Having earned my B.Tech in Food Technology from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, I got the opportunity to join the School of Biochemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University) Varanasi, as M.Tech graduate and later got Ph.D under the supervision of Prof. Mira Debnath Das. I earned Ph.D (Biochemical Engineering) on an exceptionally well researched project on “Bioprocess strategy development on production and characterization of antifungal protein from Aspergillus giganteus”.

  • Umakant Mishra

  • Tayyaba Zainab

    I have completed my PhD in Molecular Genetics from King’s College London, UK, I came back to Pakistan to join University Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan. I established my research group in 2016 and became the first person in our Institution to work on CRISPR based genome editing. Currently leading my team in establishing the National Center of Industrial Biotechnology at our Institution to further strengthen my work in Metabolic Engineering/Synthetic Biology.

  • Theodore Anton

    I am a popular science and nonfiction author. My most recent book was Planet of Microbes (University of Chicago Press, 2017). I’m writing a book called Programmable Planet: The Synthetic Biology Revolution to be published by Columbia University Press in fall, 2022.

  • Thomas Plocek

    Focused on using synthetic biology to manufacture fragrance and flavor ingredients. Managed the project to make the first musk ingredient (Ambrettolide HC Supreme) made from sugar on a commercial basis starting with an intermediate produced in a 135,000 liter fermenter.

  • Philip Ferro

  • S Venkata Mohan

    Dr. S. Venkata Mohan is working as a Scientist in CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad since 1998. He has done his B.Tech (Civil Engineering), M.Tech (Environmental Engineering) and Doctoral research in engineering discipline from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. He was Visiting Professor at Kyoto University (2005), Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellow at Technical University of Munich, Germany (2001-02) and Kyung Hee International Fellow, South Korea (2018). Dr Mohan research majorly intended to understand and respond to the human-induced environmental change in the framework of sustainability in the interface of environment and bioengineering. He specifically explored the potential of negatively valued waste as viable feedstock for harnessing clean energy and biomaterials by developing novel and sustainable technologies through nexus approach. His main research interests are in the areas of Advanced Waste Remediation, Aciodogenesis, Microbial Electrogenesis, Photosynthesis, CO2 biosequestration, Circular Bioeconomy, Self-regenerative systems and Biorefinery. He also undertook various research projects associated with societal relevance and industrial/consultancy projects in the area of environment and management. He has successfully demonstrated the production of Low carbon (Bio)Hydrogen with simultaneous waste remediation at pilot scale and established a first of its kind waste biorefinery platform. Dr Mohan authored more than 350 research articles, 60 chapters for books, edited 4 books and has 9 patents. His publications have more than 18,900 citations with an h-index of 75 (Google Scholar). He has guided 27 PhDs, 2 M.Phils and more than 100 M.Tech/B.Tech/M.Sc students.

    Dr Mohan is recipient of the coveted ‘Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize’ for the year 2014 in Engineering Sciences from the Government of India. He also received several awards and honors, which include, ‘DBT-Tata Innovation Fellow 2018’ by Department

  • Peter Chung

    Peter J. Chung is an incoming Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southern California, beginning January 2021.

    He was previously a Kadanoff-Rice Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago studying proteins involved in Parkinson’s disease. He received his PhD in physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and undergraduate degrees in physics and materials engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Calin Plesa

    Calin Plesa is an Assistant Professor in the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon. He received a BASc in Engineering Physics from Simon Fraser University, a MSc in Nanoscience from Chalmers University of Technology, and a PhD from Delft University of Technology in Bionanoscience. As an HFSP Fellow in the Kosuri lab at UCLA he developed DropSynth, a low-cost scalable method to synthesize thousands of genes. Calin holds a CASI award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and started his lab at the University of Oregon in 2019.

    The Plesa lab focuses on accelerating the pace at which we understand and engineer biological protein-based systems. Towards this end, we develop new technologies for gene synthesis, multiplex functional assays, in-vivo mutagenesis, and genotype-phenotype linkages for a number of different research areas and applications. These allow us to both access the huge sequence diversity present in natural systems as well as carry out testing of rationally designed hypotheses encoded onto DNA at much larger scales than previously possible.

  • Sam Raj

  • Chuck Smallwood

    Chuck Smallwood has broad expertise investigating and engineering cellular biochemical mechanisms in diverse biosystems including bacteria, cyanobacteria, fungi, plants, and microalgae. Most cellular membrane transport mechanisms are multicomponent protein assemblies that are complex in their expression, signaling, and energy transduction. In these contexts, our group utilizes various biochemical and genetic techniques to investigate cellular systems for improved drug (i.e. antibiotic) discovery, production of biomaterials, and biotechnology development.

  • Qing Sun

    Dr. Sun joined The Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering in January 2018 as assistant professor. She obtained her Ph. D. in Dr. Wilfred Chen group at University of Delaware and did her postdoc training in Dr. Timothy Lu group at MIT Synthetic Biology Center.
    We focus on synthetic biology with advancing designs and applications. Using our expertise in molecular engineering, protein engineering, and microbial consortia engineering, we are developing new techniques to reprogram gut microbiome, protein machinery and biomaterials. Our current application areas include health, environment and energy

  • Patrick Cirino

    Patrick Cirino is Associate Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Biology and Biochemistry, at the University of Houston (Houston, TX). He received his PhD degree in chemical engineering from The California Institute of Technology, working with advisor Frances Arnold in the area of cytochrome P450 directed evolution. He then worked as a postdoctoral research associate in microbiology at the University of Florida, under Lonnie Ingram. Current research at the University of Houston incorporates directed evolution and synthetic biology to study and engineer protein-based sensors, biosynthesis pathways, and biocatalysts for production of natural products and functionalization of hydrocarbons.

