7:30 am
Registration Opens & Coffee Networking

8:20 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Grant Murphy Executive Director, Discovery Biologics , Merck & Co.

Driving the Future of Synthetic Biology: Novel Ideas from Academia

8:30 am Detecting Complex Biomarker Profiles with Synthetic Biology

  • Ron Weiss Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • Detecting complex biomarker profiles that are indicative of different disease states
  • Exploring how complex non-binary regions of biomarker profiles can be customized with a machine learning algorithm
  • Experimental validation in mammalian cells indicates an ability to modify and customize decision boundaries

9:00 am Engineering Molecular Perceptrons for Disease Classification: Opportunities with RNA-based Circuits


  • Recognizing multi-input molecular patterns as disease indicators
  • Leveraging RNA strand displacement circuits for pattern recognition
  • Concluding that molecular classifiers yield robust diagnostics

9:30 am Panel Discussion: The Integration of Academia & Industry in Synthetic Biology

  • Lee Cooper Senior Director, Venture Investments, Leaps by Bayer
  • Ron Weiss Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Maria Soloveychik Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, SyntheX


  • What can be done to improve collaboration between academia and industry?
  • How do we translate novel cutting-edge ideas into meaningful and effective therapies?
  • What will be the next big idea from academia to be translated?

10:15 am Delivering the Next Generation of Gene Synthesis: How Semiconductor Based DNA Synthesis & Gene Assembly Will Put Fast, Accurate Gene Synthesis in Every Lab


  • Synthetic biology based therapeutics such as antibodies or RNA vaccines demand long, accurate DNA fast, to support and accelerate development cycles
  • Today, supply of long DNA is slow, often unreliable, and constitutes one of the key bottlenecks in development cycle
  • Evonetix is developing a completely new approach to preparing long accurate DNA, bringing turnaround from weeks to days, and putting synthesis directly into the labs of users

10:25 am
Morning Break & Networking

Applying Computation & Directed Evolution to Advance Synthetic Biology

11:00 am Therapeutic Enzyme Engineering Using a Generative Neural Network

  • Stuart Licht Scientific Director, Protein Science, Moderna


  • Enhancing the potency of mRNA therapeutics with enzyme engineering, potentially enabling lower and less-frequent dosing in the treatment of rare diseases
  • Developing an enzyme engineering method based on deep latent variable modeling of sequence coevolution and automated protein library design/construction
  • Applying this generative deep learning approach to engineering of ornithine transcarbamylase yielded a library of variants that exhibits, on average, improved stability and/or specific activity over wild-type, and which outperformed a control consensus library that did not incorporate residue-residue correlations

11:30 am Engineered Enzymes for Potential Treatment of Inborn Errors of Metabolism


  • Inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs) are a huge area of unmet need
  • Wild-type enzymes often lack properties that would make them effective replacement therapies or transgenes
  • Discuss the application of our CodeEvolver® directed evolution platform to improve the stability, efficacy, and immunogenicity risk profile of enzymes for treating IEMs

12:00 pm Leveraging Machine Learning & Automation to Systematically Guide Synthetic Biology


  • Leveraging machine learning to recommend synthetic biology targets, as an effective tool to predicts biological system behavior, empowering the learn phase of the Design-Build-Test-Learn (DBTL) cycle
  • Using machine learning to predict biological system behavior and guide thesynthetic biology process without the need of a detailed mechanistic understanding
  • Exploring the current limitations of machine learning and the future needs of the field

12:30 pm
Lunch Break & Networking

1:30 pm Utilizing Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning to Optimize Antibody-Based Therapeutics

  • Yu Qiu Digital Biologics Advanced Application Lead, Sanofi


  • Building the digital biologics platform at Sanofi for the future of antibody-based therapeutics
  • Outlining contribution to pipeline projects by improving the properties of engineered antibodies

2:00 pm Panel Discussion: How Can We Harmonize Wet Lab/Dry Lab?


  • Leveraging existing data and unlocking its use in AI applications that can be translated to wet lab
  • Overcoming the cultural challenges when integrating biological and computational ideals

Leveraging Engineered Biology as a Tool for Drug Discovery & Development

2:30 pm Implementing & Accelerating Genome Mining for Drug Discovery


  • Reinventing drug discovery by mining genetically encoded small molecules (GEMs) from the biosphere
  • Identifying the most promising biosynthetic gene clusters and their products
  • Determining the biological activities of candidate molecules before pursuing further development of those that show promise

3:00 pm
Afternoon Break & Networking

3:30 pm Revolutionizing Drug Discovery with Directed Evolution, Machine Learning & uHTP Screening

  • Grant Murphy Executive Director, Discovery Biologics , Merck & Co.


  • Utilizing machine learning and directed evolution platforms for therapeutics enzymes and non-traditional antibody scaffolds
  • Developing a mammalian host based directed evolution platform
  • Leveraging computation, novel devices (i.e. microfluidics) and automation

From Lab to Production: Synthetic Biology & Manufacturing

4:00 pm Scaling Up Manufacturing for Microbial-based Products

  • Tariq Warsi Head of Technical Operations, Novome Biotechnologies


  • Reviewing the current method to manufacture bacteria: what are the limitations when trying to scale?
  • Exploring the difficulties in manufacturing when utilizing synthetic control elements
  • Understanding the challenges in quality control across batches when scaling up for clinical and commercial production

4:30 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Conference