About Tessa Alexanian

  • biotechno-optimist with a side of "are we the baddies"
  • former professional robot whisperer
  • aspiring effective altruist
  • trained tall ship rigging officer
  • 3-time bay area pun-off champion
  • over-the-top theme party hostess
  • occasional illustrator
  • chronically overenthused

I swore an oath upon honor and cold iron before departing Waterloo, Ontario to become an engineer at Zymergen in Emeryville, California, where I spent four years attempting to persuade robots to do biology experiments. I realized I was spending an awful lot of my spare time reading papers about biosecurity, so now I'm back in Toronto and working remotely for iGEM's Safety and Security Program.

Professional bio: Tessa Alexanian is a Safety and Security Program Officer with the iGEM Foundation. She used to spend her days wrangling robots to do biological engineering, but now spends more time wondering how to get biologists to engineer the right things. At iGEM, her work focuses on creating incentives and programs that encourage synthetic biology development that is responsible, responsive, safe and secure. Tessa co-founded East Bay Biosecurity Group, insigated the Catalyst collaborative biosecurity summit, and was the 2020 Foresight Fellow in Responsible Biotechnology and a 2017 iGEM delegate to the BWC.

I also have a resumé, if you're into that sort of thing.

I look like this:

Image of a mid-20s girl with blue hair standing in front of some posters. The girl is me.