UGA started an iGEM team under the direction of Dr. William Whitman, Dr. Brahm Verma, and Dr. Yajun Yan. The goal was to produce geraniol in Methanococcus maripaludis. Geraniol was chosen because it is the main component of rose fragrance and has potential as a biofuel. M. maripaludis was chosen because of the challenge of working with an obligate anaerobe and to explore the use of archaea in synthetic biological applications. We successfully identified a metabolic pathway, designed the genes, constructed a shuttle vector, transformed, and verified production.
I served as a graduate advisor concerning organization, fund raising and travel. I participated in identifying the pathways and gene design. I also assisted in lab work such as PCR, cloning, screening, transformation, and product verification.