Hi, we are iGEM Team Bonn.
As a student-based research team, we compete against others in geeky science projects.

What we do research on

Empire State Building
Burj Khalifa
Paper recycled in 2013
An impressive 214,364,825 tons of paper were recycled in 2013 worldwide.
But although Chlorine has widely been banished from the recycling process, other harmful substances are still used. We want to tackle this issue by replacing those chemicals with enzymes.

Why enzymes? They are biological material, easy and cheap to dispose of. Plus, a variety of organisms already excel at producing them.

The process we envision

natural fuel
Natural resources serve as a cost-effective nutrition to initiate an isolated growth of microorganisms.
inexpensive bacterial production
A continuous and fully isolated synthesis of enzymes is achieved as our microorganisms naturally secrete their proteins.
specific enzymatic deinking
Solely the secreted enzymes will be transferred to the deinking facility where they detach ink particles from paper through specific cleavage of paper components.
biodegradable waste
Apart from ink particles, the remaining waste is composed exclusively of non-hazardous and biodegradable materials.

Enzymes do make a difference in paper recycling

energy savings
8,000,000 MWh
per year
The yearly energy demand of 5 Million people.
less mercury
10,000 t saved
per year
5x the mercury in the yearly German energy-saving bulb waste.
whiter paper
2% increase

Yes, really! Enzymatic deinking is reported to yield paper up to 2% whiter than conventional deinking approaches.

