Assistant Professor of Computer Science,
University of California, Davis
David Doty is broadly interested in problems at the intersection of computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology, but not the traditional “computation in service of natural science” (e.g., bioinformatics, computational chemistry, or molecular dynamics simulation). Rather, certain molecular systems—such as a test tube of reacting chemicals, a genetic regulatory network, or a growing crystal—can be interpreted as doing computation themselves. He wants to understand the fundamental logical and physical limits to computation by such means. He has worked on the theory of computation by chemical reaction networks, self-assembling tiles, and agent-based models of distributed computing.
Professor, University of Washington
Eric Klavins is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. Until approximately 2008, Klavins’ research was primarily in computer science and control systems, focusing on stochastic processes, robotics and self-assembly. At about this time, he learned the basics of genetic engineering of the next few years switched entirely fields to synthetic biology and now runs an interdisciplinary group of engineers, biologists, experimentalists, and theorists — all focused on engineering life. His current projects include synthetic multicellular systems with engineered bacteria and yeast, modeling and design for synthetic multicellular systems, and laboratory automation.
Professor, Santa Fe Institute
Cristopher Moore received his B.A. in Physics, Mathematics, and Integrated Science from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell. From 2000 to 2012 he was a professor at the University of New Mexico, with joint appointments in Computer Science and Physics. Since 2012, Moore has been a resident professor at the Santa Fe Institute; he has also held visiting positions at École Normale Superieure, École Polytechnique, Université Paris 7, the Niels Bohr Institute, Northeastern University, and the University of Michigan. He has published over 140 papers at the boundary between physics and computer science, ranging from quantum computing, to phase transitions in NP-complete problems, to the theory of social networks and efficient algorithms for analyzing their structure. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Mathematical Society. With Stephan Mertens, he is the author of The Nature of Computation from Oxford University Press.
Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
Vincent Noireaux received a Master’s Degree in Biological Physics from the University Paris 11 (Orsay). He did his PhD at the Curie Institute (Paris, 1996-2000) in the laboratory of Jacques Prost. He studied the actin cytoskeleton mechanism involved in cell motility in collaboration with the laboratory of Daniel Louvard. In 2000, he joined the laboratory of Albert Libchaber at the Rockefeller University in New York City where he spent five years as a postdoc. He used cell-free expression to construct elementary gene networks and to develop a minimal cell system. In 2005, he moved to the University of Minnesota where he is pursuing his work in synthetic biology, using cell-free expression to construct and study complex biochemical systems in vitro.
Researcher, CNRS/ESPCI Paris
Yannick Rondelez is a CNRS scientist working at ESPCI in Paris. His research interests focus on the relation between molecular sciences and information processing. He has a physics-chemistry background, with a strong biological focus. After a Ph.D. in synthesizing bio-organic models of enzymes, he went on with a postdoc on the biophysics of molecular motors (the rotary F1-ATPase). His current goal is to apply the principles of biological information processing to the design of artificial molecular assemblies with complex dynamic behaviors and responses. He is also exploring the concept of developing tailored molecular circuits and algorithms to address practical (bio)-chemical challenges.
Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington
Karin Strauss is a senior researcher in Computer Architecture at Microsoft Research (MSR) and an Affiliate Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Washington. Karin received her PhD in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007.
Her research lies at the intersection of computer architecture, systems, and biology. As traditional semiconductor scaling has started to slow down, she has been investigating alternative approaches to continue the improvement we have been seeing in computer systems over the last few decades. Approaches she has been studying include hardware accelerators for machine learning, emerging memory technologies, and the use of biotechnology to the benefit of the IT industry. Lately, her focus has been on making an end-to-end system that stores digital data in DNA a reality, along with a team of fantastic researchers from Microsoft Research and University of Washington. This team has stored and fully recovered 200MB of digital data from DNA, a world record at the time, and possibly still today.