Thomas M. Connelly, Jr. is the Executive Director and CEO of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Connelly retired from DuPont in December 2014, where he was Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer, and a member of the company’s Office of the Chief Executive. At DuPont, he was responsible for Science & Technology and the geographic regions outside the United States, as well as Integrated Operations which includes Operations, Sourcing & Logistics and Engineering. At DuPont, Dr. Connelly led businesses and R&D organizations, while based in the US, Europe and Asia. Dr. Connelly graduated with highest honors from Princeton University with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics. As a Winston Churchill Scholar, he received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge. He is a Director of Grasim Industries, an Indian listed company. He has served in advisory roles to the U.S. government and the Republic of Singapore.
Michelle Chang is associate professor of chemistry at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. Her research applies the approaches of mechanistic biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology to address problems in energy and human health. Among her projects are the design and creation of new biosynthetic pathways in microbial hosts for in vivo production of biofuels from abundant
crop feedstocks and pharmaceuticals from natural products or natural product scaffolds. She earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004, did postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley, and joined its faculty in 2007. She received the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award in 2008 and the Agilent Early Career Award in 2010.
Lionel Clarke is Co-Chair of the U.K. Synthetic Biology Leadership Council. He is also Team Leader, Biodomain Open Innovation for Shell Projects and Technology at the Shell Technology Centre, Thornton, United Kingdom. In this role he is responsible for planning and delivery of Shell strategic research and technology programs across the biodomain, deploying internal and external resources to deliver innovative solutions to market. Prior to joining Shell in 1981, Clarke graduated from Imperial College, London, after which he studied as an elected University Research Fellow at Cambridge University, and as a Royal Society European Research Fellow at the University of Grenoble, France. During this period he published numerous papers and a book and received various publication awards. Within Shell he has worked extensively, taking ideas from lab to market at the interface between fuels and engines, including the worldwide removal and replacement of leaded gasoline and the introduction of cleaner and improved performance fuels in developed and developing markets. Working with the Brazilian fuels market for a number of years gave him early first-hand experience of the potential, as well as practical issues, associated with the use of biofuels. Clarke has been responsible for facilitating the planning and delivery of strategic research programs across the biodomain within Shell for more than 10 years. Clarke chaired the U.K. Synthetic Biology Roadmap coordination group during 2012 and is now Co-Chairman of the U.K. Synthetic Biology Leadership Council.
Andrew Ellington received his B.S. in biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1981 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard in 1988. As a graduate student he worked with Dr. Steve Benner on the evolutionary optimization of dehydrogenase isozymes. His postdoctoral work was with Dr. Jack Szostak at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he developed methods for the in vitro selection of functional nucleic acids and coined the term “aptamer.” Ellington began his academic career as an assistant professor of chemistry at Indiana University in 1992 and continued to develop selection methods. He has previously received the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator, Cottrell, and Pew Scholar awards. In 1998 he moved to the University of Texas at Austin and is now the Fraser Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Ellington was a member of the Defense Sci-
ence Studies Group of the Institute for Defense Analysis and has actively advised numerous government agencies on biodefense and biotechnology issues, including serving on the BioChem 2020 panel of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Most recently he was named a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has served on the boards of numerous companies and helped found the aptamer company Archemix. Ellington’s lab work centers on developing nucleic acid circuitry for point-of-care diagnostics and on accelerating the evolution of proteins and cells through the introduction of novel chemistries.
Nathan Hillson is a biochemist staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Director of Synthetic Biology at the Joint Bioenergy Institute, and Program Lead of Genome Engineering at the Joint Genome Institute. His responsibilities are to develop and demonstrate experimental wetware, software, and laboratory automation devices that facilitate, accelerate, and standardize the engineering of microbes. He earned a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard Medical School and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He joined LBNL in 2009.
