(President and CEO, Genome Canada)

Dr. Pierre Meulien was appointed President and CEO of Genome Canada in October 2010. Prior to this appointment, he served as Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia from 2007 to 2010. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Meulien served as the founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland) which linked the three medical schools and six teaching hospitals in Dublin to build a critical mass in molecular medicine and translational research. The Centre managed the Euro 45 Million “Program for Human Genomics” financed by the Irish government and was responsible for coordinating the successful application for the first Welcome Trust funded Clinical Research Centre to be set up in Ireland. For over 20 years, Dr. Meulien has managed expert research teams with a number of organizations, including Aventis Pasteur in Toronto (Senior Vice President of R&D), and in Lyon, France (Director of Research). He also spent seven years with the French biotechnology company Transgene in Strasbourg, France as a research scientist and part of the management team. Dr. Meulien’s academic credentials include a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and a post-doctoral appointment at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.


(Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley)

Jay Keasling received his B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Nebraska in 1986; his Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1991; and did post-doctoral work in Biochemistry at Stanford University from 1991-1992. Keasling joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley as an assistant professor in 1992, where he is currently the Hubbard Howe Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering. Keasling is also a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Berkeley, a Sr. Faculty Scientist and Associate Laboratory Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chief Executive Officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. Dr. Keasling’s research focuses on engineering microorganisms for environmentally friendly synthesis of small molecules or degradation of environmental contaminants. Keasling’s laboratory has engineered bacteria and yeast to produce polymers, a precursor to the anti-malarial drug artemisinin, and advanced biofuels and soil microorganisms to accumulate uranium and to degrade nerve agents.


(Amyris Inc.)

Dr. Chandran is the head of the Automated Strain Engineering (ASE) group at Amyris Inc. Their mission is to provide a platform for high-throughput rational strain engineering and hypotheses testing. His main interests are in the engineering of metabolic pathways to enable the sustainable and cost-effective industrial-scale production of a wide-range of chemicals, and in developing molecular biology tools that enable strain engineering to occur at a rapid pace.

Dr. Chandran obtained a Bachelors degree in Chemistry from Mumbai University, India; a Masters degree in Organic chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai; a Ph.D. in Organic chemistry from Michigan State University with Prof. John Frost; and a post-doctoral fellowship in Biochemistry with Prof. Ronald Raines at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.



(Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary)

Dr. Peter Facchini is Professor of Plant Biochemistry in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary and holds the Canada Research Chair in Plant Metabolic Processes Biotechnology. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1991 and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Kentucky and the Université de Montréal prior to his faculty appointment at the University of Calgary in 1995. His research is focused on basic and applied aspects of specialized metabolite production in plants and microbes. In particular, he has been working for the past two decades toward a comprehensive understanding of the biochemistry, molecular and cell biology of pharmaceutical alkaloid metabolism in opium poppy, and he is regarded as the international authority in the field. His research team has made numerous important scientific contributions including the isolation of several key genes involved in the biosynthesis of morphine, codeine and other compounds, the establishment of the world’s largest collection of genomics resources for opium poppy and related plants, the identification of the specific cell types that participate in alkaloid biosynthesis, and the metabolic engineering of economically important plants. His research is funded from diverse sources ranging from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to industrial contracts. He has been awarded two Canada Foundation for Innovation grants for major research infrastructure, and is the Project Leader for a large-scale Genome Canada grant (www.phytometasyn.com) aimed at the commercial production of high-value plant metabolites in synthetic biosystems. He has published over 100 research papers and scholarly articles. Among numerous media appearances, his work has been featured on the CBC National News and the Discovery Channel, in the Globe and Mail and the National Post, and in newspapers and current events programs around the world. He received the C.D. Nelson Award in 2003 from the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists as the outstanding young plant biologist in Canada.


(Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Ron Weiss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering and in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently serves as the Director of MIT’s newly formed Synthetic Biology Center.  Weiss received his PhD from MIT in 2001 and held a faculty appointment at Princeton University between 2001 and 2009. His research focuses primarily on synthetic biology, where he programs cell behavior by constructing and modeling biochemical and cellular computing systems. A major thrust of his work is the synthesis of gene networks that are engineered to perform in vivo analog and digital logic computation. He is also interested in programming cell aggregates to perform coordinated tasks using cell-cell communication with chemical diffusion mechanisms such as quorum sensing. He has constructed and tested several novel in vivo biochemical logic circuits and intercellular communication systems. Weiss is interested in both hands-on experimental work and in implementing software infrastructures for simulation and design work. For his work in synthetic biology, Weiss has received MIT's Technology Review Magazine's TR100 Award ("top 100 young innovators", 2003), was selected as a speaker for the National Academy of Engineering's Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (2003), received the E. Lawrence Keyes, Jr./Emerson Electric Company Faculty Advancement Award at Princeton University (2003), his research in Synthetic Biology was named by MIT's Technology Review Magazine as one of "10 emerging technologies that will change your world" (2004), was chosen as a finalist for the World Technology Network’s Biotechnology Award (2004), and was selected as a speaker for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science Symposium (2005). 


(Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School and The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University)

Pamela Silver is the Elliot T and Onie H Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.  She received her BS in Chemistry and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California where she was an NIH Pre-doctoral Fellow. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University where she was a Fellow of the American Cancer Society and The Medical Foundation. Subsequently, she was an Assistant Professor in Molecular Biology at Princeton University where she was an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, a Scholar of the March of Dimes and an NSF Presidential Young Investigator. She moved to Harvard Medical School where she was a Professor in the Dept of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. She was named a Claudia Adams Barr Investigator and awarded the Mentoring Award for the PhD Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. In 2004, she became one of the first members of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and the first Director of the Harvard University PhD Program in Systems Biology. In 2009, she became one of the founding members of the Harvard University Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Her work was recognized by an Innovation Award at BIO2007 and has been funded by grants from the NIH, DOD, DOE, DATPA, NSF, Novartis, Merck and The Keck Foundation. She currently holds an NIH MERIT award. She has served on numerous government and private advisory panels.  She was recently appointed as a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute.  Her laboratory works in diverse areas of Systems and Synthetic Biology.  The main focus areas include predictable design and re-programming of biological systems and designing sustainability.



(Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto)

Dr. Mahadevan received his B.Tech (1997) from Indian Institute of Technology, India and Ph.D. (2002) from University of Delaware, U.S.A, both in Chemical Engineering. He then worked as research scientist in both university and private sectors: University of Massachusetts, Genomatica Inc., University of California, University of Delaware, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.  

Prof. Mahadevan’s research interests include: modeling and analysis of metabolic and regulatory networks, systems biology, metabolic engineering, bioremediation, bioenergy and bioprocess optimization. His lab is focused on developing methods and tools for computational representing cellular function such as metabolism. Our ability to query biological systems allows the identification of the key players in metabolism and their interactions. Such knowledge can be transferred into a mathematical model, which is then used to drive the rational design of cellular function analogous to the design of devices and machines in engineering. Our lab uses such a model-based approach to engineer cells to make fuels, chemical, electricity as well as clean-up ground water.



(Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo)

Dr. Scott’s research is directed toward reverse-engineering the last universal ancestor of life as we now see it. A fundamental element of that program is to determine constraints on gene expression imposed by autonomous reproduction and growth. Recently, several empirical relations linking growth rate and gene expression were established in bacteria that suggest that biological complexity may belie simple operating principles.

Dr. Scott received his B.Sc. (1998) in Chemistry from the University of Calgary and his Ph.D. (2005) in Applied Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. He then worked as a Postdoctoral fellow at The Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at the University of California, San Diego (Supervisor: Terry Hwa).



(Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa)

Dr. Kaern is a promising young scientist who has authored over 30 scientific publications collectively cited more than 1000 times. With expertise in yeast genomics, genetic engineering, dynamical systems theory and computational modelling, Dr. Kaern focuses on complex gene regulatory processes. This research aims at understanding fundamental properties governing cellular signal processing and transduction to facilitate advances in biotechnology, biopharmaceutical and biomedicine. He is the founder and senior advisor of the University of Ottawa Genetically Engineered Machines technology incubator.

Dr. Kaern received his B.Sc. (1995) and M.Sc. (1997) from the University of Copenhagen. He was a doctoral stipendiary with the Danish Research Academy from 1997 to 2000, and completed his Ph.D. thesis research on chemical and biological morphogenesis at the University of Toronto in 2001. As a postdoctoral fellow of the Danish Research agency, he went to Boston University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering working with McArthur “Genius” Award recipient Dr. James Collins and National Academy of Science members Dr. Nancy Kopell and Dr. Charles Cantor.

Dr. Kaern was appointed Canada Research Chair in Systems Biology in 2004. He is a core member of the Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, and an Assistant Professor of Cellular & Molecular Medicine with cross-appointment in the Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa. He was named among the “Top 50 People in the Capital” by Ottawa Life Magazine in 2005, and received the Government of Ontario’s Early Research Award in 2008. His Canada Research Chair was renewed in 2009.

Dr. Kaern’s research program has received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the National Science and Engineering Research Council; the Canadian Foundation for Innovation; the Canadian Research Chair Program; Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation; MITACS and the University of Ottawa.


(John Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Joel S. Bader, Ph.D., (joel.bader@jhu.edu, www.baderzone.org) is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and is a member of the High Throughput Biology Center at the School of Medicine, with secondary appointments in Computer Science and Human Genetics.  Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bader was employed by CuraGen Corporation (1995-2003) and is co-inventor of the Roche/454 Genome Sequencer.  Dr. Bader has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley (1991), where he was an NSF Predoctoral Fellow, and performed post-doctoral research at Columbia University (1992-1995).  Dr. Bader has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Lehigh University (1986, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi).

Research in the Bader lab focuses on systems and synthetic biology: mapping and analyzing biological pathways; connecting genes and pathways to disease; and designing and building genomes.  Work in the Bader lab is funded by NIH, NSF CAREER, DOE, Microsoft, and the Kleberg Foundation.


(Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Joint BioEnergy Institute, Berkeley)

Dr. Hillson’s research goals are: to coordinate and direct the development of the JBEI-ICE Repository, the characterization and standardization of biological parts, the computer-aided design of biological pathways and circuits invoking the standardized parts, and the automated assembly of the pathways and incorporation thereof into microbial hosts such as E. coli and S. cerevisiae, towards the sustainable production of clean biofuels.

Dr. Hillson received his B.A. (1999) in Physics Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University, Houston. He received his Ph.D. (2004) in Biophysics from Harvard Medical School, Boston. He then worked as a Postdoctoral fellow in Microbiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.