Policy WG

  • Sanjeeva K Murali

    Sanjeeva is a PhD student in Mansell lab at Iowa state university. His research work focuses on developing novel prebiotic-probiotic pairs for gut microbiome engineer. Prior to this, he completed his masters from IIT Guwahati, where he focused on constructing metabolic pathway to convert dairy waste to D-Lactic acid. Currently, he serves as a member of the EBRC SPA Board and works as the liaison to the Policy and International Engagement group. In addition, he also worked as a downstream process engineer for monoclonal antibody purification at Dr. Reddy Laboratories in India. Outside research, he enjoys watching cricket, playing badminton, running etc. 

  • Keith Yamamoto

    Dr. Keith R. Yamamoto is vice chancellor for science policy and strategy, director of precision medicine, and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF. After earning his PhD from Princeton University, Yamamoto joined the UCSF faculty in 1976. His research has focused on signaling and transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors; he uses mechanistic and systems approaches to pursue these problems in pure molecules, cells and whole organisms. He has led or served on numerous national committees focused on public and scientific policy, public understanding and support of biological research, science education, and diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism; he currently chairs the Coalition for the Life Sciences, co-chairs the NASEM Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science, the Board of Directors of Rapid Science, the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Board of Counselors for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, and the Advisory Board for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has chaired or served on many committees that oversee training and the biomedical workforce, research funding, and the process of peer review and the policies that govern it at NIH. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Cinnamon Bloss

    Cinnamon Bloss, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Longevity Science and Director of the Center for Empathy and Technology at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Bloss is jointly appointed in the Department of Psychiatry and the Division of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Medicine. Dr. Bloss researches social and behavioral phenomena related to emerging technologies, with a particular focus on genetic and genomic research, precision health, and big data. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and philanthropic donations. Dr. Bloss serves as a member of the Novel and Exceptional Technology and Research Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee that provides recommendations to the NIH Director and a public forum for the discussion of the scientific, safety, and ethical issues associated with emerging biotechnologies. Dr. Bloss has given invited talks at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the National Press Club, the National Institutes of Health, and has presented invited testimony before a Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel to inform consumer genomics policy. Dr. Bloss was recognized by the Western Societies of Medicine with the Carmel Prize for Research Excellence and has received numerous teaching awards at the University of California San Diego.

  • Jenny Mortimer

    Jenny Mortimer is a Professor of Plant Synthetic Biology at the University of Adelaide, in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, and the Waite Research Institute, an Affiliate Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) USA, and the Director of Plant Systems Biology at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, USA.

    After completion of her PhD at Cambridge University, UK, she completed postdoctoral training in the UK (also at Cambridge University), a fellowship at RIKEN, Japan, and then a move to LBNL as a Research Scientist. She relocated to Adelaide in 2021.

    Her team’s research focuses on understanding and manipulating plant cell metabolism, with a focus on complex glycosylation. The goal is to develop crops which contribute to a sustainable and renewable bioeconomy. In Adelaide, her new group is using synbio to develop new crops (such as duckweed) for food and novel materials production in controlled growth environments – including for Space settlement. Other projects include engineering glycans to deliver plants with increased (a)biotic stress tolerance. In the US, her group works to reengineer the plant cell wall for the sustainable production of fuels and biochemicals from biomass. Her lab is also developing new synbio and bioinformatics tools for bioenergy crops, and investigating the role of plant cell walls in recruiting and retaining the rhizosphere microbiome, She was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist (2016/17), where she contributed to the WEF Code of Ethics for Researchers (widgets.weforum.org/coe), and she is a Handling editor for Plant Cell Physiology. Twitter @Jenny_Mortimer1, and more about her research here: mortimerlab.org .

  • Niall Mangan

    Niall M. Mangan received the Dual BS degrees in mathematics and physics, with a minor in chemistry, from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA, in 2008, and the PhD degree in systems biology from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, in 2013. Dr. Mangan worked as a postdoctoral associate in the Photovoltaics Lab at MIT from 2013-2015 and as an Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle from 2016-2017. She is currently an Assistant Professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics with Northwestern University, where she works at the interface of mechanistic modeling, machine learning, and statistical inference. Her group applies these methods to many applications including metabolic and regulatory networks to accelerate the build-test-learn cycle.

  • Tiffany Tsang

  • Ryan Tappel

    Bachelor’s (John Carroll University) and Ph.D. (SUNY-Environmental Science & Forestry) in Biochemistry. Worked at LanzaTech as part of the Synthetic Biology team since 2014. Focus on enzymology-related research as well as regulatory efforts.

  • India Hook-Barnard

    Dr. India Hook-Barnard is Executive Director of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC). Her primary interests are in the areas of synthetic biology, precision medicine, responsible innovation, and biosecurity. India enjoys building multidisciplinary collaborations and developing a vision and strategy to address complex challenges. She works with experts and leaders from across academia, industry, and government sectors to identify and shape scientific opportunities, technical feasibility, and policy issues. Her goal is to advance and accelerate engineering biology solutions across all application areas, drive innovation, and grow the bioeconomy for all. 

