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Advisory Board

Frances Arnold

Frances Arnold is an internationally recognized American scientist and engineer. She pioneered methods of directed evolution to create useful biological systems, including enzymes, metabolic pathways, genetic regulatory circuits, and organisms. She is the Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, where she studies evolution and its applications in science, medicine, chemicals and energy. She earned her BS in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 1979 and her PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. There, she did her postdoctoral work in biophysical chemistry before coming to Caltech in 1986.

Arnold’s work has been recognized with many awards, including the 2011 Draper Prize and a 2013 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. Arnold has the rare honor of being elected to all three National Academies in the United States — the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Arnold is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

James J. Collins

James J. Collins is the Termeer Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also affiliated with the Broad Institute and the Wyss Institute. His research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. 

Professor Collins' patented technologies have been licensed by more than 25 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical devices companies. He has helped launch a number of companies, including Sample6 Technologies, Synlogic and EnBiotix. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur "Genius" Award, an NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, and several teaching awards.  Professor Collins is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is also a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Wendell Lim

Wendell Lim is a professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the director of the UCSF/UCB NIH Nanomedicine development center and director of the SynBERC. He earned his AB in chemistry from Harvard University and his PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is interested in the logic of cell signaling systems: understanding how the networks of signaling proteins found in eukaryotic cells have evolved to allow cells to make complex behavioral decisions.

Significantly, Lim's research group uses synthetic biology to redesign biological systems. In particular, various methods are used to create novel or modified signaling proteins and pathways, both to systematically understand network structure/function relationships and to develop engineered research tools and novel biotechnological and therapeutic applications. He is an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and he has received the Hans Neurath Award from The Protein Society.

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