Allow us to introduce ourselves

Niklas Schmacke
M.Sc. Life and Medical Sciences
Sophia Mädler
B.Sc. Molecular Biomedicine
Jan Hansen
B.Sc. Molecular Biomedicine
Niklas fulfills a mentor role in our team bringing people to develop their full potential.
His extensive lab experience made him an ideal candidate for lab introductions for new team members and his calm presence will aid him in overcoming future problems and bringing labwork onto the right track. The working atmosphere is lightened through his humorous manner, while his creativity is expressed through his extensive involvement in the website design and its implementation.
Closely connected to almost every aspect of our project, Sophia is the motherboard of our team with an expertise that is applicable to the whole spectrum. Whether it comes down to the representation of our project or to conquering hunger with her baked goods, the result is always appealing. Her flexible attitude towards every task and her professional skills make her a vital building block of our team.
Jan plays an essential role in all creative processes involved in our project. Through his direct personality he looks to the core of the problem and finds innovative solutions which he can help implement through his technical skills. Additionally, his interest in photography provides our team with the necessary images for websites and flyers.
Balthasar is a limitless source of bizarre facts, including things that you always wanted to know, things you wish you could forget and many things essential to our project. His thirst for knowledge, interest in all things scientific and his willingness to try even daring things out are essential qualities that he brings to our team.
Benedikt Hölbling
B.Sc. Molecular Biomedicine
Bùi Hoàng Duy
B.Sc. Applied Biology
Alina Siebenmorgen
B.Sc. Applied Biology
It should come to no surprise that Benedikt's calm presence is but a mask for a highly reliable and motivated member of our team. With his international experience, not a single task has been unfulfilled as the boundaries of his abilities have still not been met.
Duy, our member from Vietnam, is the kind of person that makes every team‘s cloning job at least a bit easier. He appears quiet and reserved, yet his wit is sharp and every time when needed he manages to point out the most important points and goals, thus making him a stabilising force in our team.
Helped by her previous training experience. Beneath the cool demeanor hides her enthusiasm: Alina might not smile or talk a lot, but she's the person organising team-building activities.
Ariana is our ray of sunshine. Her presence is always welcome in our laboratories and meetings. Her positive attitude makes it a pleasure to work with her and it is hard to stay in a bad mood when she is nearby. She is also very bright, quick to learn and always happy to help. Ariana has a lot of good ideas which make a valuable contribution in our discussions.
Caroline Fandrey
B.Sc. Molecular Biomedicine
Gintare Malininaite
B.Sc. Applied Biology
Jonas Gockel
B.Sc. Biology
Caro is our sporty team member. Often in sporty attire she reminds us all of our New Year’s resolutions. Fitting to her style she is upbeat and energetic. Although sometimes hidden behind a very serious face, Caro can always bring laughter to the lab with her “crazy voice.” Eager to learn more, she takes her tasks very seriously and will do all that is necessary.
Despite being a newcomer, Gintare has been taking charge of the deinking aspect of our project largely on her own - which fits in perfectly with her disposition, as she has confidence in spades and has admitted she's much more interested in the chemistry part of her study than the biology one. Gintare is forever amused by the fact that virtually every German person she has met is stumped by the name of her native country in English: Lithuania (luckily they always let out an understanding "achso" when she follows up with "Litauen.")
Highly motivated and energetic Jonas takes on any and every task you throw at him. With his ability to learn quickly, he doesn’t just master his tasks, but is also able to pass his new found knowledge on to other team members, making life in the lab just a bit easier.
Our newest exchange student. Laura's warm and supportive Spanish personality helps her get along with virtually everyone she meets. Active team member in cloning, she is always willing to lend a hand and collaborate with their colleagues, inside and outside the lab.
Michael Teske
B.Sc. Biology
Stefan Kotte
B.Sc. Chemistry
Triinu Linkgreim
B.Sc. Applied Biology
Despite being a late addition to the team, level-headed Mikey is a very valuable member as he is our wiki specialist. Additionally he also gives a helping hand in cloning. The way he speaks makes one want to listen to every word he says and his input is always on point. Furthermore he rarely fails to make the team laugh.
Hidden under an enjoyably calm temperament our only chemist in the team is always ready to provide us with crazy chemistry-facts, which he can explain in a refreshingly easy and understandable way. Stefan's ideas are a real addition to our project and he is a fun addition to any free time activities.
The "i" in Triinu's name is doubled, and she seems to work and talk double speed too. Quick-thinking and quick on her feet, Triinu is a great member to have around when the need to spot problems arises. That humorous stereotype of Estonians being slow can't be more wrong in this case!
Max is the pacemaker of our team, keeping everyone on track and focused through his decisive (assertive) manner, all the while making sure that everyone can keep up. His logical way of thinking and seemingly endless knowledge about Applied Biology are crucial for the development of our project and his experience with iGEM projects in the past are a valuable asset to improve our planning process.
Pavel Ryzhov
B.Sc. Applied Biology
Cathleen Hagemann
B.Sc. Biology
Katrin Ciupka
B.Sc. Applied Biology
Our suit-wearing Russian, Pavel, with his level-headed and thoughtful manner keeps everyone on the same page through his precise (and correct) explanation of key concepts/ideas during meetings. His adventurous spirit, superior skills by Lasertag and his cannily accurate voice imitations of movie characters has granted him the nickname Batman.
Due to her programming skills, Cathleen is an essential member of the website design team - implementing all the creative ideas that come up. Once she comes out of her shell she is a very communicative person who is very helpful and enjoys all the technical aspects of our project.
Professional in public relations, responsible with finances and a generally joyful persona are all aspects that come together with Katrin. Her involved attitude enabled her to become one of the most committed and crucial team players in our relationship with the Hochschule in Rheinbach. Her priceless mentality makes her a motivating source for all team members to join our social events.
Guido is the creative design specialist of our team. With his extensive knowledge of all the necessary tools for digital design he is irreplaceable for developing graphic representations of our project, such as our logo. With his open and cheerful spirit he makes everyone laugh, all the while being very reliable and precise about his work. He even goes so far as to bike the 20km to Rheinbach to join in a meeting - the bicycle maybe being a tribute to his dutch roots.
Mariya Chernyavska
B.Sc. Applied Biology
Ashwin Shah
B.Sc. Applied Biology
Mariya can be considered the personification of dedication, whereas stamina is not far behind. Her enthusiastic mindset makes her wary for wasting a single minute in the lab. With the highest quality set as the standard she oversees the micromanagement and promotional work on social media both efficiently and skillfully. Her experiences in management from her previous study in Ukraine enables her to play a vital role in the project.
Ashwin through his inner balance, grounds the team and often gives the final input (push) to bring us past potential dead ends. His happy go lucky attitude complements the driven focus of the team and calms tempers, lightening the mood and leading to a productive working atmosphere.
Alena is a very quiet and collected person, who despite seeming to have her thoughts in the clouds often gives the necessary impulses to further discussions. She is driven by her focus and her goal to fulfil everything to the best of her abilities, making her a valuable addition to our team.

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