June 11, 2020
EBRC and UC Berkeley are seeking postdoctoral scholars interested in science policy. Postdocs will leverage their previous training to work with EBRC programs and to conduct an individual research project in one of EBRC’s focus areas. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with positions open in the last summer / early fall 2020.
June 10, 2020
We at EBRC have been heartened by the sharing of research and community growth we’ve seen through our virtual seminar series this spring. As such, we are continuing the series through the summer. We invite you to join us! You can see the lineup and register for seminars on our website. When you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the event. The email also allows you to add seminars to your calendar. The lineup is not yet complete, so do check back regularly.
We would also like you to know that EBRC has decided to postpone tomorrow’s seminar on Enzyme Engineering in recognition of the #ShutDownSTEM movement. We thank tomorrow’s scheduled speakers for their gracious support of this decision and have rescheduled their seminar for Wednesday, June 17 at 1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern. All current registrants will be automatically transferred; no need to re-register.
#ShutDownSTEM is a grassroots movement creating the time and space for us all to pause from business as usual to consider what actionable steps we can take toward “eradicat[ing] racism and creat[ing] a just, equitable and inclusive STEM field.” The organizers of ShutDownSTEM suggest that during this day, Black academics and STEM professionals take the time they need to heal and prioritize their own needs. The organizers encourage the rest of us to educate ourselves and develop plans for action.
We encourage you to take time tomorrow to think about what you can do individually and in your labs, departments, and organizations to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. Here are some resources and information from ShutDownSTEM. AAAS has also put together some resources that you might find helpful.
As affirmed last week, EBRC “pledge[s] to leverage our collective will and use our voice to promote required change. We will redouble our efforts to build a united and diverse community that understands the past and identifies continued inequities and injustice in our community; and loudly, persistently, and consistently call out racism in our community.” (Read our full statement here.)
We look forward to actively building that united and diverse community with you, and hope to see you next week when our seminar series resumes in full force with our postponed seminar on Wednesday June 17 in addition to Tuesday June 16’s regularly scheduled seminar.
June 8, 2020
Member Communications Update
Over the past months, EBRC has been considering ways to improve communication with the membership and find ways to have meaningful engagements in the absence of in person interactions. Along with this, we’ve been considering ways to make it easier to engage in conversations with colleagues in EBRC, especially within our four focus areas.
The BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front)
Trello: We will discontinue using Trello w/ the membership. Those of you on current boards will be removed in the coming days. Please note that some previously sent calendar invites may contain links that may be inactive.
Slack: All EBRC members are invited to join our Slack workspace. Colleagues from industry and government can join Slack at this link using your institutional email address. Individual members are automatically invited. If the email address you primarily use is not listed or you have any other issues, please contact email@example.com.
Key elements of the EBRC Slack workspace:
- The EBRC Slack is open to EBRC Individual Members (not students / postdocs) and employees from EBRC Member Companies & Government agencies. EBRC Student & Postdoc Association leadership (SPA Board) are the only lab members on Slack.
- EBRC Council & Working Group members are strongly encouraged to join. Discussion and links around working topics will be included in relevant channels.
- Interact with colleagues across the engineering biology ecosystem between events.
- For further details see our EBRC Slack one-pager.
Google: We will continue to use G Suite (Drive, Docs, Sheets) as we have been.
Email Newsletter: We’re starting a regular monthly newsletter.
Trello: We currently use Trello extensively with the EBRC staff, but it’s seen mixed use with the working groups and committees. The EBRC Slack workspace is intended to replace Trello’s functionality as a platform for discussion, some working group announcements, and links to pertinent documents.
G Suite: EBRC pays for G Suite services (at ebrc.org) and we use it extensively. We plan to keep using it with the working groups and committees and moving some of the positive aspects of Trello to it. For example, dynamic meeting agendas can be captured in a Google Doc vs. Trello card. These documents will be linked in Slack. See next.
Slack: Engagement across the membership, and with the EBRC staff, is important. We would like to try to enable more dialog across the membership on relevant topics. We tried to use Trello cards for this, but it hasn’t worked as robustly as we’d like. With an increasing number of labs / companies using Slack, we will use this platform for discussions in each of the four program areas, and could use it for discussion with (for example) the EBRC Council.
Email Newsletter: We will be putting out a monthly newsletter, starting mid-June. The newsletter will provide useful updates and announcements from EBRC and will supplement information provided through other ways. We realize that some companies won’t be able to use various technology solutions (e.g., Slack or Google), and this will always be accessible.
We look forward to continued engagement and dialogue with you.
June 3, 2020
Statement from EBRC
The EBRC community expresses our sadness, outrage, and pain in the wake of the murders of George Floyd. We stand with those around the country calling for justice and the urgent need to address the deep-seated systemic and institutional racism in our society. Long-standing and persistent anti-Black racism, including in the scientific and engineering community, must be addressed – now.
Diversity, inclusion, and anti-discrimination have been core values of the EBRC since our creation. But we, as an organization, extended community, and society, have not done enough to address the lasting and persistent stains of racism. We hear our Black members, colleagues, friends, and families that experience systemic racism, discrimination, and injustice directly.
We often ask why do we have so few Black colleagues in STEM? We need to be asking what can we do to ensure we have more Black colleagues in STEM? We don’t have to stand by while long-term institutional racism persists in our community. And we won’t.
We call for concerted action to promote justice, equality, and inclusion. We pledge to leverage our collective will and use our voice to promote required change. We will redouble our efforts to build a united and diverse community that understands the past and identifies continued inequities and injustice in our community; and loudly, persistently, and consistently call out racism in our community.
EBRC believes that we can advance engineering biology, and society, through coordination and collaboration. That must include our Black colleagues and doing what we can to ensure their numbers grow and they have the space to thrive.
August 19, 2019
… and subscribe to EBRC’s YouTube channel to watch more than 170 videos about synthetic biology!
July 9, 2019
Purple Orange Ventures, an impact seed fund from Berlin, has just launched an Entrepreneurial Scientist & Engineer Fellowship Program in partnership with The Good Food Institute, New Harvest and Proveg to help accelerate the animal-free foodtech movement in Europe, UK, Israel, and Singapore. The program provides 120K EUR of equity-free grant funding and coaching for 12 months to support the initial research necessary for starting a truly impactful company in the space. The full program description is available at https://www.purpleorange.com/fellowship.
July 8, 2019
EBRC SPA member Kathryn Brink authors a Nature Communities blog post about increasing engagement in STEM through outreach, providing a first-person perspective about bringing engineering biology to underserved communities.
May 20, 2019
A new publication from Jessica Stark (Mike Jewett‘s lab at Northwestern Univ.) describes the use of cell-free synthetic biology in easy-to-use educational kits for teaching CRISPR and antibiotic resistance to high schools students. Check out the paper in ACS Synthetic Biology.
April 5, 2019
Samuel Berhanu, Takuya Ueda, Yutetsu Kuruma. Nature Communications.
March 4, 2019
Matthew Verosloff, James Chappell, Keith L. Perry, Jeremy R. Thompson, and Julius B. Lucks. ACS Synthetic Biology.
March 4, 2019
David I. Walsh, III, Marilene Pavan, Luis Ortiz, Scott Wick, Johanna Bobrow, Nicholas J. Guido, Sarah Leinicke, Dany Fu, Shreya Pandit, Lucy Qin, Peter A. Carr, Douglas Densmore. SLAS Technology.
March 4, 2019
Military analysts are increasingly concerned about the nation’s “advanced, underestimated and highly lethal” bioweapons program.