Dr. Karmella A. Haynes, Ph.D.

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

CV: 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. Today, her research aims to identify how the intrinsic properties of chromatin, the DNA-protein structure that packages eukaryotic genes, can be used to control cell development in tissues. Her HHMI postdoctoral fellowship project on bacterial computers was recognized as “Publication of the Year” in 2008 by the Journal of Biological Engineering. 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 currently a Director of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC), a SynBioLEAP alum, and Advisor and Judge Emeritus for the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition. She is a two-time featured guest on PRI’s Science Friday.


David Nyer, M.S.

Research Technician
B.S., Biochemistry, M.S., Molecular & Cell Biology

David goes by Ben. He is from Boston, MA, USA.




Cassandra Barrett, B.S.

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

Dean’s Fellow (2015)

Cassandra is from Lawrence, KS, USA.




Rene Davis, B.S.

Ph.D. student, Biological Design c/o 2016

ARCS Scholar (2013-2016)

Rene is from Corona, CA, USA.



Stefan Tekel, B.S.

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

Stefan is from…




Daniel Vargas, B.S.

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

BRIDGE Fellow (2014-2016)

Daniel is from Mesa, AZ, USA.




Ernesto Luna

Undergrad researcher, SOMS c/o 2018

iGEM (2016)

Ernesto is from…



Jiaqi Wu

Undergrad researcher, Computer Science c/o 2018

Barrett Honors CollegeFURI Fellow (2016), iGEM (2016)

Jiaqi is from Peoria, AZ, USA.



Jimmy Xu

Undergrad researcher, Biomedical Eng. c/o 2018

Barrett Honors College, NSF Outreach Intern (2014-2015), Flinn Fellow (2014), FURI Fellow (2016), iGEM (2016)

Jimmy is from…



PhD Rotation Students, Spring 2017

None this semester

MS Applied Project Students, Fall 2016

None this semester

Undergraduate Volunteers, Spring 2017

Christina Smith – Biomedical Eng.

Alumni & Past Members


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