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Advisory Board

Frances Arnold

Frances Arnold is an American chemical engineer and Nobel Laureate. She is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 2018, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering the use of directed evolution to engineer enzymes.

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. In 2016 she became the first woman to win the Millennium Technology Prize, which she won for pioneering directed evolution. In 2017, Arnold was awarded the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research by the National Academy of Sciences, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to convergence research. In 2018 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work in directed evolution, making her the fifth woman to receive the award in its 117 years of existence, and the first American woman.

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, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and an International Fellow of the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering in 2018

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. He is one of the founders of the field of synthetic biology, and has made multiple synthetic biology breakthroughs in biotechnology and biomedicine, including paper-based diagnostics for Zika & Ebola and programmable cells that serve as living diagnostics and living therapeutics to detect-and-treat infections, rare genetic metabolic disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease. His patented technologies have been licensed by numerous biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical devices companies. He has helped launch a number of companies, including Sample6 Technologies, Synlogic and EnBiotix.

Professor Collins has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur "Genius" Award, an NIH Director's Pioneer Award, the Lagrange Prize from the CRT Foundation in Italy, the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, the BMES Robert A. Pritzker Award, the HFSP Nakasone Award, the Promega Biotechnology Research Award, and being selected for Technology Review's inaugural TR100 - 100 young innovators who will shape the future of technology - and the Scientific American 50 - the top 50 outstanding leaders in science and technology.

Collins is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He is also 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. Furthermore, he is a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Wendell Lim

Wendell Lim is a professor and chair of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the director of the UCSF Center for Systems & Synthetic Biology. 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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