Technology and Synthetic Biology

Drew Endy

Arc Fusion Dinner | San Francisco | April 21, 2015

Drew Endy’s work and talk focusses on the tension between visions for the future and the practicality of dealing in the present, where companies need to be funded and developed, and his students need to learn about today’s technologies. “I can imagine living in the future where we’ve made living matter fully engineer-able,” he says, “but tomorrow I have to go tell them about printing DNA from scratch and how difficult that is with the tools that we have.” He talks about the powerful tools we are developing that will allow desktop DNA printers and personalized pharmaceutical companies.


Drew Endy

Associate Professor of Bioengineering, Stanford

Drew Endy developed the world’s first “fabless” genetic engineering teaching lab in the new Bioengineering program at Stanford and previously helped start the Biological Engineering major at MIT. His Stanford research team develops genetically encoded computers and redesigns genomes.
He co-founded the BioBricks Foundation as a public-benefit charity supporting free-to-use standards and technology that enable the engineering of biology ( He co-organized the International Genetically Engineered Machines ( competition, the BIOFAB International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology (, and Gen9, Inc. (
He serves on the US Committee on Science Technology and Law and is a new voting member of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He chaired the 2003 Synthetic Biology study as a member of DARPA ISAT, served as an ad hoc member of the US NIH Recombinant DNA Advisor Committee, and co-authored the 2007 “Synthetic Genomics: Options for Governance” report with colleagues from the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the J. Craig Venter Institute.
Esquire named Endy one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century.