Heather Dewey-Hagborg


Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a Chicago-based transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and critical practice.

She has shown work internationally at events and venues including the World Economic Forum, Shenzhen Urbanism and Architecture Bienniale, the New Museum, and PS1 MOMA. Her work has been widely discussed in the media, from the New York Times and the BBC to TED and Wired. She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a 2016 Creative Capital award grantee in the area of Emerging Fields.

From the entry about Dewey-Hagborg on Wikipedia:

"She is most noted for her project Stranger Visions: a series of portraits created from DNA she recovered from discarded items, such as hair, cigarettes and chewing gum... From the extracted DNA, she determined gender, ethnicity and other factors and then used face-generating software and a 3D printer to create a 3D portrait."

@hdeweyh on Twitter

Heather Dewey Hagborg.com

Sebastian Cocioba


Scientific consultant at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Plant Biotechnology researcher with a focus on the production of commercially and industrially valuable plant species. Owner of New York Botanics, LLC, a plant biotech R&D laboratory with a specialization in orchid micropropagation.

From a piece Cocioba is featured in from the Wall Street Journal, Instead of Computer Code 'Plant Hackers' Tinker with Genetics:

"He is almost entirely self-taught. He studied biology at Stony Brook University, but dropped out. For several years, he cloned orchids—a process of growing new plants from pieces of other plants—to sell to local florists. Slowly he built up his lab and began to better understand the delicate process of altering plant DNA, mostly through reading online and discussing projects with other would-be plant hackers."

@NewYorkBotanics on Twitter

Drew Endy


Drew Endy, Ph.D. is a long time BioHacker and leader in the field of Synthetic Biology. He is faculty in Stanford’s Bioengineering program and board president of the BioBricks Foundation (BBF). Esquire named Endy one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. His support for the community is manifested through helping create the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, the BIOFAB, the SB conference series, the US Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center(SynBERC). Drew is also a vocal advocate for open science and cross-disciplinary innovation. This is exhibited in a recent paper he co-authored with Laurie Zoloth, “Should We Synthesize a Human Genome?”. It’s also evident in his collaborations with designers and social scientists for the 2014 Synthetic Aesthetics project, as well as his involvement in the SynbioLEAP program.

@DrewEndy on Twitter

Drew Endy @ Stanford

Thomas Landrain

Thomas Landrain is co-founder and president of La Paillasse ['The Bench' in french, and to be pronounced 'Lah Payass'], the first french and one of the world largest community labs that fosters open science and technology. He claims that there is no monopole for great ideas and has been working on rebooting Science for the upcoming era of collective intelligence, fast prototyping and big data. He first did a career in academia after graduating in Genetics from Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and co-founded the first french synthetic biology lab at Genopole where he did his PhD. He is also co-founder and CEO of PILI, a synthetic biology startup that uses fermentation to produce natural dyes for the textile, ink and cosmetic industry in place of petrochemistry and the agroindustry.

Thomas is a strong advocate of open science and one of the most prominent spokesman for biohacking/DIYbio, regularly invited as an international speaker to share his visions and thoughts on the upcoming open biotech revolution.

Today, La Paillasse has grown into an international network of laboratories with all necessary resources to conduct prototyping and R&D projects, available to any person wishing to use it. It attracts a large number of explorers, entrepreneurs, scientists and creators.

Finally, La Paillasse is experimenting on formats that could enable a more open, distributed and cooperative scientific research. Their first proof of concept is Epidemium, an open science program for the advance of Cancer Epidemiology that only uses and produces Open Data, launched in partnership with Roche Laboratories. For its first edition, Epidemium has mobilized more than 300 independent researchers in the region of Paris during 6 months, conducting to the creation of 15 different open research projects. La Paillasse is now working with academic and industrial partners on scaling this first promising experiment internationally and on more diverse research subjects.

@tholand_ on Twitter


Megan J. Palmer

Megan Palmer_604x270

Megan J. Palmer is a scientist and engineer turned policy wonk who is fascinated by biological systems from molecular to social scales. She is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation(CISAC) at Stanford University where she leads a research and practice program on international biotechnology governance. She also founded and is executive director of SynbioLEAP, an international fellowship program in biotechnology leadership, and helps lead the Human Practices and Safety programs of the iGEM Competition. Megan spent 5 years leading the Policy and Practices portfolio of the multi-university NSF Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc), and has advised numerous academic, civil society, government and industry organizations on their approaches to the responsible development of emerging technologies.

