Fifth International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop (mSBW 5.0)

May 5-6, 2018

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the Fifth International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop (mSBW 5.0). This workshop will explore the latest trends and advances in the field, including recent foundational accomplishments and applications in addressing challenges to human health and beyond.  This one-and-a-half day meeting brings together world’s leading researchers in synthetic biology, mammalian and cellular biology, and bioengineering from academic as well as industry partners. Our scientific program will include topics in many applications of "Synthetic Immunology", "Synthetic Biology of Multicellular Systems", "Genes, Circuits, and Genomes", "Viral Vectors and Gene Therapy", "Host-Microbe Interactions", as well as a Panhel Discussion on "The Future of Synthetic Biology Funding and Investments".

Poster size can be 30"x40" any orientation (portrait, or landscape), however will accommodate for any size.

Registration Info

Session Topics

  1. Synthetic Immunology
  2. Genes, Circuits, and Genomes
  3. The Future of Synthetic Biology Funding and Investment [Panel Discussion]
  4. Viral Vectors and Gene Therapy
  5. Synthetic Biology of Multicellular Systems
  6. Host-Microbe Interactions

Plenary Speakers

  • Crystal Mackall, Professor, Stanford University
  • Susumu Tonegawa, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Confirmed Speakers

  • Alexander Marson, Assistant Professor,  University of California, San Francisco
  • Clodagh O'Shea, Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • David Schaffer, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
  • James Collins, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • David Sprinzak, Assistant Professor, Tel-Aviv University
  • Nicole Borth, Professor, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
  • Kole Roybal, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco
  • Jeff Gore, Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • David Liu, Professor, The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
  • Pamela Silver, Professor, Harvard Medical School 
  • Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, Professor, Harvard University
  • Closing Session: George Church, Harvard Medical School


  • Devaki Bhaya, National Science Foundation, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Peter Lomedico, Industry Partnerships & Investments, JDRF T1D Fund
  • Annie Mitsak, Omega Fund Management
  • Dylan Morris, Charles River Ventures
  • David Rampulla, National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
  • Nevin Summers, MIT Synthetic Biology Center

Featured Speakers

Devaki Bhaya

Devaki Bhaya is Program Director for the NSF Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), which supports quantitative, mechanistic, predictive, and theory-driven fundamental research designed to promote understanding of complex living systems at the molecular, subcellular, and cellular levels. Her program responsibilities consist of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects (MCB), Systems and Synthetic Biology and Semiconductor Synthetic Biology for Information Processing and Storage Technologies (SemiSynBio)Read more

Nicole Borth

Nicole Borth, PhD (Biotechnology, University of Life Sciences Vienna, Austria 1991), is Professor of Cell Biology and Cytometry at the Department of Biotechnology, University of Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) and Area Leader in the Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology ACIB. Her research aims at obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the molecular machinery that enables mammalian cells to be good production factories for biotherapeutic proteins.Read more

James Collins

James J. Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT. His research group focuses on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. His patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 companies.Read more

Jeff Gore

Jeff Gore is an associate professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the MIT physics department as an assistant professor in January 2010 after spending the previous three years in the department as a Pappalardo fellow working with Alexander van Oudenaarden. With the support of a Hertz graduate fellowship, in 2005 he received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate research in single-molecule biophysics was done in the laboratory of Carlos Bustamante, focusing on the study of twist and torque in single molecules of...Read more

David Liu

David R. Liu is the Richard Merkin Professor and Vice-Chair of the Faculty at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Liu graduated first in his class at Harvard in 1994. He performed synthetic organic and bioorganic chemistry research on sterol biosynthesis under Professor E. J. Corey’s guidance as an undergraduate. During his Ph.D. research with Professor Peter Schultz at U. C. Berkeley, Liu initiated the first general effort to expand the genetic code in living cells. He...Read more

Peter T. Lomedico

Peter Lomedico, Ph.D., joined JDRF in 2005 to lead the Industry Partnerships Program, an effort that supports the transfer of early-stage research to the commercial sector. Dr. Lomedico works closely with the research scientists to accelerate the development and delivery of diseasemodifying therapeutics and devices for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) by engaging industry on JDRF research projects. A number of large pharmaceutical companies have entered into licensing and product development and commercialization agreements with JDRF-funded biotechnology companies, providing evidence that...Read more

