Meet Our Team
Shaun Moshasha is crazy and eccentric. His interests are as diverse as life itself, however four main passions have percolated to the top of his list: biotechnology, education, entrepreneurship, and gamification. Discontent with settling for only one of his passions, Shaun has managed to merge the four together into what is now known as Open Bio Labs. He will never settle for the mundane, never be satisfied by the mediocre. If you want to be ordinary, then turn away now. But if you want to explore the furthest reaches of the micro and macrocosms, if you want to create the unimaginable, and if you want to shape the future of our world, let’s ride together and never look back.
Michael is a lifelong learner with a passion for pioneering new territory. He has spent most of his career in web and mobile app development helping to build start-ups. Michael is well-suited wrangling chaotic new ideas into functioning systems with a lean, pragmatic approach. He is both an individual contributor and seasoned manager.
In 2004, Michael got his first exposure to biotech as a software developer processing genomic data for Texas A&M University. He and a friend worked remotely while teaching biology at an under-served community college in northern Thailand. Nearly a dozen years later, he’s excited by recent biotech advancements and their far-reaching implications for the future.
Lab Management Intern
Andrew has a bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Mary Washington where he became interested in genetics, biotech, and all things molecular biology. After graduation Andrew spent two years studying the immune response to cancer in an academic research lab at UVA. A love for biology and the maker movement brought Andrew to Open Bio Labs where he is serving as the lab management intern in charge of outfitting and keeping up the Open Bio Labs lab space and equipment.
Outside of the lab Andrew enjoys reading, biking, and backpacking the nearby Appalachian Mountains.
High School Interface Intern
Maddie Morris is currently a 3rd year biomedical engineering student at UVa, who is also hoping to minor in English. She also participates in the GEMS (Girls Excelling at Math and Science) program at Jack Jouett middle school and the UVa Sustained Dialogue program. As our High School Interface intern, Maddie is hoping to use the Open BioLabs platform to engage more young people in the hard Sciences.
Community Interface Intern
Yvanna Pantner is a third year studying biology and women and gender studies at the University of Virginia. With her own diverse interests, she is drawn to finding creative ways in which the sciences intersect with other fields. Yvanna is looking forward to facilitating the accessibility of biotechnology in the Charlottesville area as the Community Interface intern at Open Bio Labs.
Executive Operations Intern
Catherine Pollack is a second year student at the University of Virginia double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Cognitive Science. After graduation, she intends to pursue a PhD program in Neuroscience; her long-term goal is to become a professor so that she can combine her passion for research with her desire to teach and share knowledge with others. In addition to her work as Executive Operations Intern with Open Bio Labs, Catherine is involved with numerous STEM organizations around UVA, including the Rodman Scholars Program (where she serves as Communications Chair), Society of Women Engineers (where she serves as Social/Logistics Chair), and the DAEDALUS (Discovering All Engineering Disciplines and Learning Under Students) Project, which she helped to found in Spring 2015. Catherine is thrilled to be continuing her work with Open Bio Labs for the coming year, and she looks forward to helping “culture creativity” in the minds of its participants.
Public Interface and Brand Management Intern
Amanda Tran is currently a second year biology major at the University of Virginia. Her love for science and shadowing experience has motivated her to strive to attend dental school after graduation. She is a member of the Pre-Dental Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and National Alliance of Mental Illnesses. In addition, she is a flyer for Virginia Competitive Cheer and a member of Delta Zeta. As the PR and Brand Management Intern, Amanda strives to spread Open Bio Labs and the concept of synthetic biology to the community, connecting with individuals and engaging the youth.
Lead Education Intern
George Saado is a second year biology major at UVa on the pre-med track. He is an active member of the University Achievement Award Mentorship Program, in which he has taken a 1st year student under his wing to help them adjust to life at UVa. On top of that, he has volunteered consistently with Peanuts and Cracker Jacks, which is an organization at UVa that offers after-school tutoring to elementary school children in the Charlottesville area. Given this background, George is going to be looking to incorporate different techniques for engaging young scientists in the biotech revolution into his role as the Lead Education Intern here at Open Bio Labs.
Microbe Manager Intern
Nicholas Keen is a student at Renaissance High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a senior in high school, Nicholas continues to explore his interests with an eye toward his future studies in biomedical engineering. Throughout his academic life, he has been interested in the sciences, and shown a passion for the maths. Nicholas has participated on his school’s IGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) team and competed at MIT and is currently taking his third high school synthetic biology class, this year as a teacher’s assistant. He has explored engineering disciplines through two summer programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre-Haute, Indiana. Outside of school, he is interested in photography and videography and has produced several short films and music videos that have debuted at local and international film festivals. Nicholas was one of the producers of a music video, “Want you Close” which won best Music Video at the Chicago Film Festival for students under 18. As the Open Bio Lab’s Microbe Manager, Nicholas is in charge of cataloging all microbes in the lab’s possession, and is in charge of keeping the microbes alive.
Entrepreneurship/Project Development Intern
Mohammed Taher is a fourth year biology major at UVA. As the entrepreneurship/project development intern, he aspires to have community members bring their ideas to life at the fully equipped Open Bio Labs and encourages them to continue their work.