2017 Speakers

Michael Eisen, PhD

Michael Eisen

Michael is Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at University of California, Berkeley. He is a leading advocate of open access scientific publishing and is co-Founder of Public Library of Science (PLOS). Eisen has announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate from California in 2018 as an Independent.

Sebastian Cocioba

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

Megan Palmer, PhD

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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.

@meganjpalmer on Twitter


Pawel Dominik, PhD


Talk title: Nature's biohackers: engineering new proteins with viruses

Pawel K. Dominik, PhD is an antibody engineer at UCSF, currently working on structural studies of membrane proteins. He uses biochemical and molecular biology techniques to exploit natural machinery of viruses and bacteria to generate synthetic antibody fragments. His interests focus on education, astrophysics, synthetic biology and means to bring science to general public. He received PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Chicago in 2015.

David Kong, PhD


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.

davidsunkong on Twitter


Rich Lee


Talk title: Gray Market Opportunities for cottage Bio: Exploiting regulation for fun and profit

Rich Lee, is one of the most well known individuals in the Biohacking and Grinder communities. He has multiple implants and has been a pioneer in developing safe and cutting edge technology.

Christina Palka

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Christina is a graduate student studying telomeres and telomerase using biochemical and single-molecule techniques. Her life goals include building a biological typewriter, promoting (non-crappy) scientific communication, studying plants in space, and free climbing El Cap. When she's not at the bench she can generally be found climbing mountains or cuddling with her cat.

Hank Greely, J.D.Hank

Henry T. (Hank) Greely is a law professor and professor, by courtesy, of genetics as well as director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University.  For more than 25 years he has worked on the ethical, legal, and social implications of advances in the biosciences.

Maria Chavez


Maria is the Executive Director of Biocurious a Biohackerspace in Silicon Valley.

Mixael Lauffer, PhDedit

Talk title: How to Torrent a Pharmaceutical Drug, File-Sharing Saves Lives.

Chief spokesman for the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, Mixæl Laufer worked in mathematics and high energy physics until he decided to use his background in science to tackle problems of world health and other social issues. Perpetually disruptive, he has developed the $30 Epi-Pencil and his most recent project makes it possible for people to manufacture their own medications at home. 

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.


Kristen V. Brown


Kristen is a Senior Writer at Gizmodo where she covers, Science, Technology and Biohacking.

Michael Flynn



Michael Flynn is Scientist and principal investigator (PI) in water recycling technology development at NASA Ames Research Center. He has over 25 years of experience in the development of advanced life support system, astrobiology, and fundamental space biology. He has over 100 peer reviewed publications in the field. He has received two R&D 100 Awards, a Wright Brothers Medal, an Arch T. Calwell Merit Award and an AIAA best space architecture paper award. Mr. Flynn has a BS in mechanical engineering from San Francisco State University

Gabriella Levine


Gabriella Levine is pioneer in open source hardware and bio-inspired design of robots. She currently works at Google's X-team designing hardware and other awesome stuff.

Geoff Woo


Talk title: Biohacking Metabolism

Geoff believes the team at HVMN is at the forefront of a massive revolution at the intersection of digital health, genomics, and things we consume. He holds a BS with Honors and Distinction in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Maureen Muldavin


Maureen is President of Counter Culture Labs, a Biohackerspace in Oakland, California.

Josiah Zayner, PhD


Talk title: How to Genetically Engineer a Human in your Garage

Dr. Josiah Zayner is constantly pushing the boundaries of Science outside traditional environments. He is the Founder and CEO of The ODIN, a company that is making genetic engineering available to consumers at home. 


Zach Mueller

Zach Mueller - Profile Pic

Talk title: Drawing Down CO2 with the Bionic Leaf Development Kit

Zach is a Data Scientist by day, but spends his evenings at SoundBio, the community lab he helped co-found in Seattle. With no biology or science background himself, he is passionate about making biotech more accessible to all. He is engaged in most of the community projects at his lab as well as helps to advise their high school community lab iGEM team.


Keoni Gandall