David Sun Kong
Synthetic Biologist at MIT, Lincoln Laboratory // Panel Moderator
David Sun Kong is a Synthetic Biologist, community organizer, musician, and photographer based in Lexington, MA. He conducted his graduate studies at MIT’s Media Laboratory, receiving a Master's degree for developing technology for printing nanostructures with energetic beams and a Ph.D. for demonstrating the first gene synthesis in a microfluidic (“lab-on-a-chip”) system. He was recognized as an emerging leader in synthetic biology as a "LEAP" fellow, served as a guest faculty member at the Marine Biology Lab in Woods Hole, MA, and is co-founder and managing faculty of "How To Grow (Almost) Anything, an international course on synthetic biology. He founded and chaired new Microfluidic and Hardware Tracks for the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition (iGEM) and is the official iGEM DJ. He currently conducts synthetic biology, microfluidics, and digital fabrication research at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory with a focus on open-source hardware and democratizing technology.
Creative Director at Ginkgo Bioworks
Christina Agapakis is creative director of Ginkgo Bioworks, a biological design company growing cultured products for partners across many industries. Her work brings together biologists, engineers, designers, artists, and social scientists to explore the future of biotechnology. During her PhD at Harvard, she worked on producing hydrogen fuel in bacteria and making photosynthetic animals. She has taught designers at the Art Center College of Design and biomolecular engineers at UCLA, and she once made cheese using bacteria from the human body.
Founder and Creative Director at Amino Labs, Inc.
Amino Labs is headed by Creative Director, Julie Legault. Julie has more than a decade of experience in interactive and speculative design, and product development. Julie received a B.F.A Design and Art (Concordia University, Canada), a M.A Goldsmithing, Metalsmithing (Royal College of Art, UK), and a M.Sc Media Arts and Science (Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA).
President at The BioBuilder Educational Foundation
Instructor at MIT, Department of Biological Engineering
Natalie Kuldell leads BioBuilder, a nonprofit organization that takes cutting-edge research projects in synthetic biology and transforms them into teachable modules that students and teachers can investigate together. The BioBuilder curriculum is now taught in almost every US state and around the world. A BioBuilder textbook was published by O’Reilly Media. In 2017 BioBuilder will open a community lab in Kendall Square’s LabCentral. Dr. Kuldell studied Chemistry as an undergraduate at Cornell, completed her doctoral and post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School, and taught at Wellesley College before joining the faculty at MIT.
Joe Davis // Bio Artist
Joe Davis (born 1951) is a research affiliate in the Department of Biology at MIT, and in the George Church Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. His research and art includes work in the fields of molecular biology,bioinformatics, "space art", and sculpture, using media including centrifuges, radios, prosthetics, magnetic fields, and genetic material. Davis' teaching positions have been at MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design(RISD). Davis' works include the sculpture Earth Sphere, a landmark fog fountain at Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, near the MIT campus; RuBisCo Stars, a transmission of a message to nearby stars from theArecibo Observatory radiotelescope in Puerto Rico, carried out in November 2009; New Age Ruby Falls, a project to create an artificial aurora using a 100,000 watt electron beam fired into the magnetosphere from a NASA space shuttle (which has not yet been carried out); and Microvenus, a piece of symbolic art involving engineering the genetic code of a microbe.