From Incredible Cotton to Impending Ag: an insider’s look at superstuff: the future of food + ag on view at The Dish on 9/16

September 4, 2020 |

I’m as intrigued as I think you will be by a new East Coast-based accelerator based around the convergence of biology and engineering, which goes by the name of Petri, which is a such an obviously right for a bio-based accelerator that I wonder why no one thought of it before. Naturally for a group called Petri, their virtual engagement event this season is called The Dish, and I think you should check it out, and more here. Petri’s on a three-year mission to explore new science and boldly go where no ventures have gone before.

On September 16th, I’ll be moderating a panel called Superstuff: The Future of ag + food. Joining me will be Harvard’s Pam Silver, MIT’s Chris Voigt, GALY’s Luciano Bueno, Bernhard van Lengerich, the former CSO of General Mills now serving on the board of Beyond Meat.

GALY may be a new one to you, it’s a new entry in the field — most lately growing Incredible Cotton in the lab. Bernhard is likely more familiar to you — if you haven’t heard of General Mills or Beyond Meat, you’ve been on an interspace journey these past 100 years, but also worth noting that he’s advising the S2G Ventures fund. Pam Silver has appeared on out Top People in the Bioeconomy list and was one of the pioneer members of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, and is one of the co-inventors of the “bionic leaf” among a raft of accomplishments int he work of synthetic biology. The leaf is a water-splitter that makes energy from sunlight and can produce fertilizer from thin air, more or less. One of the finest minds around. Christopher Voigt’s lab is one of the real East Coast hotbeds of technology development. The founders of Asimov and Bolt Threads have emerged from his studentry. We’ve continued to profile Asimov as what we think is one of the five most interesting companies launched since 2000 in this space — it’s at the intersection of computer science and biology, developing tools of program living cells.

Petri was founded by MIT’s Tony Kulesa and one of the Digesterati, Brian Baynes — known better perhaps as the founder of Midori, Kaleido Biosciences, Celexion, and Codon Devices, and I think that when you spell check his first name it will auto-correct to Brain. The venture fund Pillar provided $15M commitment to back new companies via this acceleration model.

The Dish is September 16th, and you can find out more here. There’s a cast of luminaries that reminds us of the old MGM slogan “more stars than there are in heaven”, including:

Alec Neilson, Asimov
Daphne Koller, Insitro, Coursera
Emily Leproust, Twist Bioscience
George Church, Harvard Medical School
Jessica Green, Phylagen
JP Mangeolle, Danaher, Sciex, Phenomenex
Kathy Hibbs, 23andme
Luke Timmerman, Timmerman Report
Mimoun Cadosch Delmar, Matterworks
Nikin Theran, MedSix
Rayees Rahman, AIchemy
Reshma Shetty, Ginkgo Bioworks
Stan Lapidus, Exact Sciences, Cytyc
Stuart Cable, Goodwin
Virginia Burger, New Equilibrium Biosciences
Wade Roush, Author, Science Journalist
Sam Rodriques, Helios

We’ve profiled Twist, Asimov, Ginkgo many times in our pages, and a number of these individuals. To see them all in one place, at one time, for real dialogue on synbio’s frontiers — heady stuff. Be sure to join in.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.