Lectures at the Leading Edge – Synthetic Biology: Life Redesigned

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Synthetic Biology: Life Redesigned, with James Collins from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Synthetic biology is bringing together engineers, physicists and biologists to model, design and construct biological circuits out of proteins, genes and other bits of DNA, and to use these circuits to rewire and reprogram organisms.  These re-engineered organisms are going to change our lives in the coming years, leading to cheaper drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, and synthetic probiotics to treat infections and a range of complex diseases.  In this talk, we highlight recent efforts to create synthetic gene networks and programmable cells, and discuss a variety of synthetic biology applications in biotechnology and biomedicine.

Professor James Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, as well as a Member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology Faculty. He is also a Core Founding Faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is one of the founders of the field of synthetic biology, and his research group is currently focused on using synthetic biology to create next-generation diagnostics and therapeutics. Professor Collins’ patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 biotech, pharma and medical devices companies, and he has co-founded a number of companies, including Synlogic, Senti Biosciences, Sherlock Biosciences and Cellarity, as well as Phare Bio, a non-profit focused on AI-driven antibiotic discovery. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship and a MacArthur “Genius” Award, and he is an elected member of all three national academies – the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday October 27, from 12-1PM (Eastern Time) on Zoom and will be recorded. For security purposes, you must have a Zoom account to access the lecture.

External members are required to register at https://tinyurl.com/LLEoct27 to receive the link and passcode. Registration closes at 9am on Monday October 25.

Should you have any questions, please email Jennifer Hsu (Manager, External Relations) at jennifer.hsu@utoronto.ca.


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