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.
Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University
Professor Castro received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering both in 2005 from The Ohio State University and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009. He then spent 1.5 years as an Alexander von Humboldt post-doctoral fellow at the Technische Universität München working in the field of DNA nanotechnology. Dr. Castro returned to The Ohio State University in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering where his laboratory focuses on the self-assembly of DNA nanomachines and nanomechanical devices to probe the biophysical function of molecular and cellular systems. Dr. Castro has received awards for both outstanding research and outstanding teaching from OSU, and he recently received an NSF CAREER award and a Fulbright Research Scholar Award.
Professor, University of Texas at Austin
Brian Korgel holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles and focuses on developing new methods for synthesizing nanostructured materials, fabricating devices based upon these materials, and studying their properties. His experimental group focuses on investigating size-tunable material properties, and the rational self-assembly and fabrication of nanostructures with atomic detail. Dr. Korgel received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Professional Progress Award in 2012 for outstanding progress in chemical engineering and holds the The Edward S. Hyman Endowed Chair in Engineering from the University of Texas. He will present a lecture with demos on virtual reality (VR) and nanotechnology.
Synthetic Biology Speakers
Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley
Reinhard Heckel is a Postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Before that, he spent a year in the Cognitive Computing & Computational Sciences Department at IBM Research, Zurich. He completed his Ph.D. in August 2014 at ETH Zurich, Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, advised by Helmut Bölcskei. In Fall 2013, he was a visiting Ph.D. student in the Statistics Department of Stanford University. Reinhard is interested in machine learning, statistics, and signal processing.
Assistant Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Sri Kosuri is an Assistant Professor at UCLA in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. He was previously a member of the Advanced Technology Team in the Synthetic Biology Platform at the Wyss Institute and a postdoc in George Church’s lab in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute from 2009-2011. From 2007-2009, Dr. Kosuri was the first employee of a bio-fuel startup called Joule Unlimited. He received his ScD in Biological Engineering at MIT in Drew Endy’s lab and worked on understanding the development of a simple virus (T7) that infects E. coli.
Director, Twist Biosciences, Inc.
James Diggins is the Director of Bioinformatics and Biosecurity at Twist Bioscience, one of the world’s largest DNA synthesis companies and has previous served as the Senior Manager for 2 years prior. He received his Ph. D. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from George Mason University in 2010 and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in both Computer Science and Microbiology at the University of Florida.