Pamela is building synthetic cells that act as sensors, memory devices, bio-computers, producers of high value commodities and energy from the sun, and novel subsystems such as proteins with designed properties for therapeutic use. Among her most recent innovations are bacteria that can sense and respond to gut inflammation and the Bionic Leaf, which couples sunlight capture to bioproduction at an efficiency exceeding plants. Understanding how to program cells in a rational way will have value in stem cell design, drug therapy and the environment.
Pamela is one of the founding members of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, where she runs the Silver Lab. She was the first Director of the Harvard University Graduate Program. Her work was recognized by an Innovation Award at BIO2007, and Innocentive Award and has been funded by grants from the NIH, DARPA, DOD, DOE, NSF, Novartis, Merck and The Moore Foundation. Pam was awarded an NIH MERIT award and became a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute. She has been named one of the top twenty Global Synthetic Biology Influencers, top 300 people in the Bioeconomy and was the Joseph Henry Lecturer at the Washington DC Philosophical Society. Pam has served on numerous government and private advisory panels. In 2012 Pam was named the Elliot T and Onie H Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard. She has served on numerous editorial boards including Nature Molecular Systems Biology, BMC Systems Biology, Genes and Development, ACS Synthetic Biology and BioRxiv. She was the Editor of Molecular Biology of the Cell and has served on the Council of the American Society for Cell Biology and on the Committee for Women in Cell Biology. She is one of the founders and on the Board of iGEM.org.