George Church – Human Enhancement

George M. Church ►

George McDonald Church is an American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist. As of 2015, he is Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, and was a founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.

Church is known for his professional contributions in the sequencing of genomes and interpreting such data, in synthetic biology and genome engineering, and in an emerging area of neuroscience that proposes to map brain activity and establish a “functional connectome.” Among these, Church is known for pioneering the specialized fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He has co-founded commercial concerns spanning these areas, and others from green and natural products chemistry to infectious agent testing and fuel production, including Knome, LS9, and Joule Unlimited (respectively, human genomics, green chemistry, and solar fuel companies). As of 2015, according to Google Scholar, his most cited research has been published in peer reviewed scientific journals including PNAS, Nature genetics, nature reviews genetics the Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) conference, Nature Biotechnology, Science, the Journal of Molecular Biology, the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB) conference, the Journal of Bacteriology, Nature, Nature Methods, Genome Biology, Bioinformatics, PLOS Genetics, and Nucleic Acids Research.

Church has received accolades including election to the National Academy of Sciences (in 2011), and the National Academy of Engineering (in 2012). He received the American Society for Microbiology Promega Biotechnology Research Award and the heptannual Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science of the Franklin Institute.He authored the NewScientist “top science book,” Regenesis (on synthetic biology) with Ed Regis. Church is a regular contributor to and has appeared widely in the media, including TED venues, NOVA, Faces of America, and Charlie Rose on PBS, and on The Colbert Report.

Other honors include the Triennial International Steven Hoogendijk Award in 2010 and the Scientific American Top 50 twice (for “Designing artificial life” in 2005 and “The $1000 genome” in 2006). Newsweek picked Church for their 2008 “Power of Ideas” recognition in the category of Medicine (for the Personal Genome Project). In September 2010, Dr Church was honored for his work in genetics with the Mass High Tech All-Star Award.

He is a member of the Research Advisory Board of SENS Research Foundation.

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