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Drew Endy is a bioengineer at Stanford University who studies and teaches synthetic biology. His goals are civilization-scale flourishing and a renewal of liberal democracy. Prof. Endy helped launch new undergraduate majors in bioengineering at both MIT and Stanford and also the iGEM — a global genetic-engineering “Olympics” enabling thousands of students annually. His past students lead companies like Ginkgo Bioworks and Octant. He is married to Christina Smolke CEO of Antheia the essential medicine company. Endy served on the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) the Committee on Science Technology & Law (CSTL) the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Synthetic Biology Task Force and, briefly, the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board (DIB). He currently serves on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research. Esquire magazine recognized Drew as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century.
We work to strengthen the foundations and expand the frontiers of synthetic biology. Our foundational work includes (i) advancing reliable reuse of bio-measurements and -materials via standards that enable coordination of labor, and (ii) developing and integrating measurement and modeling tools for representing and analyzing living matter at whole-cell scales. Our work beyond the frontiers of current practice includes (iii) bootstrapping biotechnology tools in unconventional organisms (e.g., mealworms, wood fungus, skin microbes), and (iv) exploring the limits of whole-genome recoding and building cells from scratch. We also support strategy and policy work related to bio-safety, security, economy, equity, justice, and leadership.