2017 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED)

June 20-23, 2017

SEED 2018 will take place June 3-7, 2018 in Scottsdale, AZ.

SEED 2019 will take place June 23-27, 2019 in New York, NY.

SEED 2017 was focused on advances in the science and technology emerging from the field of synthetic biology. This is broadly defined as technologies that accelerate the process of genetic engineering. The conference highlighted new tool development, as well as the application of these tools to diverse problems in biotechnology, including therapeutics, industrial chemicals and fuels, natural products, and agriculture. This year's theme was "building foundations of synthetic biology, scaling it up, and applying it to critical problems.” 

View the final program here

Keynote Speakers:



  • Eric Klavins, University of Washington
  • Reshma Shetty, Ginkgo Bioworks

Organizing Committee Includes:

  • Kobi Benenson, ETH Zurich
  • Kirsten Benjamin, Amyris
  • Matthew Bennett, Rice University
  • James Carothers, University of Washington
  • Stephanie Culler, Genomatica
  • Mary Dunlop, Boston University
  • Ryan Gill, University of Colorado
  • Karmella Haynes, Arizona State University
  • Michael Jewett, Northwestern University
  • Sri Kosuri, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Julius Lucks, Northwestern University
  • Axel Trefzer, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • David Breslauer, Bolt Threads

Featured Speakers

David Baker

David Baker is the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry, Director of the Institute for Protein Design, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and adjunct professor of Genome Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics at the University of Washington. 

He received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry with Randy Schekman at the University of California, Berkeley and did postdoctoral work in biophysics with David Agard at UCSF. His research group is focused on the prediction and design of macromolecular...Read more

Sarah O'Connor

Prof. Dr. Sarah Ellen O’Connor is Director of the Department of Natural Product Biosynthesis at the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology (Jena, Germany). She obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, and was an ACS Irving Sigal post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA) from 2001-2003. From 2003-2011 she was Assistant and Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from 2011-2019 she was a Project Leader and Professor in the Department of...Read more

Kristala Jones Prather

Kristala Jones Prather is the Arthur D. Little Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She received an S.B. degree from MIT in 1994 and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1999), and worked 4 years in BioProcess Research and Development at the Merck Research Labs prior to joining the faculty of MIT.

Her research interests are centered on the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules, with additional efforts in novel bioprocess design approaches. Prather is the recipient of an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator...Read more

Christina Smolke

Christina D. Smolke is Professor, Associate Chair of Education, and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar in the Department of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. Christina’s academic research program develops foundational tools that drive transformative advances in our ability to engineering biology.

Professor Smolke's research program focuses on developing modular genetic platforms for programming information processing and control functions in living systems, resulting in transformative technologies for engineering, manipulating, and...Read more


Proceedings of the 2017 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) are now available: