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Aishani Aatresh

Aishani Aatresh is a biological systems engineer at Centivax, optimizing antibodies to combat a broad spectrum of diseases and helping drive policy and communications efforts. She has previously given a TEDx talk on food allergies and co-founded TEDxSaintFrancis, and she has always been actively involved with endeavors in education, community building, and leadership through a variety of channels.  Currently an undergraduate at Harvard, Aishani is passionate about the intersection of science and policy and the overarching power of interdisciplinary initiatives to shape the world.


Alexander Smolentsev

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.

Alexander Titus

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.

Amanda Prieto

Ammielle Wambo Becker

I'm interested in the intersection of biology, technology, and society. I get very excited when I write, read, learn, and talk about biotechnology! I always consider the human aspect and ethical implications of new developments by asking thoughtful questions, seeking new perspectives, and thinking critically. My ideal days include programming in Python, reading a non-fiction book, meeting new people, and walking with my dog.

Anna Marks

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

Anuradha Varanasi

Anuradha Varanasi is a freelance science writer and journalist. She covers sustainability, climate change, environmental health, and infectious diseases. Anuradha is passionate about marine conservation.



Benjamin Joffe

As Partner at HAX, Benjamin works with startups on strategy, marketing, PR and fundraising. He is considered a global thought leader on hardware innovation and ecosystems, and represents HAX in many global events. He has been featured on Bloomberg TV, WSJ, The Economist, WIRED and is a contributor to Forbes and TechCrunch.

Brittany Niccum

Commercial Product Manager at Beckman Coulter Life Sciences

Calvin Schmidt

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

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

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.

Davian Ho

Davian 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, he is involved in science communication and digital design.

David Kirk

David is a synthetic biologist and science writer interested in the bioeconomy, bio-based industry, and biopharma.

David Lubkowicz

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.

Deborah Bright

Deborah Wang

Deb Wang is a Contributing Editor at SynBioBeta. She currently works in robotics research. She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University and a B.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.


Emilia Díaz

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

Fiona Mischel is the Editor-in-Chief of SynBioBeta. She frequently covers sustainability, CRISPR research, food and agriculture technology, and biotech for space travel. She is passionate to show how scientific innovations can combat our climate crisis and positively impact communities worldwide.

Fiona Mischel


Gina Hagler

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

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

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

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

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.

Kevin Costa

As Editor and Program Manager, Kevin leads SynBioBeta's digital media content, with the goal of telling the story of the people, companies, and ideas shaping 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 Monahan

Kevin Zussman

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.

Kostas Vavitsas

Kostas Vavitsas is a Research Associate at the University of Athens, Greece. He is also community editor for PLOS Synbio, member of the steering committee of EUSynBioS, and communications editor for Omic Engine and EFB-EBBS. Find him on Twitter or LinkedIn

Lana Bandoim

I am a freelance writer and editor with more than a decade of experience. My work has appeared on Yahoo! News, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, The Week, MSN Money and many other publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Butler University and graduated summa cum laude with a double major in biology and chemistry. I specialize in science, tech and health content. I have been a judge for the Scholastic Writing Awards from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. My work has been nominated for a Best Shortform Science Writing award.

Marianna Limas

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.

Mark Bunger

Lab Agent at Innovation Lab, Mark researches science-based technologies, aka Deep Tech, ranging from synthetic biology to quantum computing, to help companies develop and deploy them. Over 20 years and across 40 countries, he has worked as a management consultant, technology analyst, lab researcher, and entrepreneur at Accenture, Forrester Research, UCSF, Lux Research, and several startups.

Mark Bustard

Mark Bustard is Chief Executive of Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) connects industry with academic expertise and government to accelerate and de-risk commercialization, to bring new biotechnology processes and products to the global market. It does this by offering scale-up facilities, talent development, funding provision, networking opportunities and promotion of Scotland's unique assets.

Matthew Kirshner

A long-time enthusiast of emerging biotech, Matthew Kirshner works in life sciences consulting at Putnam Associates, focused on bringing pharma and biotech products to market. When not at his day job, Matt writes about new applications for synbio tech, the evolving synbio landscape, and the business strategy behind the decisions of the leading synbio companies. He enjoys meeting and discussing with others in the synbio space, and can be reached at



Michael Lavin

Entrepreneur-investor, Michael Lavin, leads Germin8 Ventures as a purpose-driven venture capital firm with strong strategic backing from CEOs, entrepreneurs, technologists and financiers across the Food & Agriculture industry. He and Germin8 Ventures bring their combination of strategic capabilities, close-touch and high-conviction investment to the founding teams transforming the global food system. Before founding Germin8 Ventures, Michael was an investment banker and M&A strategist for clientele ranging from boutique founder- and family-owned companies to Fortune 500 corporations across a range of technology, food, finance and other industry verticals.


Nikita Michelsen

Niko McCarty

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 Rutten

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.

Peter Bickerton

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.



Rebecca Nesbit

I’m an ecologist and author, writing fiction and non-fiction about science and the ethical questions it raises. My current focus is environmental ethics, and in my writing and talks I argue for a better understanding of what conservation aims to achieve.

Rina Diane Caballar

Rina Diane Caballar is a Filipina freelance journalist based in New Zealand. She covers tech and its intersections with science, society, and the environment.

Robin Seaton Jefferson

Robin Seaton Jefferson is a St. Louis-based journalist with 30 years of experience covering advances in science and medical technology, as well as human interest stories, finance, business, politics, and hard news. Most recently, she covered aging, healthcare, and finances for seniors on Forbes. She has written for Elsevier Science via Frontline Medical Communications as a general assignment reporter and as the health and senior reporter for the St. Charles bureau of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Missouri-at St. Louis, with minors in writing and criminal justice.

Rodalyn Guinto

Rodalyn is a journalist based in San Francisco, CA. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Mills College.


Stephanie Wisner

Stephanie Wisner is a science writer, specializing in the interface between science and business. She currently serves as Co-founder and Director of Business Operations at Centivax, and works with ARCH Venture Partners on individual projects. Her first book, The Business of Science, will be published later this year with New Degree Press (Expected 2021).

Stephen Hubbard


Theresa Machemer

Theresa Machemer is a freelance science journalist based in Washington, D.C. She writes about biomedical research and the history of science.


Thomas Meany

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 Ford

Tyler J. Ford is a Freelance Science Communicator with experience in applied biological sciences and synthetic biology. Follow him on Twitter @TyFordFever.


Vinit Parekh



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