Designing Living Things
Synthetic biology aims to re-engineer living cells to sustainably produce fuels, medicines, and materials. With the promise of a new industrial revolution on the horizon, understanding the language of biotechnology will be more crucial than ever. This panel features a new generation of leaders in biotechnology from industry, academia, art and design discussing the future of biology.
Christina Agapakis is a biological designer whose research focuses on engineering new relationships between organisms, from the bacteria in our food and on our skin to photosynthetic animals. She has a Ph.D. in synthetic biology from Harvard, teaches at UCLA, and blogs about biological engineering and design for Scientific American.
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is an artist, designer and writer, interrogating science, technology and new functions of design in a biotech future.
As Design Fellow on Synthetic Aesthetics, an NSF/EPSRC-funded project at Stanford University and the University of Edinburgh, she is curating an international programme researching the territory between synthetic biology, art and design, investigating new ways of thinking about how we might ‘design nature’.
Daisy studied Architecture at Cambridge University, Design at Harvard University, and MA Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art. Her work has been exhibited at MoMA New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Wellcome Trust, London’s Design Museum, the National Museum of China and Ars Electronica. Daisy publishes, teaches and lectures internationally: recent talks include TEDglobal 2011, Poptech and Tsinghua University. She received the World Technology Award for Design in 2011, and her work has been nominated for awards including Brit Insurance Designs of The Year 2011, the Index Award 2011 and received a special mention at the 2010 VIDA award for art and artificial life.
Jason Kelly co-founded Ginkgo BioWorks in 2008. The company has raised ~$12M in funding to date and is making the genetic engineering of organisms reliable. Current organism engineering projects include engineered microbes for the energy, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. Prior to Ginkgo, Jason received B.S degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology and a PhD in Biological Engineering from MIT.
Patrick Boyle is a synthetic biologist specializing in the network-scale engineering of cellular metabolism. His work at Harvard Medical School has included in silico modeling of yeast metabolism, engineering organelles, improving biohydrogen production, circadian metabolomic analysis, and plant-flavor engineering. Patrick's interest in alternative energy and the environment has led him to the Harvard University Center for the Environment, where he has studied the scientific, engineering, and political challenges to combating climate change. Patrick enjoys teaching and discussing biology with a wide audience, including scientists, policy makers, and the general public. His hobbies include science, digital video, robotics, and science. Relevant keywords include microfluidics, flux balance analysis, -omics, directed evolution, and modular orthogonal robustness.