Member bios

From Counter Culture Labs

Patrik D’haeseleer is a bioinformatician by day, mad scientist by night. He is a cofounder of Counter Culture Labs, community projects coordinator at BioCurious, and scientific advisor of the Glowing Plant project, none of which are in any way related to or funded by his day job at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Marc Juul is a full-­time hacker with a background in network programming and synthetic biology. Having co-founded the hackerspaces Labitat, sudo room, and Counter Culture Labs. Some of the projects he works on are - a free and open source GNU/Linux operating sytem for e-book readers, People's Open Network - Mesh internet infrastructure owned and operated by the people and various other open software/hardware/wetware projects.

María Teresa Chávez is a 16­ year ­old aspiring mathematician, computer scientist and biologist. She was accepted to medical school at age 14 and dropped out after 6 months to move to the bay area. Since then she has been taking classes at UCSF and Stanford, has worked at the Baranzini lab at UCSF to try to identify molecular mechanisms underlying multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and at Transcriptic, a startup in Menlo park that does lab automation (basically Amazon Web Services for life sciences). She was a 2014 Thiel Fellowship Finalist. Currently she is interning at a startup called GeneDrop working on exome sequencing data analysis and hopes to start researching her own exome soon. She has also been learning group theory and is interested in using mathematics to create a theoretical framework for biology.

Jacob Statnekov is a software developer at a local biotech startup who spent his college years heavily sampling the sciences. He spent a few years doing bench research in Washington and South San Francisco before taking a science siesta and working in finance software. He’s passionate about making science accessible, citizen science as a transition mechanism between academia and industry valued skills, and making the tools and equipment of science more available.

During the day, Mary works as a scientist at a biotech startup in San Francisco. Born and raised in Texas, she received her Bachelor’s of Science from U.T. at Austin in 2011. Her past research focused on the neuroendocrinology of reproduction and microbial ecology. Following a whim to move to the Bay to get involved in scientific research, she instead got involved in the DIY Bio movement and has worked with a great group of people to open Counter Culture Labs. With an open lab, Mary plans to research ecosystem dynamics in vivo. More specifically, she will be using the fly to model host-microbiome interactions. How much of the host’s behavior, fertility, development and longevity are strongly influenced by the dynamic community of the flora vs. the individual’s gene vs. the environment? That’s what she wants to discover.

Johan's day job is computer security but when he's not doing that he works on number of projects such as Real Vegan Cheese, genetic engineering with CRISPR/cas9, and biosensors. He is very interested in regenerative medicine, immunotherapy, and cancer.

Anthony Di Franco works at the intersections of complex adaptive systems, economics, and computing. He is a board member of the East Bay biology hackerspace, Counter Culture Labs, where he's been organizing talks and reading groups on topics in theoretical neuroscience, and trying to learn more about how to produce insulin and develop other technologies relevant to the treatment of type 1 diabetes at lab-bench scale. He is also the author of the transgressive historical wuxia manhua, Three Sovereigns.

Alan Rockefeller specializes in mushroom taxonomy. He has been collecting mushrooms for 10 years and has traveled to Mexico to collect mushrooms for the past 8 years. Alan is a network security expert, as well as a moderator at the Shroomery Mushroom Hunting and Identification Forum, and posts all of his mushroom photographs on Mushroom Observer. When he is not hunting mushrooms Alan spends his time looking at mushrooms under the microscope, soldering electronics, hacking Unix and sequencing mushroom DNA.

Louis Huang is the founder and R&D lead of Nubbii, a Washington D.C. based start up designed to analyze and visualize news collected from a diverse field of industry sources to gain insight through unstructured text. His scientific interests lie in sustainable ecology.

Matt Harbowy co-founded Counter Culture Labs, and gives talks and demos intersecting biotechnology, art, food, and nature. He is also an avid fan of questioning everything, and was recognized as a top writer for 2014 at Quora. He has a MS in Chemistry from Cornell University. His focus of research is on sustainable engineered plant materials, and would like to colonize Venus with floating bamboo habitats and engineered extremophiles.

Laura Chang is an engineering consultant in the biotech industry, specializing in development of cell culture and protein purification processes. She did some basic research as an undergrad and is excited to do bench work at CCL. She has become involved with the Real Vegan Cheese project and hopes to help with community education.

Kathy Buehmann is the president of Counter Culture Labs and enjoys building enthusiasm for Cool Projects in the DIY Sciences. She has a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Boulder, CO, which she managed to finish despite excellent ski conditions her senior year. Kathy is pretty good with pilot scale bioreactors thanks to some process development work at both Genentech in South San Francisco, CA and Biogen Idec in Cambridge, MA. Her project interests are genetic engineering, cellulosic ethanol, and bioremediation, and she looks forward to bringing more projects into the lab.