Volterra: Christopher Voigt - Programming Cells

Combining computational and experimental approaches, MIT-Professor Christopher Voigt has made outstanding contributions to the fields of synthetic biology and biological engineering. In the beginning of May he guests our Volterra Lecture Series in Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen, to offer his approach on programming cells.

Volterra Lecture: Programming Cells

Cells respond to their environment, make decisions, build structures, and coordinate tasks. Underlying these processes are computational operations performed by networks of regulatory proteins that integrate signals and control the timing of gene expression. Harnessing this capability is critical for biotechnology projects that require decision-making, control, sensing, or spatial organization.

Tuesday May 7. 2019
, 13:15 - 14:15 (NB! New timing!)
Place: Bikuben, Kristine Bonnevies Hus, Blindernvien 31, University of Oslo 

Thursday May 9. 2019
, 13:15 - 14:15
Place: Kjemiblokk 5 - Auditorium K5, NTNU

Friday May 10. 2019
, 13:30 - 14:30
Place: Store auditorium, Høyteknologisenteret, University of Bergen

Chris Voigt has been said to have pioneered a fundamentally new approach to genetic engineering at the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. He explains the focus of his lab as to «develop new experimental and theoretical methods to push the scale of genetic engineering, with the ultimate objective of genome design. This will impact the engineering of biology for a broad range of applications, including agriculture, materials, chemicals, and medicine.»

Voigt develops biological tools where the genetic elements of the cells are ‘switches’, like the circuits in a computer. The synthetic genetic elements enable the cell to take ‘input’ in the form of chemical signals, light or other environmental factors, and converting it to an ‘output’, such as a color change.

He also works on utilizing these tools in biotechnology, like that of producing useful compounds and in decomposing plastic or pollutants.

Christopher Voigt bio

Christopher Voigt, PhD is the Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology in the Biological Engineering Department at MIT.He is the Co-Director of the Synthetic Biology Center and co-founder of the MIT-Broad Foundry. He is the Editor-in-Chief of ACS Synthetic Biology. He holds joint appointments at the Broad Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), University of California – San Francisco, and Imperial College.He received his BSE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan (1998) and PhD in Biophysics from Caltech (2002). He is a founder of Pivot Bio (microbial agricultural products) and Asimov (genetic circuit design automation). He has served on the science advisory boards of DSM, Bolt Threads, Pivot Bio, SynLogic, Amyris Biotechnologies, Zymergen, Biomillenia, and Twist Bioscience. He has been honored with a National Security Science & Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF), Sloan Fellow, Pew Fellow, Packard Fellow, NSF Career Award, Vaughan Lecturer, MIT TR35, and SynBiobeta Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.

Volterra Lecture Series

The Centre for Digital Life has chosen to honour the Italian mathematical biologist Vito Volterra with a continuous lecture series with high profile contributors within the field of digital biotechnology and life sciences.

Vito Volterra became professor of rational mathematics at the University of Pisa in the late 1800s, where he developed his theory of functionals, leading to contributions within integral and integro-differential equations.


Kjetill S. Jakobsen

907 41 779


Tags: Volterra Lectures, Helse, Landbruk, Marin
Published Oct. 8, 2020 1:39 PM - Last modified Oct. 8, 2020 1:39 PM