George Church, Ph.D.
Founding Core Faculty Member
Platform Lead, Synthetic Biology
Wyss Institute at Harvard University
Professor of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
Professor of Health Sciences and Technology
Harvard and MIT
George leads the Synthetic Biology Platform, where he oversees the directed evolution of molecules, polymers, and whole genomes to create new tools with applications in regenerative medicine and bioenergy. Among his recent work at the Wyss is development of a technology for synthesizing whole genes, and potentially whole gene circuits, that is faster, more accurate, and significantly less expensive than current methods. George is widely recognized for his innovative contributions to genomic science and his many pioneering contributions to chemistry and biomedicine. In 1984, he developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, which resulted in the first commercial genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori). He helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005. George invented the broadly applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. His many innovations have been the basis for a number of companies including Joule Unlimited, Inc. (solar fuels); LS9, Inc. (bio-petroleum); and Knome (full human genome sequencing).
George is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Center on Bioenergy at Harvard and MIT and Director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard. His has received numerous awards including the 2011 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute, the 2009 Promega Biotechnology Research Award from the American Society for Microbiology, and the number four spot on the 2008 list of The Scientist's top ten innovations.
In Episode 1 of the Disruptive: Bioinspired Robotics podcast from the Wyss Institute, George Church discusses his path to the work he does today and how some of his most exciting technologies are being translated...