Dr. James J. Collins - CoE Distinguished Speaker Series

Dr. James J. Collins

James J. Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, as well as a member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology Faculty. He is also a Core Founding Faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. 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 over 25 biotech, pharma and medical devices companies, and he has helped to launch a number of companies, including Sample6 Technologies, Synlogic and EnBiotix.

Life Redesigned: The Emergence of Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is bringing together engineers, physicists and biologists to model, design and construct biological circuits out of proteins, genes and other bits of DNA, and to use these circuits to rewire and reprogram organisms. These re-engineered organisms are going to change our lives in the coming years, leading to cheaper drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, and synthetic probiotics to treat infections and a range of complex diseases. In this talk, we highlight recent efforts to create synthetic gene networks and programmable cells, and discuss a variety of synthetic biology applications in biotechnology and biomedicine.

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