Eng., Barrett Honors, FURI Fellow; Research Intern at Harvard Medical School
Brady Dennison – BS (pending) Biology, FURI Fellow, iGEM 2016
Brittany Flores – BS (pending) Biomedical Eng., WAESO Fellow, iGEM 2016
Theodore Kyriacou – BS (pending) Biomedical Eng., FURI Fellow
Baylee Murphy – BS 2016 Biomedical Eng., Synberc Scholar
Chuquan Shang – MS (non-thesis) Biomedical Eng.
Jan Simper – BS 2016 Biomedical Eng., Barrett Honors, FURI Fellow, TGen Helios Scholar; IRTA Post-Baccalaureate Fellow at the NIH
David Tze – BS 2016 Biomedical Eng., FURI Fellow; Clinical Research Coordinator at the Southwest Kidney Institute


Cameron L. Gardner – BS 2015, Barrett Honors, Finance & Biomedical Eng., FURI Fellow; PhD student at Dartmouth
Ryan Muller – BS 2015 (SOLS), Barrett Honors, Biochem. and Mol. Biol., SOLUR Fellow; PhD student at UC Berkeley
Alexander Ellingson – MS (non-thesis), Biomedical Eng.


Behzad Damadzadeh – MS 2014, Biomedical Eng.
Matsemela “Zazu” Maloi – BS 2015, Synberc Scholar
Hiram Rivera-Passapera – BS 2014, Synberc Scholar; Student at SUNY Upstate Medical University


Caroline Hom – BS 2013, Biomedical Eng., FURI Fellow; Senior Post-Market Quality Engineer at Stryker
Amanda Ispas – BS, Biomedical Eng., FURI Fellow
Brady Laughlin – BS, Biomedical Eng., Barrett Honors, FURI Fellow, TGen Helios Scholar


David Dreher – MS (non-thesis), Biomedical Eng.; PhD student at ETH Zurich
Wesley Houston – MS (non-thesis), Biomedical Eng.
Vi Nguyen – MS (non-thesis), Biomedical Eng.; PhD student at ASU


Derek Sanchez – MS (non-thesis), Biomedical Eng. c/o 2013