@meganjpalmer on Twitter


Structure Films + Kate McLean

L to R: “Particle Fever” director Mark Levinson with David, Kate, and Jason at the Tribeca Film Festival
Structure Films is the collaborative filmmaking duo of David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, who met in Stanford’s Documentary Film and Video Production MFA program. Kate McLean is a writer, producer and filmmaker and regular Structure Films collaborator.

Notable projects include:

  • The Immortalists, “Two eccentric scientists struggle to create eternal youth in a world they call “blind to the tragedy of old age.”
  • De-extinction, a short that probes the use of biotechnology to bring back extinct species. With Stewart Brand, Ben Novak, the Passenger pigeon, the Tasmanian tiger, and the Pyrenean ibex.
  • The Untitled Bill Nye Documentary, in production. At the time of its launch, the project beat out Spock and broke the record for the most funded documentary on Kickstarter.

@David on Twitter | @Kate on Twitter | @Jason on Twitter


Cory Tobin


I did my B.S. in biochemistry at California Lutheran University and myPhD in plant genetics at the Caltech in the Meyerowitz Lab. I have taught biology at Caltech and chemistry at CLU. I cofounded TheLab (formerly LA Biohackers), a biohackerspace in LA and currently run the day-to-day operations as its president. I worked on and published a project identifying an oxygen-tolerant nitrogenase in a bacteria species which turned out to not actually be a nitrogenase (yay for publishing negative results!). I now help newbies get their science projects off the ground meanwhile trying to coax proteins to do complex organic synthesis reactions using janky homebuilt equipment. I have made many underwhelming scientific contributions including one paper so fresh and underground it has never been cited in six years.

@TheLAb on Twitter


Michal Galdzicki


Michal Galdzicki is a biohacker. During the day he is a boring computational scientist working at Arzeda, a biotechnology company that designs cell factories for the production of chemicals. At night he hearkens back to the lab bench to teach biotechnology and genotype salmon at SoundBio in Seattle, Washington. He received a PhD in Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Washington in 2012. As part of his dissertation research he co-founded the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) an information exchange standard for biological engineering.

Citizen Salmon

Kate Adamala


Kate Adamala is a biochemist and bioengineer, interested in building synthetic life.
She is an assistant professor in Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at University of Minnesota.
Kate wanted to be an astrobiologist since she learned it's a real job watching science fiction movies growing up. By the time she was old enough, there were no PhD programs in extraterrestrial biology (due to the severe shortage of specimens at the time), so she went on to studying the origin of life on Earth and the chemical boundaries of biochemistry, building protocells.

@kateadamala on Twitter


David Brown


I am an Oxford trained Biochemist, and Cell Biologist who recently moved from the Klose Lab in the UK to the Bay Area to work with Bo Huang’s group at UCSF. I am particularly enjoying working in this dynamic, collaborative atmosphere and I am excited to be developing new molecular tools that will advance basic research and improve our ability to edit genes in clinically relevant cell types. I am really looking forward to the first BioHTP, and meeting with creative thinkers from a wide-range of backgrounds. I hope my talk will illustrate some of the ways academic groups are co-opting diverse biological systems to engineer new solutions, and I look forward to seeing you there.

David Ishee


David is a self taught biohacker from Mississippi who originally got into Biohacking as as extension of his dog breeding program. He's been breeding dogs for most of his life and feels strongly that genetic engineering and advanced biotechnology are needed to fix the genetic problems facing most populations of domestically bred animals. David wants to prove that the technology to create genetically modified animals has advanced to the point that it's now within the reach of dog breeders with minimal equipment and cost. His immediate goals are to demonstrate this by creating a litter of genetically modified dogs in his shed and then provide the knowledge gained to other animal breeders.


Mary Maggic


Artist, biohacker, & xenofeminist based at MIT Media Lab, and member of the global Hackteria network

@diysect on Twitter


David Kong


David Sun Kong, Ph.D., is a synthetic biologist, community organizer, musician, and photographer. He conducted his graduate studies at MIT’s Media Laboratory, receiving a Master’s degree in nanotechnology and a Ph.D. in synthetic biology. He currently conducts research at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, where he is a world leader in developing microfluidic, “lab-on-a-chip” biotechnologies. He was recognized as an emerging leader in synthetic biology as a “LEAP” fellow, served as a guest faculty member at the Marine Biology Lab in Woods Hole, and is managing faculty of “How To Grow (Almost) Anything,” an international course on biotechnology. David is also the founder and director of EMW, a community center in Cambridge MA with a mission of empowering communities through art and technology. As a musician, David has performed as a DJ, beat-boxer, vocalist, and rapper at hundreds of venues. His photography has been exhibited at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian and other museums and galleries across the U.S.

