Amy Chen, Student at University of Calgary

Amy Chen is currently a Bachelor of Health Sciences student at the University of Calgary. Her interest in the integration of biology research and innovative technologies has led her to participate in the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition as a member of the 2017 UCalgary iGEM team. The team explored the application of synthetic biology in space. Their project titled “Astroplastic” aimed to convert human waste into polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a bioplastic useful for 3D printing, to help mitigate difficulties surrounding waste management and material transportation for future manned missions to Mars. Their work has been recognized with a gold medal at the iGEM jamboree and has even been nominated for the best manufacturing project award. She is excited for the next step of the project in which they will build and test specific engineering components of their start-to-finish system for PHB production.