    Prior to joining EBRC, India was Senior Advisor to the Beyond 2020: A Vision and Pathway for NIH Working Group, and Senior Vice President for Patient Outcomes and Experience at the National Marrow Donor Program. She was the Director of Research Strategy and Associate Director, Precision Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco; she helped launch and was the Executive Director for the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. Earlier in her career, India worked at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), focusing on areas of emerging science and technology, including policy issues of data governance, regulation, bioethics, biodefense, and workforce development. At NASEM, she directed standing committees, workshops, and six consensus reports, including Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease (2011).

    As a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, India studied the regulation of gene expression in bacteria and phage. She earned her PhD in Microbiology-Medicine from the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Missouri.

  • Arren Liu

    Arren Liu is currently a 4th year Ph.D. student in Arizona State University’s Biological Design Doctoral Program, in the School of Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy. He received his Bachelor of Sciences degree from Purdue University in Genetics with a minor in Biotechnology. Arren is co-advised by Dr. Arul Varman and Dr. David Nielsen, where he conducts systems and synthetic biology research. Arren’s research specifically focuses on the metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli and Corynebacterium glutamicum for the enhanced biosynthesis of natural products, such as polyphenols, from agricultural waste.

     

  • Robert Friedman

    Robert Friedman is Vice President for Policy and University Relations at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). Friedman directs JCVI’s Policy Center, which examines the societal and policy implications of genomics, synthetic biology, and other areas of modern biology and biomedicine. Friedman is also a Professor of Practice at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) and is a member of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology of the international Convention on Biological Diversity.

    Earlier, Friedman was a Senior Associate at the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress (OTA). For 16 years, he advised Congressional committees on issues involving science and technology policy. Friedman received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in Ecological Systems Analysis, concentrating in ecology, environmental engineering, and systems analysis. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Merja Penttilä

    Merja Penttilä is a research professor in biotechnology at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and an adjunct professor in synthetic biology at Aalto University. Her expertise is on engineering of microbes for the production of fuels, chemicals, enzymes and materials. She has acted as the director of the Academy of Finland CoE on White biotechnology – Green chemistry, and is a PI in the current CoE on Molecular engineering of biosynthetic hybrid materials (Hyber). She has coordinated a large strategic project “Living Factories: Synthetic Biology for a sustainable Bioeconomy”, and led many EU level and industrial projects. She is acting an advisory board or committee member of a number of international organisations. She is the initiator of Synbio Powerhouse, an ecosystem to promote biotechnology and synthetic biology in Finland and beyond. She has total of 334 publications, 14 457 Web of science citations, and h-index of 70.

  • Jussi Jantti

  • 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.

  • Ken Oye

  • Nigel Mouncey

    Dr. Mouncey joined the DOE Joint Genome Institute in 2017 as the fourth Director in its 20-year history. After stints as a senior research scientist in molecular biology at Roche Vitamins, Inc. in New Jersey and DSM Nutritional Products in Switzerland, he joined Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis in 2008 and served as Bioengineering and Bioprocessing R&D Director and Leader from 2011 onward. There, Mouncey directed a 70-member R&D team that supported the growth of a highly successful natural product insecticide that has since generated hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue and significant societal benefit, through isolating, optimizing, and scaling-up of new production strains for commercial manufacturing by fermentation. He also built an integrated and highly effective bioprocessing team comprising high-throughput screening, metabolic engineering, engineering biology, systems biology, enzymology, protein expression, fermentation and analytical capabilities. His team also developed production strains and fermentation processes for other molecules such as a new fungicide, propionic acid and long-chain alcohols, as well as supporting the discovery of new crop traits.

  • 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.

  • Michelle O’Malley

    Michelle A. O’Malley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2009, where she worked with Prof. Anne Robinson to engineer overproduction of membrane proteins in yeast. O’Malley was a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at MIT and the Broad Institute, where she developed new strategies for cellulosic biofuel production. At UCSB, her research group develops synthetic biology tools to engineer protein synthesis within anaerobes and microbial consortia for sustainable chemical production, bioremediation, and natural product discovery. O’Malley’s research has been featured on NPR’s Science Friday, the BBC Newshour, the LA Times, and several other media outlets. She was named one of the 35 Top Innovators Under 35 in the world by MIT Technology Review in 2015, and is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), a DOE Early Career Award, an NSF CAREER award, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the ACS BIOT Division Young Investigator Award, the ACS PMSE Division Young Investigator Award, an ACS WCC “Rising Star” Award, and a Hellman Faculty Fellowship.

  • Richard Murray

    Richard M. Murray received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He is currently the Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control & Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering at Caltech. Murray’s research is in the application of feedback and control to networked systems, with applications in biology and autonomy. Current projects include analysis and design of biomolecular feedback circuits, synthesis of discrete decision-making protocols for reactive systems, and design of highly resilient architectures for autonomous systems.

  • Richard Kitney

    Richard Kitney

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