Melanie Salinas


Science Research Specialist, Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, National Institutes of Health - University of the Philippines (Manila, Philippines)

Melanie Salinas is a Science Research Specialist at the National Institutes of Health - University of the Philippines Manila. She holds a degree in Professional Science Masters (PSM) in Bioinformatics from the University of Delaware (UD), USA through the USAID Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for Development (STRIDE) PSM Scholarship, and a degree in Master of Science in Pharmacology from the UP College of Medicine. Being a pharmacist by profession, she aims to promote a systems approach to drug research & development in her country through various tools of molecular biology and bioinformatics.
She was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Leadership Study by the UD Blue Hen Leadership Program. She is the current President of the Salamat Po Kai – Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Alumni Group that supports selected undergraduate students at the UP School of Health Sciences, Palo, Leyte through financial assistance from the Alumni Legacy Fund.

Shrestha Rath


Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India

Shrestha Rath is pursuing her majors in Biological Sciences at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research,Bhopal, India as part of her BS-MS Dual Degree. Following her experience in iGEM competition in 2018, she became extremely inclined towards understanding the rhetoric around the ethics and morality of Synthetic Biology and finding ways of introducing and integrating practical SynBio education in high schools. She is currently the Darwin Ambassador at BioRiidl- India’s first community lab and an incubation centre which provides a nurturing environment and mentors ideas which can contribute to the community. Her position at BioRiidl enables her to meet and greet young minds, introduce them to the concept of community labs and show them how fun could SynBio be! Apart from this, she is passionate about scientific content writing and science journalism. Her past endeavours include being a participant at Annual Monsoon School at National Centre for Biological Sciences, India and several internships at IISc, CCMB and IISER.

Sofiya Lysenko


Philadelphia, PA

Sofiya is a rising senior attending the Abington Senior High School in Abington, Pennsylvania. Inspired by women bioengineers at the 2015 ProjectCSGirls competition (where she prototyped an app to assist children with autism), she used her science fair project, a homemade gel electrophoresis device, and algorithms from Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio to predict the next mutation of the Zika virus for the 2016 ProjectCSGirls competition, where she won the 4th place national prize. She now focuses on expanding her independent research interests with aspirations of designing DNA robots and on educating and inspiring other students in computational biology and biotechnology, conducting regular research projects, one that has most recently been recognized by the Jansen and Merck pharmaceutical companies (recently by the Google Science Fair: In the spring of her sophomore year, she founded the BioEnGene community lab at her high school, and then Philadelphia's first community laboratory, BioHackPhilly, in the summer before her junior year in high school. She currently assists in professional scientific research in two separate institutions, and is committed to biotechnology citizen science and computer science education for the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Yash Shah

Boston, Massachussetts

Yash is a lover of science, and fermentation enthusiast. He's brewed over 20 batches of beer so far, the latest being his first porter.

After graduating from college, Yash tried to start his own startup called Fiat Lux Labs where he and his partners tested the use of real time biosensors on fermentation and even implemented their sensor at a brewery! He currently works at a biotech startup where he gets to do larger experiments than ever before.