Seminar - Chemistry Department

Designing biology

Reshma Shetty, Ginkgo Bioworks

Thursday, February 28, 2019: 11:30am
Lederle Graduate Research Center 1634

Student Invited Seminar

Biology is the most powerful technology on the planet.  It’s ability to self repair, self replicate and make atomically precise structures is unparalleled among manufacturing technologies.  At Ginkgo, we are passionate about harnessing the power of biology by designing it.  Unfortunately, despite significant advancements in recent years, the tools and technology for biological design remain woefully inadequate relative to the potential of biological technology.  Our limited understanding of how biology works means that, for now, biological design is essentially a search problem.  At Ginkgo, we are leveraging automation and software to build a genetic engineering foundry that allows us to more cheaply and scalably search potential biological design space for functional organism designs.  In particular, I will highlight the value of combining computer-aided engineering software tools, cheap gene synthesis and high resolution-accurate mass LCMS to develop engineered microbes.  Finally, I’ll touch on how our foundry allows us to address opportunities across markets - from chemicals to enzymes to agriculture.