Policy WG

  • Matthew Chang

  • Richard Johnson

    Richard Johnson

    Rick Johnson focuses on integrating policy and law with science, engineering, Big Data, and biomedicine to drive research and innovation and to enable problem-oriented solutions to global challenges. His current interests include: (1) synthetic biology, the engineering of biology, and the industrialization of biology; (2) the bioeconomy and next-generation production economy; (3) neuroscience and brain health, especially Alzheimer’s; and (4) policy issues for convergence, international S&T, and Big Data. Rick is the CEO and founder of Global Helix LLC, a thought leadership and innovative strategic positioning firm. After 30 years, Rick retired as Senior Partner at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C., where he represented many of the leading research universities, foundations, and innovative multinational companies about enabling basic research, international collaborations, innovation strategies, and public-private partnerships through innovative approaches to law and policy. Johnson is a member of the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the NAS Synthetic Biology Leadership Forum, and serves as Chairman of the NAS Bioeconomy initiative. He is a member of several other NAS initiatives: biomedical innovation and precision medicine; convergence and next-generation infrastructures; synthetic biology and the industrialization of biology; the BRAIN initiative; and the intersection of science and security issues. He also serves as the Chairman of the BIAC Technology & Innovation Committee at the OECD, and he recently was named one of the 14 global members of the new OECD Global Advisory Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation. In addition, Rick is the Chairman of Brown’s Biology & Medicine Council and is a member of the boards for EBRC, the Stanford BioFab and BioBricks Foundation, and the iGEM Foundation for global education. For many years, Rick served on the MIT Corporation Committee, and numerous university-industry boards. In addition to receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School where he was Editor of the Yale Law Journal, he received his M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a National Science Foundation National Fellow and MIT distinguished young scholar, and his undergraduate degree with highest honors from Brown University.

  • 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.

  • Eric Klavins

  • 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).

  • John Dueber

    John Dueber is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. in 2005 engineering synthetic signaling switch proteins to investigate how domain recombination events could reprogram the signaling behaviors of proteins at the University of California, San Francisco. As a QB3 Distinguished Fellow, mentored by Prof. Jay Keasling, he focused on the use of synthetic biology approaches for improved metabolic engineering performance. Modular protein-protein interaction domains were used to build synthetic scaffolds capable of co-localizing metabolic enzymes tagged with corresponding ligands for these protein-protein interaction domains. Starting his lab in 2010, his lab focuses on developing technologies for increasing engineering control over cells for a variety of engineering applications, particularly metabolic engineering. He has been awarded a NSF CAREER, DOE Early Career, and Bakar Fellow award.

  • Chase Beisel

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