Pamela Silver, Ph.D.
Founding Core Faculty Member
Pamela is building cell-based machines, designing novel therapeutics, and reengineering photosynthetic bacteria to produce hydrogen and other fuels. Among her most recent innovations is an artificial extracellular matrix that could become a highly effective and safe tool for regenerating bone, muscle, and other tissues. Constructed from engineered proteins and DNA structures, it can be precisely programmed to generate specific properties, such as atomic-scale stiffness and length. Pamela is also leading a project for the Department of Energy to develop new approaches for advanced microbial biofuels, as part of a national effort to accelerate innovation in clean technologies. Her team is developing a bacterium that uses electricity from renewable sources to convert carbon dioxide into gasoline.
In 2004, Pamela became one of the founding members of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, where she runs the Silver Lab, and the first Director of the Harvard University Graduate Program in Systems Biology. She is also a member of the Harvard Medical School Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the Harvard Biophysics and Chemical Biology Graduate Program. She received her BS in Chemistry and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California. Her achievements have been recognized with numerous awards including a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and an Innovation Award from BIO, the world's largest biotechnology organization. Her research has been funded by the Department of Defense, the Keck Foundation, Merck & Co., the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NSF, and Novartis. She currently holds an NIH MERIT award, which is given to researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity. She also initiated and co-directs the Harvard undergraduate team for the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition (iGEM).
In Episode 1 of the Disruptive: Bioinspired Robotics podcast from the Wyss Institute, Pamela Silver discusses what sort of breakthroughs are possible by modifying an organism’s genome...