Richard Johnson is the CEO and founder of Global Helix LLC, a thought leadership and strategic positioning consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Johnson has worked extensively on the linkage of global scientific developments, law, and policy with fundamental research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. After 30 years, he retired as Senior Partner in Arnold & Porter LLP, where he represented many research universities, foundations, and innovative companies. His current interests include (1) synthetic biology and the engineering of biology to enable bio-economic growth; (2) neuroscience and brain health, especially Alzheimer’s and dementia; (3) global research collaborations and Big Data; (4) intellectual assets for value creation; and (5) rethinking organizational models for innovation policy and knowledge-based capital. Johnson is a member of the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences and the NAS Synthetic Biology Forum. He serves as the Chairman of the OECD/BIAC Technology and Innovation Committee and, recently, was named one of the 12 global members of the new OECD Global Advisory Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation. In addition, Johnson is the Chairman of Brown’s Biology & Medicine Council and the International Council of the Innovation Knowledge Centre at Imperial College (London). He also is a member of boards for UC-Berkeley SynBerc; the BioBricks Foundation and Stanford BioFab, Brown Institute of Brain Sciences and BRAIN initiatives; and the INCF at the Karolinska Institute. For many years, he
served on the MIT Corporation Committee and numerous university visiting committees. Johnson received his Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School where he was Editor of the Yale Law Journal, his M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a National Science Foundation National Fellow, and his undergraduate degree with highest honors from Brown University.
Jay D. Keasling is a professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Acting Deputy Laboratory Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Founding Director of the Synthetic Biology Department at UC Berkeley, and chief executive officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. He co-founded Codon Devices Inc. in 2004 and Amyris, Inc. (formerly Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc.) in 2003. He is considered one of the foremost authorities in synthetic biology, especially in the field of metabolic engineering. Other, related research interests include systems biology and environmental biotechnology. Keasling’s current research involves the metabolic engineering of the Escherichia coli bacterium to produce the antimalarial drug artemisinin. Although it is an effective, proven treatment for malaria, current methods of producing artemisinin (found naturally in the plant Artemisia annua) are considered too expensive to cost-effectively eliminate malaria from developing countries. Keasling received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1991. He did postdoctoral work at Stanford University in biochemistry from 1991 to 1992.
Stephen Laderman is Director, Agilent Laboratories. He directs R&D programs aimed at inventing and developing leading-edge measurement solutions for research and diagnostics. His lab applies biology, chemistry, and computer science expertise to the investigation and development of novel reagents, assay protocols, and computational methods that enable new methods in emerging fields within molecular cellular biology, molecular medicine, and synthetic biology. After receiving his A.B. from Wesleyan University in physics and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in materials science and engineering, Laderman joined Hewlett-Packard (HP) Laboratories in 1984 as a member of the technical staff, subsequently holding a variety of research and management positions there and in technology-intensive businesses.
Pilar Ossorio is professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW), where she is on the faculties of the Law School and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the Medical School. In 2011, she became the inaugural Ethics Scholar-in-Residence at
the Morgridge Institute for Research, the private, nonprofit research institute that is part of the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery. She also serves as the co-director of UW’s Law and Neuroscience Program, as a faculty member in the UW Masters in Biotechnology Studies program, and as program faculty in the Graduate Program in Population Health. Prior to taking her position at UW, she was Director of the Genetics Section of the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association and taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Chicago Law School. Ossorio received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 1990 from Stanford University. She went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology at Yale University School of Medicine. Throughout the 1990s, Ossorio also worked as a consultant for the federal program on the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of the Human Genome Project, and in 1994 she took a full-time position with the Department of Energy’s ELSI program. In 1993 she served on the Ethics Working Group for President Clinton’s Health Care Reform Task Force. She received her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law in 1997. While at Berkeley, she was elected to the legal honor society Order of the Coif and received several awards for outstanding legal scholarship.
Kristala Jones Prather is the Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an investigator in the multi-institutional Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC) funded by the National Science Foundation. She received an S.B. degree from MIT in 1994 and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1999) and worked 4 years in BioProcess Research and Development at the Merck Research Labs (Rahway, New Jersey) prior to joining the faculty of MIT. Her research interests are centered on the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules, with additional efforts in novel bioprocess design approaches. Research combines the traditions of metabolic engineering with the practices of biocatalysis to expand and optimize the biosynthetic capacity of microbial systems. A particular focus is the elucidation of design principles for the production of unnatural organic compounds within the framework of the burgeoning field of synthetic biology. Prather is the recipient of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award (2004), an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2005), a Technology Review “TR35” Young Innovator Award (2007), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010), and the Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award (2011). Additional honors include selection as the Van Ness Lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2012) and a Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions (2012). Prather has been
recognized for excellence in teaching with the C. Michael Mohr Outstanding Faculty Award for Undergraduate Teaching in the Department of Chemical Engineering (2006) and the MIT School of Engineering Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010).
