Volterra Lecture by Christopher Voigt, MIT

Programming Cells

We are now at a stage where we can program living cells to perform specific computational tasks, detect and react to environmental changes or the occurrence of disease. Biological engineering will likely be a dominating field of technological developments of this century.


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. 

Combining computational and experimental approaches, MIT-Professor Christopher Voigt has made outstanding contributions to the fields of synthetic biology and biological engineering.

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.»

The lecture is hosted by Centre for Digital Life Norway and is free and open to anyone interested!

More information: https://digitallifenorway.org/gb/arrangements/volterra-christopher-voigt-programming-cells

Facebook-event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2543561552339782/


Bio on Christopher Voigt

Christopher Voigt 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 also the Editor-in-Chief of ACS Synthetic Biology and 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.