ayan abukar
FIRE PhD student
Ayan's Bio

Ayan the synthetic biologist. Ayan the photographer. Ayan the entrepreneur. Ayan the technical writer. Ayan (the very cool) big sister... etc.


Just as any person does, I have come to wear a few different hats over the years. Some journey's were more intentional than others. I was quite sure I wanted to be a part of the scientific community academically when I enrolled in the biology program at the University of Waterloo (UW). Unbeknownst to me, this is where I would enter the world of synthetic biology. Needless to say I was taken with it all. So much so that I represented UW's iGEM team in my second year of undergrad, which then gave me the opportunity to lead the team as project director in my third year. A happy consequence of my experience in iGEM was meeting the group of people that I would go on to co-found a cell cryopreservation biotech startup with (formerly known as Acorn Cryotech). I began to realize that as much as I planned my life, half of the battle was just being open to wherever these experiences lead you.


As I loosened my grip on what I thought I needed to do, I continued to meet and work with amazing people. Some of these amazing people reside here at the CRI, and I have the privilege of pursuing my PhD as I benefit from their diverse pools of knowledge, unreserved mentorship and genuine friendship. I can't say exactly where my newest hat will lead me, but I am proud to wear it: Ayan the PhD student tackling antibiotic resistance through the lens of synthetic biology.