Council

  • Ute Galm

    Ute Galm is an Associate Director at Zymergen, a company that integrates automation, machine learning, and genomics to rapidly accelerate the pace of scientific advancement. After a decade in R&D and product development, she believes it is critical to wisely use what nature provides to us in the development of sustainable solutions to protect humanity and to preserve our planet. Prior to joining Zymergen, Ute worked as a scientist and group leader at Dow AgroSciences on the development of fermentation derived insecticide and fungicide products. She graduated from the University of Tuebingen, Germany with a PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Biology and received her postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Ute is passionate about all aspects of natural product discovery and development for human health and other market applications. When she is not collaborating with her colleagues to map out the next scientific breakthrough, she enjoys the outdoors and discovering the world with her family.

  • James Diggans

    James Diggans is Director, Data Science and Biosecurity for Twist Bioscience, a DNA synthesis company based in San Francisco, CA. He holds a PhD from George Mason University in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and has worked in target discovery, molecular diagnostic development and biodefense including five years leading the computational biology group at the MITRE Corporation. His research has included methods for efficient detection of biological weapons release, machine learning-based cancer diagnosis, and novel algorithmic approaches to discerning intent in oligonucleotide-length DNA synthesis requests. At Twist, his group builds cloud-based bioinformatics systems for effective biosecurity screening and analysis of next generation sequencing data to power silicon-based DNA synthesis at record scale.

  • Mark Styczynski

    Mark received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2007. He also did postdoctoral work at the Broad Institute from 2007-2009. At Georgia Tech, Mark’s work spans synthetic and systems biology, and often includes work at the intersection of those two fields. His main Engineering Biology focus is on the development of low-cost, low-resource diagnostics.

  • Megan Palmer

  • Vincent Noireaux

    Vincent Noireaux got his B.Sc. in applied physics at the University of Tours (France) in 1994. In 1995 he moved to Paris for physics graduate school at the University Paris 11 (Orsay). He did his PhD at the Curie Institute (Paris, 1996-2000) in biological physics in the laboratory of Jacques Prost on the motion of the bacterium Listeria. He studied the actin cytoskeleton mechanisms involved in cell motility and learned the biology related to this project in the laboratory of Daniel Louvard. In 2000 he joined the laboratory of Albert Libchaber at the Rockefeller University in New York City where he spent five years as a postdoc. He used cell-free expression systems to construct elementary gene networks and synthetic cell systems. In 2005, he moved to the University of Minnesota where he is pursuing his work in synthetic biology using cell-free expression. His research consists of constructing and characterizing biochemical systems by executing synthetic DNA programs in vitro, from simple regulatory elements to synthetic cells.

  • Joshua Leonard

  • Natalie Kuldell

    Dr. Natalie Kuldell leads BioBuilder, a nonprofit organization that inspires the next generation of innovators with authentic science and engineering. BioBuilder’s synthetic biology curriculum breeds excitement by helping students and teachers design and then build
    biotechnologies that solve real problems throughout the US and around the world. A BioBuilder textbook was published by O’Reilly Media. In 2017, BioBuilder opened a community lab in Kendall Square’s LabCentral.

    Dr. Kuldell studied Chemistry as an undergraduate at Cornell, completed her doctoral and post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School, and taught at Wellesley College before joining the Department of Biological Engineering faculty at MIT in 2003. She is the 2020 recipient of the Margret and H.A. Rey Curiosity Award.

  • Elisa Franco

    Elisa Franco

  • Paul Freemont

    Paul Freemont

    Professor Paul Freemont is the co-founder of the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (2009) and co-founder and co-director of the National UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology (SynbiCITE; since 2013) and Director of the London BioFoundry (since 2016) at Imperial College London. He is also currently the Head of the Section of Structural Biology in the Department of Medicine at Imperial. His research interests span from understanding the molecular mechanisms of human diseases and infection to developing synthetic biology foundational tools for specific applications. His research group has pioneered the use of cell free extract systems for synthetic biology prototyping and biosensor applications and he is the author of over 220 scientific publications (H-index 72). He is an elected member of European Molecular Biology Organisation and Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry and Royal Society of Medicine. He was a co-author of the British Government’s UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap and was a recent member of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on synthetic biology for the United Nations Convention for Biological Diversity (UN-CBD).

  • Chase Beisel

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