Institutional Members

  • Rebecca Nugent

    Rebecca is an experienced R&D executive focused on commercializing research in the biotech industry enabling applications such as cell & gene therapies, synthetic biology and genomics. Dr. Nugent is currently the VP of HTP Operations at Tessera Therapeutics. Prior to Tessera, she led the research department at Synthego, developing novel technologies for genome engineering with a focus on human cell and gene therapies. Prior to Synthego, Rebecca spent six years at Twist Bioscience where she focused on the development of Synthetic Biology and Next-Generation Sequencing Target Enrichment (NGS TE) products. She did her Post-Doc at New England Biolabs and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California, where she studied yeast genetics with an emphasis on genomic stability.

  • Jean Peccoud

    Dr. Peccoud’s research program focuses on synthetic biology informatics. His group combines computational and experimental efforts to develop predictive models of behaviors encoded in synthetic DNA sequences. He is particularly interested in using methods from synthetic biology to optimize biomanufacturing processes used to produce biologic drugs, antibodies, and other proteins of commercial interest. Peccoud is also actively engaged in efforts to understand the security implications of synthetic biology.

    Shortly after completing a graduate research project in molecular immunology, Jean Peccoud’s scientific interests shifted to computational biology. In 1989, he published one of the first articles describing a mathematical model of molecular noise in gene regulatory networks. In 1993, he recognized the importance of real-time PCR and developed new statistical techniques suitable to analyze this new type of data. In 2002, he observed with excitement the very early developments of synthetic biology. After exploring the potential applications of this new technology to plant biotechnology, he blazed a trail in synthetic biology informatics.

    Jean Peccoud came to Colorado State University from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. He brought with him a diverse experience that includes working for Fortune 500 and start-up companies. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Synthetic Biology published by Oxford University Press.

  • Visu Annaluru

  • Albert Lu

  • Sarah Glaven

    Dr. Sarah Glaven is a research biologist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) with over 12 years of experience in the field of microbial electrochemistry and electromicrobiology, processes in which microorganisms are used to catalyze electrode reactions and transport electrons over micron size distances. Dr. Glaven is recognized worldwide as an expert in the basic science of this field and for her recent work using meta-omics to understand electron transfer and carbon fixation of a marine cathode bacterial biofilm community. Dr. Glaven has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles in microbial electrochemistry, work that has been cited over 1400 times. She also holds a patent on the use of biocathodes for microbial reductive dechlorination in contaminated groundwater (#8,277,657, “Systems and methods for microbial reductive dechlorination of environmental contaminants”). More recently, Dr. Glaven has begun incorporating tools and practices of synthetic biology in her research to engineer extracellular electron transfer (EET). She also currently serves on the editorial board of ASM’s mSystems, the new journal Biofilms, and is the current President of the International Society for Microbial Electrochemistry and Technology (ISMET).

  • J. Kenneth Wickiser

    Current: Associate Professor and Director of Life Science, Department of Chemistry and Life Science, West Point, NY
    2007-2012 Faculty, Department of Chemistry and Life Science, West Point, NY
    2004-2007 Postdoctoral Associate, Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-oncology, Rockefeller University, NY
    1999-2004 Graduate Student, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, CT
    1992-1999 Army Officer, pilot, staff officer, ROTC instructor, AL, AZ, GA, and PR.
    1988-1992 Cadet, West Point, NY

  • Lawrence Kennedy

  • David Yuan

    I’m currently a scientist at Zymergen, primarily working on strain and metabolic engineering. My background is in molecular biology and evolutionary genetics. My PhD was on the impact of mutations and natural polymorphisms on gene expression in yeast, while my postdoc work was on using DNA barcoding and experimental evolution to study mutations that contribute to evolutionary adaptation. My expertise is in molecular biology, genetics, and microbiology.