Reshma Shetty graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in biological engineering in 2008, during which she worked on building digital logic in cells. Shetty has been active in synthetic biology for several years and co-organized SB1.0, the first international conference in synthetic biology in 2004. In 2008, Forbes magazine named Shetty one of Eight People Inventing the Future, and in 2011, Fast Company named her one of 100 Most Creative People in Business. Shetty and colleagues have founded synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc., which makes and sells engineered microorganisms for food, fuels, and pharmaceuticals production.
Christopher Voigt is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a joint appointment as a chemist scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is an adjunct professor of chemical engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and an Honorary Fellow at Imperial College. Prior to joining MIT, he received his B.SE in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan (1998), a Ph.D. in biochemistry/biophysics at the California Institute of Technology (2002), performed postdoctoral work in the Bioengineering Department of the University of California, Berkeley (2003), and was a faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco (2003-2011).
Huimin Zhao is the Centennial Endowed Chair Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and professor of chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, and bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the visiting principal investigator of the Metabollic Engineering Research Laboratory (MERL) in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2000, Zhao worked at the Dow Chemical company for 2 years. Zhao’s primary research interests are in the development and application of synthesis biology tools to address society’s most daunting challenges in health, energy, and sustainability, and in the fundamental aspects of enzyme catalysis, cell metabolism, and gene regulation. Zhao has received numerous research and teaching awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2010),
Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (2009), and others. He has authored and co-authored 170 research articles and 20 issued and pending patent applications, several of which are being licensed by industry. In addition, he has given plenary, keynote, or invited lectures in more than 200 international meetings and institutions. Zhao received his B.S. in biology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1998.
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF
Douglas Friedman is a Senior Program Officer with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology at the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. His primary scientific interests lie in the fields of organic chemistry, organic and bio-organic materials, chemical and biological sensing, and nanotechnology, particularly as they apply to national and homeland security. Friedman has supported a diverse array of activities since joining the NRC. He served as study director or co-study director on Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future, Determining Core Capabilities in Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology, Effects of Diluted Bitumen on Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines, and Responding to Capability Surprise: A Strategy for U.S. Naval Forces. Additionally, he has supported activities on The Role of the Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical Resources, Opportunities and Obstacles in Large-Scale Biomass Utilization, and Technological Challenges in Antibiotics Discovery and Development. Friedman is currently supporting studies on safety culture in academic research laboratories, security implications of advancing technologies in the life sciences, and synthetic biology. Prior to joining the NRC Friedman performed research in physical organic chemistry and chemical biology at Northwestern University; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Berkeley; and Solulink Biosciences. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University and a B.S. in chemical biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
India Hook-Barnard came to the National Academies in 2008 from the National Institutes of Health where she was a postdoctoral research fellow. She earned her Ph.D. in microbiology-medicine from the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Missouri. Her primary interests are in the areas of emerging science, technology, and medicine, from fundamental research to translational application. While at the National Academies, Hook-Barnard was first a senior program officer with the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on
Life Sciences and most recently with the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy. Hook-Barnard was study director for the consensus reports: Sharing Clinical Trial Data: Maximizing Benefits, Minimizing Risk (2015), Determining Core Capabilities in Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology (2012), Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease (2011), Sequence-Based Classification of Select Agents: A Brighter Line (2010), and the workshop summary, Technologies to Enable Autonomous Detection for BioWatch: Ensuring Timely and Accurate Information for Public Health (2013). She directed the U.S. National Committee to the International Brain Research Organization from 2008 to 2012 and has served as staff officer for multiple activities, including the Standing Committee on the Department of Defense’s Programs to Counter Biological Threats; the workshop Convergence: Safeguarding Technology in the Bioeconomy; the Six Party Symposia on Synthetic Biology, and the study, Animal Models for Assessing Countermeasures to Bioterrorism Agents (2011).