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About SynBioBeta

SynBioBeta is the premier innovation network for biological engineers, investors, innovators and entrepreneurs who share a passion for using biology to build a better, more sustainable universe. We provide our community members with personal and professional development support, as well as valuable opportunities for partnership, collaboration, networking, and education. We host The Global Synthetic Biology Summit in San Francisco in October each year, which showcases the cutting-edge developments in synthetic biology that are transforming how we fuel, heal, and feed the world. And we provide ample opportunities to meet and explore with the bright minds building the bioeconomy.


Our Industry Innovation Tours help you to clearly understand the field, the applications, the tools, and the technologies driving the industry forward. We help you make strong connections with the best companies, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders in the Silicon Valley and other global innovation hubs.


We also keep you updated on the latest news in synthetic biology. Our weekly newsletter features articles and original content keeping you abreast of the hottest trends and technologies, as well as interviews with valuable insights from leading entrepreneurs, investors, and thinkers in the industry.

We’re always looking to partner with dynamic organizations, and to strengthen partnerships between academia, industry, and investors. We help scientists in large companies identify and form partnerships with synthetic biology startups. Companies that sponsor or exhibit at our events or advertise with us get exposure to our network of entrepreneurs and academic researchers.

Our courses give you an introduction to synthetic biology, an overview of the start-up and industry landscape, and review the latest technologies coming to market.

Our team

John Cumbers
John Cumbers, Founder and CEO

John Cumbers is the founder of SynBioBeta. John is passionate about education and on the use and adoption of biological technologies. He has received multiple awards and grants from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences for his work in the field. John has been involved in multiple startups such as those producing food for space, microbes to extract lunar and martian resources, and hoverboards! John is an active investor through the DCVC SynBioBeta Fund and his synthetic biology syndicate on AngelList. John received a PhD in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry from Brown University, a MSc in Bioinformatics from Edinburgh University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Hull in Computer Science with Information Engineering.

Kevin Costa
Kevin Costa, Editor and Program Manager

Kevin manages SynBioBeta’s editorial program and oversees SynBioBeta’s customer success efforts. Before joining SynBioBeta, Kevin helped to found the Engineering Biology Research Center, and for ten years he managed the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center. Kevin’s interests include science communication, community building, research administration, and public engagement on science.

Anissa L. Cooke, Director of Operations

Anissa comes to SynBioBeta with 20+ years experience in Sales, Customer Service and Operations. She came here to help work directly with our clients and deliver an excellent customer experience and grow our community. She has a passion for scaling businesses, solving problems and creating an amazing work culture.

Kristin Sorrentino, Administrative Manager

Kristin has over 25 years in administrative services. She supports SynBioBeta leadership in managing the day to day organization and operations of the company. She has a B.S. in education.

Amanda Prieto
Amanda Prieto, Project & Marketing Manager

Amanda manages SynBioBeta’s marketing efforts, projects and events. She has a passion for graphic design and organization. She has over ten years of experience in design, writing and marketing. Amanda earned her BA in Communications and Graphic Design from Dominican University of California.

Embriette Hyde
Embriette Hyde, Managing Editor

A trained microbiologist with over 7  years of experience in microbiome research, Dr. Embriette Hyde is passionate about bringing science to the public. She is currently working as Managing Editor at SynBioBeta and mentors K-12 students through Schmahl Science Workshops, fostering passion for science from a young age.

Marianna Limas, Digital Media Manager

Marianna plays a critical role in displaying and communicating SynBioBeta’s message to the world. She manages SynBioBeta’s social media channels and newsletter, and works with the editorial, website, research and marketing teams.

Calvin Schmidt, Business Development Associate

Calvin Schmidt is a business development associate at SynBioBeta, the premier innovation network for biological engineers, investors, innovators and entrepreneurs who share a passion for using biology to build a better, more sustainable world. He works with stakeholders of all kinds to support the synthetic biology industry. He holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Rice University, an M.S. in Bioengineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Stanford University with multiple publications in the field of synthetic biology.

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