davidsunkong on Twitter


Elizabeth Hénaff


Elizabeth Hénaff was born of French/American parents in Austin in 1981, grew up in France, and has since lived in the US, Japan and Spain. She received a BS in Computer Science, an MS in Plant Biology (both from UT Austin) and a PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of Barcelona. The impetus behind her research is a fascination with the way living beings interact with their environment. She has made contributions to understanding how plants respond to the force of gravity, how plant genome structure changes in response to stress, and most recently has turned her attention to the ubiquitous and invisible microbial component of our environment. She has consistently made the tools - software, wetware, hardware - needed to answer her research questions, and enjoys both this process and the goal equally. Her interests in biological interactions and data visualization have inspired her to create interactive installations, and she has collaborated with artists and musicians in Barcelona, Paris and New York designing custom interactive visuals for their events. She currently works as a postdoc at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

e_lzbth on Twitter

Elizabeth Henaff

Eri Gentry


Eri Gentry is cofounder and president of BioCurious, the first hackerspace for biology. She’s a research manager at the non-profit think tank, Institute for the Future (IFTF), where she studies the future of science, technology, and being human.

She was previously VP of Open Innovation at Scanadu, a Silicon Valley startup bringing medical tools for the people to the people, Community Manager at Genomera, a startup putting crowdsourced clinical trials online, and CEO, cofounder of Livly, a cancer research company on a mission to end killer diseases.

She has been named to the Techonomy Top Ten list, called a Popular Mechanics' Hometown Hero and was selected as a White House Champion of Change for Citizen Science.

Her storied history also includes gigs as a Vidal Sassoon hair model, a college athlete, and a lunch lady.

She has a BA in Economics from Yale University and a cool dog named Ender.

erigentry on Twitter


Nick Moench


Nick Moench is an applied biohacker who runs Inoculum Ale Works Brewery in Spring Hill, FL. He likes to ferment things with bacteria and yeast but he likes to drink things made with bacteria and yeast even more.

Inoculum Ale Works

Anthony Di Franco


Anthony Di Franco works at the intersections of complex adaptive systems and computing and focuses on decentralizing infrastructure and increasing the agency of individuals and communities. He is a co-founder and board member of Counter Culture Labs, a group of biohackers in Oakland, where he founded the Open Insulin project. In addition to working on Open Insulin, he is a PhD student in computer science at UC Davis, where he is researching tools for declarative programming with uncertain information. Previously, he designed and implemented the accounting and transaction-planning system for decentralized finance of Credibles, a crowd-finance platform that hosted Oakland’s People’s Community Market’s direct public offering.

dfko_0 on Twitter

The Open Insulin project

Mario Furloni


MARIO FURLONI is a Brazilian filmmaker and cinematographer based in Oakland, California. He is the director of the documentaries First Friday (2015, co-directed with N’Jeri Eaton) and Pot Country (2012, co-directed with Kate McLean).  Mario studied documentary filmmaking at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he was a Carnegie-Knight News21 fellow, and his documentary / journalism work has appeared on PBS, New York Times and TIME, among others. Most recently he shot the Sundance short After My Garden Grows, by Academy Award winning director Megan Mylan.  He’s currently developing the feature Freeland, supported by IFP and San Francisco Film Society.

Patrik D'haeseleer


Patrik D'haeseleer is co-founder and chair of Counter Culture Labs, Oakland's community lab for biohacking and citizen science. Patrik is a research scientist in metagenomics, systems biology and synthetic biology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. All of his professional work is computational in nature, but he always had a yearning to learn more about the hands-on wetlab side of things as well. So when he heard about DIYbio he jumped on the opportunity, and became one of the early members at BioCurious in 2010. He was community projects coordinator at BioCurious for several years, including running the now-dormant Bioluminescence project (that gave rise to the Glowing Plant project), and the BioPrinter project which he still helps run to this day. In 2013 he helped start Counter Culture Labs in Oakland, where he is now one of the main catherders. He has been instigator/troublemaker/contributor to a wide range of projects, including the BioPrinter, Ghost Heart, Vegan Cheese, BioSunBlock, Open Insulin, and more.

@countrcultrlabs on Twitter


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