Spotlight on geekStarters: Erin Kelly

The photo shows Erin Kelly (centre) with two members of the Lethbridge HS iGEM team – Nimaya DeSilva (left) and Candace Chan (right) – at the 2017 iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston (photo courtesy of the iGEM Foundation and Justin Knight)
10 Quick Questions for Erin

  1. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

I am enthusiastic and meticulous about science and education, and I love to be challenged.

  1. What do you love the most about your work/school?

I have the freedom to do the research I am interested in and the incredible support from my Professors.

  1. What is your best accomplishment so far?

Optimizing the purification of the protein Cbf5 in my lab. This is a protein that I have studied for years and it’s very unstable. The new purification strategy has made my work and others’ work much easier.

  1. What is something you are working towards right now?

Completing my MSc in Biochemistry at the Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute at the University of Lethbridge and starting medical school at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine.

  1. How do you like to spend your downtime?

Hiking or skiing, depending on the season.

  1. What is something you can’t imagine your life without?

My group of friends are the most supportive people and I would not be able to do the things I do without them.

  1. What is one thing that people will be surprised to hear about you?

I have never participated on a collegiate iGEM team, I have only been involved with high school teams, either as a student or as an instructor.

  1. What is something you are afraid of?


  1. What would you like your work to be ten years from now?

Completing residency and still innovating and teaching.

  1. What is one thing you appreciate about geekStarter?

geekStarter gives me the opportunity to teach motivated students about the subjects I am interested in, like genetic engineering and synthetic biology. I also get to learn more when I teach these concepts.