Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Leading bioengineer named to Biodesign Institute advisory board

[Source: Julie Kurth, ASU] -- The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has named biological engineer Drew Endy, Ph.D., to its advisory board. Endy is an assistant professor in the biological engineering department at MIT, where he co-founded the Synthetic Biology working group and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. He organized the first International Conference on Synthetic Biology and his synthetic biology labs led to the organization of the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, a worldwide genetic engineering competition for undergraduates.

One of a handful of pre-eminent researchers in the emerging field of synthetic biology, Endy has led a number of initiatives supporting free access to genetic information as a means to encourage greater progress in the field. His research has focused on developing foundational tools that make it easier to engineer biology, so that many more biotechnology applications can be readily realized – from medical therapies, to chemical and materials manufacture, to environmental sensing and remediation.

Endy also has been instrumental in founding several organizations, including the Molecular Sciences Institute, an independent not-for-profit biological research lab in Berkeley, Calif.; Codon Devices Inc., a venture-funded startup working to develop next-generation DNA synthesis technology; and the BioBricks Foundation, a not-for-profit group promoting development, standardization and responsible use of standard biological parts to make them freely available to the public.

The advisory board is an elite 14-member group chaired by Stephen Benkovic, Ph.D., who is the Evan Pugh Professor and Eberly Chair in Chemistry at Penn State.

“Dr. Endy is moving the field of synthetic biology forward for the benefit of humanity,” said Dr. Benkovic. “His creative leadership has been instrumental in defining research themes in this fascinating new field, which makes him a tremendous asset to our board.”

Members of the Biodesign Institute Advisory Board provide external reviews of the institute’s research, which helps Biodesign leaders assess its strengths and where improvements are needed.

“The board provides objective feedback from top thought leaders in their fields,” said George Poste, director of the Biodesign Institute. “Organizational isolation is the enemy of good science, and so we consider this input critical to our success.”

No comments: