Date(s) - 11/29/2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom
James J. Collins, Ph.D.
Termeer Professor, Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
James J. Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science as well as Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT. He is also affiliated with the Broad Institute and the Wyss Institute. His research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. Professor Collins’ patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 biotech, pharma and medical devices companies, and he has helped to launched a number of companies, including Sample6 Technologies, Synlogic and EnBiotix. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur “Genius” Award, an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, a Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, as well as several teaching awards. Professor Collins is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Dr. Collins is developing innovative ways to reprogram organisms, particularly bacteria, to perform desired tasks, such as detecting and treating infections. These programmed bacteria could lead to cheaper drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, and more effective treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections and a range of complex diseases. This work is part of the new field of synthetic biology, which Jim founded by combining science and engineering to construct biological circuits that can program organisms, much like we program computers now.