BioBuilder was the first experience where I could take all the concepts I had learned and apply them to a project where I could define the problem and also what aspect I wanted to solve.”

Jacob Lei_headshot

Jacob Lei was a rising Junior in High School when he participated in one of BioBuilder’s online programs in the summer of 2020, waking up at 5AM Pacific time to participate synchronously three times a week for a month. BioBuilder’s online program introduced Jacob to the idea that biology and engineering could be combined to help people, using genetic parts that could be reconnected to address global issues. His biodesign team focused on medical treatments with a design that addressed insulin regulation in Type I diabetes, incorporating a model for insulin fluctuations in R.

Jacob furthered his interest in synthetic biology through a program at UCSD the following summer — taught by Carlos Vera (an amazing BioBuilder teacher!). And now Jacob attends Rice University in Texas where he is studying bioengineering, and will be joining Jeff Tabor’s lab to carry out an undergraduate research project, working on novel two component signaling pathways. He is sharing his excitement for science through an outreach program, doing fun science demonstrations with young students near Rice University through a program called Kids Are Scientists Too.

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