Vision and Leadership


The MIT Biotechnology Group aims to increase the pace of biotechnological innovation by building strong, symbiotic relationships between the MIT community and thought-leaders in academia, industry, and business.

We endeavor to serve the MIT community by facilitating development of the knowledge, skills, networks, and experiences to prepare members for biotechnology-related careers.

Executive Team

Lena Afeyan

Lena is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at MIT. Her research focuses on transcriptional control in cancer. She has worked with MBG for several years, previously as co-Director of the Entrepreneurship Initiative, and in collaborations as president of Harvard’s undergraduate biotech group.

Josh Murdock

Joshua Murdock is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Sciences & Technology at MIT. His research focuses on the design of magnetic resonance-readable nanoparticle diagnostics for continuous monitoring of cardiac disease biomarkers in vivo. He has been involved in developing educational opportunities to expose and connect students to local biotech as part of the Industry Initiative since 2017.

Dave Lin
Undergraduate President

Dave is an undergraduate student double majoring in EECS and Bio-engineering. He enjoys cross-disciplinary work involving information technology, physics, and biology. His experiences include research in both biophysics and cognitive science.

Jenna Aronson
Director of Finance

Jenna is a third year PhD Student in Brain & Cognitive Sciences at MIT. She is advised by Dr. Ed Boyden as a member of the Synthetic Neurobiology Group and is a Neurobiological Engineering Training Fellow. Her research is focused on developing and applying technology for understanding and diagnosing the neurodegenerative brain.

Maria Zagorulya
Director of Communications

Maria is a PhD candidate in Biology at MIT. Her research is focused on understanding how immune cells can detect cancer growth and mount a protective response against it. She has been involved with the MBG Industry Initiative since 2017.

Initiative Directors

Tooba Shahid
Undergraduate Engagement Director

Tooba is an undergraduate student majoring in Biological Engineering, with minors in Data Science and Public Policy. Her research experiences span from gene drives to synthetic biology, but she also enjoys working on science policy and communication. She has been involved with the MIT Biotech group since her freshman year at MIT.

Laurens Lambert
Industry Initiative Co-Director

Laurens is a sixth year PhD student at MIT. He works in the laboratory of Tyler Jacks at the Koch Institute. His research focuses on developing novel immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer. He holds a M.S. from the Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands).

Desmond Edwards
Industry Initiative Co-Director

Desmond is an undergraduate student double majoring in Biology and Biological Engineering, with a minor in French. He has research experience both in industry and academia, and is currently a member of the Lamason Lab working on cell-to-cell spread in R. parkeri. He has been involved with the MIT Biotech Group since his freshman year in 2018.

Catherine Henry
Entrepreneurship Initiative Co-Director

Catherine is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. Her research is focused on developing high-throughput, quantitative platforms to identify the targets of small molecules. She has been involved with the MBG Entrepreneurship Initiative since 2018.

Susana Hawken
Entrepreneurship Initiative Co-Director

Susana Hawken is a Ph.D. candidate at MIT in the Computational and Systems Biology program. Her research focuses on the regulation of transcriptional program in development and disease. She has been involved in the Entrepreneurship Initiative since 2019.