Crystal Mackall

Crystal L Mackall MD is Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at Stanford University. She serves as Associate Director of Stanford Cancer Institute, Leader of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at Stanford and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Stanford. During her tenure as Head of the Immunology Section and Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch, NCI, she built an internationally recognized translational research program spanning basic studies of T cell homeostasis and tumor immunology, and clinical trials of immune based therapies for...Read more

Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan

Prof. Mahadevan is the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Professor of Physics, Harvard university.   Before arriving at Harvard in 2003, he was the first Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Trinity College. Among his awards are a 2009 MacArthur “genius” grant, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, MIT’s Harold Edgerton Award, Harvard’s George Ledlie Prize, and named lectures...Read more

Alexander Marson

Alex Marson completed medical school at Harvard, PhD training at the Whitehead Institute/MIT with Richard Young and Rudolf Jaenisch, Internal Medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s and clinical training in Infectious Diseases at UCSF.Read more

Annie Mitsak

Annie joined Omega Funds in 2015. She focuses on private company investing, particularly in the areas of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and technology platforms. Annie also manages relationships with academic institutions, including Omega’s strategic relationship with MIT.

Prior to joining Omega, she spent three years at MIT’s Technology Licensing Office as a licensing associate and associate licensing officer, where she managed a portfolio of drug delivery and biotechnology inventions. Annie also worked as an independent consultant for Nelsen Biomedical, where she performed...Read more

Dylan Morris

Dylan Morris is General Partner at Charles River Ventures where he is responsible for building CRV's new bioengineering practice. Previously he was a member of the Investment Team at Eric Schmidt-backed Innovation Endeavors.

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Clodagh O'Shea

Dr. O’Shea earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from University College Cork, Ireland. She did her doctorate in Immunology at the I.C.R.F. and Imperial College London, revealing key signals that regulate the development of our immune systems. After her graduate studies, she was selected for a Raleigh International expedition to Namibia where she worked on environmental, conservation and development projects. She did her postdoctoral research in Dr. Frank McCormick’s lab at UCSF on the prototype for oncolytic viral cancer therapy, ONYX-015. ...Read more

David Rampulla

Dr. Rampulla is a Program Director at the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). He manages a long-standing program in biomaterials and the recently established program in synthetic biology.Read more

Kole Roybal

Dr. Roybal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a full member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and an inaugural Chan Zuckerberg Biohub investigator.Read more

David Schaffer

David Schaffer is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience at University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as the Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1993. Afterward, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his Ph.D. also in Chemical Engineering in 1998 with Professor Doug Lauffenburger, while minoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. Finally, he conducted a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Fred Gage at the Salk...Read more

Pamela Silver

Pamela Silver is the Elliot T and Onie H Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. She is also a member of the Harvard University Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Her group combines lessons from Nature to the design of new organisms for both discovery and applications.Read more

David Sprinzak

David Sprinzak is an assistant professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Tel-Aviv University. He has graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a BSc in physics and mathematics. He then earned his MSc and PhD in solid-state physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Afterwards, he worked for several years as the head of physics and engineering at the startup biotech company Quantomix Ltd, where he was involved in developing electron microscopy of hydrated samples. He then went back to academia and did his postdoctoral training...Read more

Nevin Summers

Nevin Summers serves as Executive Director for the MIT Synthetic Biology Center and Research Scientist-Architect in the Weiss Lab. In these roles he recently helped organize the First International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop and the Pfizer-MIT Partnership in Synthetic Biology. He is Founder and President of Novation, Inc., a consultancy providing due diligence, business planning, corporate development, and technology assessment services to venture capitalists, universities, and life science companies. Previously, Nevin was Director of Corporate Development for...Read more

Susumu Tonegawa

Susumu Tonegawa received his Ph.D. from UCSD. He then undertook postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute in San Diego, before working at the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, where he performed his landmark immunology experiments. Tonegawa won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987 for “his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity.” He has since continued to make important contributions but in an entirely different field: neuroscience. Using advanced techniques of gene manipulation, Tonegawa is now unraveling the molecular,...Read more


Proceedings of the Fifth International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop are now available: