Aishani Aatresh is a senior at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California, passionate about the intersection of science and policy and the potential of interdisciplinary initiatives. She works at Distributed Bio developing computational immunoengineering methods, generating theoretically-optimized antibodies. She is also the founder and director of the TEDx program at her school, having previously given her own TEDx talk on allergies. Aishani loves doing anything outdoors and watching late-night comedy and is a dedicated, involved member of the Saint Francis community. She is excited to wield science, communication, and collaboration to change the world.
Virtual reality researcher, retinal biologist, and now genome engineer at Synthego, Alexander Smolentsev is a driven young scientist with a blossoming interest in synthetic biology. He is planning on applying to graduate schools this cycle, hoping to find the best-fit lab to foster his interests in metabolic engineering.
Dr. Alexander Titus is currently the Assistant Director (AD) for Biotechnology within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD(R&E)). As the AD for Biotechnology, Dr. Titus is the technical and oversight lead for all relevant research and engineering matters across the biotechnology portfolio, and is responsible for developing the department’s biotechnology roadmap.
Anna is a design writer based in London whose work centers around design, architecture, and science. She’s been featured in Wired, VICE, and Colossal, and her works can be found at annavmmarks.com.
Calvin Schmidt is a Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Professor Christina Smolke in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. His research interests involve the use of machine learning to automate the design of biological systems.
He believes that new biological technologies will have a huge impact on fields ranging from healthcare to chemical production to agriculture. He’s looking to connect with entrepreneurs and investors in these fields to learn and provide expertise.
Chris Patil is a writer and scientific editor living in San Francisco. In a previous incarnation, he worked as a biogerontology researcher at UC-San Francisco, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and MIT. He tweets about aging, biology, and the future as @DoNotGoGently.
Daphne Ng is a research fellow at Nanyang Technological University. She has a PhD and BSc from the National University of Singapore. Daphne is a trained microbiologist and her work focuses on the biotechnological applications of microorganisms. When she is not at the laboratory investigating yet another microbial superpower, Daphne writes science articles for the wider audience beyond scientific reviewers.
David is a synthetic biologist and science writer interested in the bioeconomy, bio-based industry, and biopharma.
David Lubkowicz is a synthetic Biologist focusing on microbiome engineering for therapeutic purposes. He strongly believes that engineered probiotics will have a big impact as future therapeutics.
Desiree is an undergraduate researcher in the Arkin Lab at UC Berkeley who is inspired by science fiction and space. Beyond pursuing some combination of bioengineering and computer science, she is involved in science communication and digital design.
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.
Best described as an entrepreneur, writer and speaker, Emilia is a young Chilean innovator working in the intersection of science and social impact, hoping to make the world a better place through biotechnology. At 22 she founded Kaitek Labs, one of Chile’s most renowned synthetic biology startups, for which she won numerous prizes, raised public and private capital, and attended business programs in Europe, Asia and Silicon Valley. After 4 years of writing about global biotech in various outlets and seeing the lack of Latin representation in the global scope, she also founded Allbiotech: the first Latin American Biotech network for biotech. She seeks to grow the local ecosystem through scicomm and innovation.
Fiona Mischel is a medical, environmental, and humanitarian tech writer. She frequently covers CRISPR research, sustainable agriculture, and biotech for space travel. She is passionate to show how scientific innovations can combat our climate crisis and positively impact communities worldwide. Her work has appeared in Overture Global and she is a consultant for Healthline and Livestrong.
Gina Hagler is a freelance writer covering BioTech, Health-Tech, and Sci-Tech. Ms. Hagler has written several science-related books, studied science writing at Johns Hopkins University, and blogs about tech for a number of sites. She enjoys writing about modern tech for readers that share this interest. Learn more about her at her website or LinkedIn.
Ian Haydon is a scientist and science communicator based in Seattle. His writing has appeared in Scientific American, RealClearScience, Salon, the International Business Times and more. He holds a master's degree in biological design and was a 2018 AAAS Mass Media Fellow.
Jenna E. Gallegos
Jenna is a science writer with 10 years of molecular research and science communication experience. Jenna completed her PhD in plant biotechnology at the University of California in Davis in 2017. She then interned as science journalist at the Washington Post, where she published 20 articles in 10 weeks before accepting a postdoctoral position in synthetic biology with Jean Peccoud at Colorado State University. Jenna is now serving as the Technical Content Specialist for Samba Scientific.
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 Murray is a synthetic biology investor and consultant based in Princeton, NJ. He is organizer of the meetup group Life Sciences NYC. John is formerly a Senior Hedge Fund Manager at Goldman Sachs and a high-energy physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). He is co-founder of CERN Alumni New York.
Karl Schmieder, M.S./M.F.A., has been providing strategy and communications counsel services to life sciences companies for more than 20 years. A rare combination of scientist and award-winning copywriter, Karl has a long tenure working with both startups and Fortune 10 life sciences companies developing technologies that disrupt markets. He has counseled multiple startups, launched major pharmaceutical brands (Risperdal, Januvia, Lucentis), and created thought leadership programs for executives at GSK, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, and PAREXEL. He served as Chief Marketing Officer at One Eleven Software and Chief Strategic Officer at Medikly. He is the co-author of What’s Your Bio Strategy? a book on the impact of synthetic biology on all business.
As Editor and Program Manager, Kevin leads SynBioBeta's digital media content, with the goal of telling the story of the amazing innovators building the future with biology. Before joining SynBioBeta, Kevin managed the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center. His interests include public engagement, science writing, community building, and bikes!
Kevin Zussman is a venture capitalist at Cultivian Sandbox, a venture capital firm focused on investing in innovative food & agriculture technology startups. Kevin has led the development of the fund’s investment theses in synthetic biology, alternative protein and the intersection of food & health. Prior to Cultivian, Kevin worked in investment banking, where he focused on financial advisory engagements for food & beverage and consumer products companies. Kevin holds a BBA with emphases in finance and accounting and a minor in environmental science from the University of Michigan.
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.
Niko is a Bioengineering PhD student at the California Institute of Technology. He previously completed his Masters in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Imperial College London as a Fulbright Scholar.
Paul did his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at University College London, followed by a Masters in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Imperial College London. He is a DPhil student on the Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP.
Paul’s work looks at the mechanisms controlling nitrogen regulation in symbiotic bacteria such as Rhizobium leguminosarum. A particular focus is how cells respond to changes in oxygen concentration, a key signal for nitrogen fixation in part because oxygen is toxic to the nitrogenase enzyme. Beyond understanding how these regulatory mechanisms function, the aim of his project is to modify them through Synthetic Biology approaches to build tools that can be used to engineer nitrogen fixation.
I am a passionate communicator of science and have worked in public engagement and science comms since completing my PhD at the University of Manchester & the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth.
Rodalyn works as a clinical researcher, writer, and breaking news journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her interests are broad and varied, from therapies and medical devices advancing diabetes treatment to public policies supporting social justice. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from California State University, East Bay. She earned her Master of Public Policy from Mills College.
Thomas Meany is the co-founder and CEO of Cell-Free Technology, a biotechnology company that enables high speed DNA circuit testing. Prior to this he held an interdisciplinary fellowship in the University of Cambridge Plant Science Department studying applications of technology in synthetic biology. He holds a PhD in physics and prior to working in biotechnology he developed semiconductor circuits in the quantum information group at Toshiba’s Cambridge Research Labs.
Tyler J. Ford is a Freelance Science Communicator with experience in applied biological sciences and synthetic biology. Follow him on Twitter @TyFordFever.