  • Raja Srinivas

  • Alec Nielsen

  • Stacy-Anne Morgan

    Stacy-Anne Morgan is a Scientist at Zymergen. She received her MSc. (2005) and Ph.D. (2010) degrees from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto where her work focused on engineering photocontrolled DNA-binding proteins. From 2011 to 2016, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Dave Savage’s group at the University of California, Berkeley where she worked on developing genetically encoded fluorescent sensors for metabolites. She is interested in working to increase diversity in STEM fields.

  • Steve Laderman

  • Emily Leproust

  • Jussi Jantti

  • Larry Gilbertson

  • Mike Fero

    Michael Fero is a Co-Founder and CEO of TeselaGen Biotechnology Inc., a San Francisco based software company that has built Synthetic Evolution® – the AI driven operating system for synthetic biology. Michael received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California and contributed to the verification of the Standard Model at CERN and SLAC via the world’s most precise measurement of the Weinberg angle governing the coupling between the electromagnetic and weak interactions. Dr. Fero’s interest in biology led to a collaboration with Pat Brown and David Botstein at Stanford to build the world’s first human genome microarrays and do early research on expression level characterization of cancer cells. Dr. Fero then turned to systems biology where, in collaboration with Lucy Shapiro and Harley McAdams, he developed an automated high content diffraction limited microscopic screen of triply fluorescently tagged bacteria to better understand the bacterial cell cycle. Afterwards, Dr. Fero and two Stanford Shapiro/McAdams Lab colleagues started TeselaGen Biotechnology as a way to accelerate synthetic biology and the bio-based economy. Seeing a big deficiency in biologists’ ability to create what they imagine, TeselaGen focuses on making the mind to molecule process easier and faster with an AI driven, cloud-based enterprise platform for synthetic biology.

  • Roel Bovenberg

    I am currently working on natural product discovery programs, yeast strains and enzymes that can convert agricultural residues into bioethanol and various microbial cell factory programs for more sustainable production of enzymes, biochemicals and natural products, such as antibiotics. Another aspect is the development of both traditional evolution and bioinformatics methods for fast screening and safe engineering of desired microbial cell factories. At the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, my projects focus on the development of new cell engineering methods for filamentous fungi, to accelerate the discovery of natural products for – among other things – new antibiotics.The aspect of my work that excites and inspires me the most is that Biotechnology can contribute in many ways to the big global societal challenges, as outlined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, by addressing key technical challenges and that DSM is in the position to make a real contribution. The fast developments in the Biological Sciences are both a constant challenge and a source of inspiration, especially the increasing knowledge and technologies to characterize, understand and deploy microbial life. Another source of inspiration is the necessity to do so in a responsible manner, which requires good education, relevant stakeholder networks, clear communication and continuous learning.

  • Joerg Bauer

  • Steve Evans

    Steven Evans

    Steven L. Evans spent 30 years bringing biotechnology products to the field in small and large companies. Steve’s research blended high-resolution chemical analysis with enzymology and recombinant protein expression to explore agricultural and environmental applications of biotechnology. In 1988 he joined Mycogen Corporation, now Corteva Agriscience, where he was involved in developing natural and recombinant biopesticides, including several crop traits from the Mycogen genome pipeline. He worked to commercialize biochemical actives from natural products, several transgenic crops, and plant genome editing technology. After retiring as a Fellow from Dow AgroSciences he founded Re-Knowvate LLC. His passion is to use this experience and repurpose it today in organizations which drive 21st century biotechnology so that they may learn from the actions of the early pioneers in applied biotechnology, thus accelerating their ability to develop and deploy new technologies to benefit our world. Steve has been active in public-private partnerships such as the National Science Foundation–sponsored SynBERC synthetic biology consortium, which is now the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC). He served as Chair of the SynBERC the Industrial Advisory Board, and is now active in various roles at the EBRC. Steve served on the National Academies of Sciences Future Products of Biotechnology study and is currently on the NAS Safeguarding the Bioeconomy study. He was co-chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s Industrial and Environmental Section synthetic biology subteam. He received his BA and BS degrees in chemistry and microbiology from the University of Mississippi and a PhD in microbial physiology from the University of Mississippi Medical School. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and subsequently with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Peoria, Illinois.

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