  • Nima Hajinajaf

    Nima Hajinajaf is currently a Ph.D. student of Chemical Engineering at Arizona State University in Prof. Varman’s Lab. He received his master’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tehran. His previous work was on “Photobioreactor optimization for CO2 removal and wastewater treatment by microalgae”. Currently, his work is on the Metabolic Engineering of Cyanobacteria and Bacteria to produce chemicals

  • Gene Olinger

    Dr. Gene Olinger is a Science Advisor with MRIGlobal and an adjunct associate professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine, Dept. of Medicine, and Division of Infectious Diseases. For the past 20 years he has conducted and supervised in vitro and in vivo experiments in maximum biocontainment (risk level 2-4) at government, industry, and academic laboratories with a focus on high consequence pathogens and biodefense. In his current at MRIGlobal, he is responsible for the scientific mission within internal laboratories, partner laboratories, and in deployed field operations which focused on global health security. He is internationally recognized as a subject matter expert in virology, immunology, biorisk, biosecurity and biosafety with an emphasis with viral hemorrhagic fevers. He has extensive field experience serving as a member, science leader coordinating diagnostic, serological, and other clinical assays to monitor patients during and after outbreaks. Furthermore, he has extensive experience in development of medical countermeasures ranging from prophylactic treatments, vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. His team in collaboration with international partners developed the first successful antibody treatment for Ebolavirus disease, ZMapp. During the past three years, Dr. Olinger has exanded his area of expertise to include innovative knowledge workforce development using mixed reality/blended learning, science policy, biosurvellance and monitoring using UAS drones, and bioeconomy team building.

  • Matthew Owens

    Matt was an early team member of the NYC-based global education start-up, General Assembly, and helped spearhead GA’s first programs in NYC and Los Angeles. Before this, he worked as a strategy consultant with Stax, Inc. in Boston and as an analyst for a SF-based start-up, Gratio Capital. Matt has also worked with the founding teams of several science based ventures, including Agile Sciences and Innova Dynamics. He is a graduate of the Management and Technology and Integrated Product Design (MSE) programs at the University of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, Matt served on the board of Philly Startup Leaders and as an Engagement Manager for the cleantech practice of Wharton’s Small Business Development Center. He is an avid runner and when not at Harlem Biospace he can likely be found running through the city.

  • Gul Sadiq Afshan

    Dr. Gul Sadiq Afshan is a talented biochemist and molecular biologist with 30 years’ teaching, research, and program development experience. She acquired her Ph. D at the University of WI, Milwaukee (UWM) and her post-doctorate at the School of Medicine and Public Health -University of WI, Madison. She envisioned, founded (2009) and governed (2009-2017) the stand-alone, and innovative undergraduate BioMolecular Engineering degree program, as a founding director, that attracts 50% female student population sustainably at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). She is a passionate and effective teacher with extensive industry and community outreach experience. She is a recipient of over $6 million in grants from private and governmental bodies like NSF and NIH and is also a recipient of ASEE North Midwest Outstanding Educator Award, Outstanding Mentor Award, and Falk Excellent Engineering Educator Award. She also serves as an affiliate professor for the USA national PLTW program and has been a leader for bringing many university-level curricula, assessment, vision change, and mindset projects to fruition. She currently is a full professor at MSOE teaching BioMolecular Engineering.

  • Michael Nestor

    Dr. Michael W. Nestor is the Director of Neural Stem Cell Research The Hussman Institute for Autism and Co-Chair, Neural Stem Cell Working Group, Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Dr. Nestor received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The University of Maryland, School of Medicine and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the National Institutes of Health, Rutgers University as an NIH IRACDA Fellow, and at The New York Stem Cell Foundation, where he was also a Staff Scientist. Dr. Nestor is an AAAS Executive Branch Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of Science and Advanced Scientific Computing Research in the Department of Energy where he is focused on the biosecurity and synthetic biology portfolios in the DOE. Michael is also a Adviser at The University of Maryland, Maryland Momentum Fund/UM Ventures-Department of Technology Transfer and the Abell Foundation. Dr. Nestor is a neurophysiologist with 15 years of experience and a focus on electrophysiology, neural stem cell biology, human genetics and project management. His laboratory works on assay development with an emphasis on cell based pre-clinical high throughput drug screens and phenotyping assays involving human iPSC-derived cortical organoids from individuals with autism.

  • Todd Treangen

    Todd J. Treangen, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of
    Computer Science at Rice University. Prior to joining Rice, Dr. Treangen was
    a Research Scientist at the University of Maryland College Park and led the
    Bioinformatics group at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures
    Center (NBACC) in Frederick, MD. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science
    in 2008 from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain). His
    research group focuses on solving large-scale computational problems
    specific to computational biology, with focus on developing robust software
    tools targeted towards biothreat screening, infectious disease monitoring,
    and microbial forensics.

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