Roadmap WG

  • Pamela Peralta-Yahya

    Dr. Pamela Peralta-Yahya is an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research group works at the interface of biochemistry and chemical engineering and focuses on two research areas. (1) The engineering of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-based sensors, in particular olfactory receptors, for the detection of chemicals for biotechnology and biomedical applications, and (2) The synthesis of fuels and chemicals in biological hosts that allow their production at higher yields, titers and productivities than the natural systems. Previously, Peralta-Yahya was a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Jay Keasling at the Joint BioEnergy Institute/University of California Berkeley working in the area of metabolic engineering. Peralta-Yahya earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry with Prof. Virginia Cornish at Columbia University working in the area of chemical biology. Peralta-Yahya has won several awards including a DARPA Young Faculty Award, a DuPont Young Professor Award, a Kavli Fellowship and more recently a NIH MIRA Award. Her work is currently supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH

  • Tae Seok Moon

    He has 24 years of research experience in chemistry, systems biology, and synthetic biology, including 5.5 years of industry experience (as of 2021). His research focus (2012-21; 15 grants; $7.3M external funding to him; $16M to the entire team) is understanding gene regulation, evolution, and metabolism, building sensors and genetic circuits, and engineering microbes to solve global problems, including climate crisis, waste valorization, plastic upcycling, sustainability, and health issues. He has published 52 papers, has filed 9 patents, and has given 51 invited and 118 contributed presentations. He has advised 26 PhD/Postdoctoral and 28 undergrad researchers. He is a Founder and Head of the SAB of Moonshot Bio. Several awards include a B&B Wang Award, an NSF CAREER award, an ONR YIP, a Sluder Fellowship (MIT), and the SNU President Prize. He is the Founding Chair of SynBYSS (Synthetic Biology Young Speaker Series) with more than 1000 global audiences.

    Twitter handle: @Moon_Synth_Bio

    LinkedIn Profile

  • Chang Liu

    Professor Liu’s research is in the fields of synthetic biology, chemical biology, and directed evolution. He is particularly interested in engineering specialized genetic systems for rapid mutation and evolution in vivo to address problems ranging from protein engineering to developmental biology. For his group’s work, Professor Liu has been recognized with a number of awards including the NIH Transformative Research Award, the NIH New Innovator Award, the Moore Inventor Fellowship, the Sloan Research Fellowship, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, the Dupont Young Professor Award, and the ACS Synthetic Biology Young Innovator Award.

  • Ahmad Khalil

    Ahmad (Mo) Khalil is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Founding Associate Director of the Biological Design Center at Boston University. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. His research is interested in how molecular circuits enable core cellular functions, such as decision-making, computation, and epigenetic memory. His team applies synthetic biology approaches to interrogate the function and evolution of these cellular systems. He is recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), NIH New Innovator Award, NSF CAREER Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, and the Hartwell Foundation Biomedical Research Award, and he has received numerous awards for teaching excellence at both the Department and College levels. Mo was an HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. James Collins at Boston University. He obtained his Ph.D. from MIT and his B.S. (Phi Beta Kappa) from Stanford University

  • Jay Keasling

  • Michael Jewett

    Michael Jewett is the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Director of the Center for Synthetic Biology at Northwestern University. Dr. Jewett received his PhD in 2005 at Stanford University, completed postdoctoral studies at the Center for Microbial Biotechnology in Denmark and the Harvard Medical School, and was a guest professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). He is the recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award, David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, Camille-Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and a Finalist for the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, among others. He is the co-founder of SwiftScale Biologics, Stemloop, Inc., Pearl Bio, Induro Therapeutics, and Design Pharmaceuticals. Jewett is a Fellow of AIMBE, AAAS, and NAI.

  • Lydia Contreras

    Dr. Lydia M. Contreras is an Associate Professor (and Laurence E. McMakin, Jr. Centennial Fellow) of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas-Austin; she is also a member of the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology. She teaches Introduction to Chemical Engineering Computing, Thermodynamics, Introduction to Chemical Engineering Analysis, and Fundamental and Applications of Cellular Regulation. Dr. Contreras obtained a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, where she graduated Cum Laude. She completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, focusing on engineering bacterial cells for improved production of therapeutic proteins. As a postdoctoral associate at the Wadsworth Center (New York State Department of Health), she focused on understanding mechanisms of infection in pathogenic bacteria. She began her career at the University of Texas-Austin in 2011, where she leads a research team focused on RNA biochemistry to study gene regulation mechanisms associated with stress-responses for applications in health and biotechnology. She has received several academic, teaching and service awards including: Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang Award, Department of Thrust Reduction Agency (DTRA) Young Investigator, Airforce Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator, NSF CAREER, Health and Environmental Institute (HEI) Walter E. Rosenblith New Investigator, Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program (NHARP) Early Career, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Young Investigator Award, and an Innovative Early-Career Frontiers of Engineering Educator. She lives in Austin, Tx with her husband Chris and is a proud mom to boy-girl twins.

  • Matthew Chang

  • James Carothers

    The Carothers Research Group at the University of Washington creates design-driven approaches for synthetic biology that integrate quantitative RNA aptamer device design, dynamic control system modeling, and CRISPR-Cas network engineering to investigate questions about biological design and develop technologies for bio-based chemical synthesis. Previously, Carothers was a postdoctoral fellow with pioneering synthetic biologist Jay D. Keasling at UC Berkeley. Carothers earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University with Nobel Prize winner Jack W. Szostak. He has a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale. His work has been recognized by the UW Presidential Innovation Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and supported by the NSF, DOE and private industry.  He has been awarded the UW College of Engineering Junior Faculty Award and is a Dan Evans Career Development Professor.

  • Adam Arkin

  • 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).

  • Elisa Franco

    Elisa Franco

  • Ania Ariadna Baetica

    Ania-Ariadna Baetica

    Ania-Ariadna Baetica (Membership Liaison) is a postdoctoral fellow in the El-Samad Lab at UCSF. Her research is on the design, implementation, and analysis of synthetic biological controllers. As the membership liaison, Ania is helping to develop a community of synthetic biologists and to organize events for students and postdoctoral fellows during EBRC retreats.

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