Douglas DensmoreView all speakers
Douglas Densmore received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at SynBERC and the Joint BioEnergy Institute.
Densmore’s research centers on extracting design techniques from electronic design automation and applying them to the design of synthetic biological systems. The Clotho unified tool set – a two-time winner of the “best software tool” at the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition – captures many of these research concepts. He received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award and the ECE Award for Excellence in Teaching at BU, and he is currently a junior faculty fellow in the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science and Engineering at BU. He is also the co-founder and president of the Nona Research Foundation for open source synthetic biology software.
In this talk, I will outline an example of how starting with a high level specification of a desired synthetic genetic circuit, a fully realized DNA sequence can be produced with minimum human interaction in an academic environment. Key to this process is the formalized expression of primitive building blocks, functional equivalence, assembly plan optimization, data persistence, and liquid handling protocol generation. In addition, I will hypothesize on how this process can be scaled to industrial settings and outline the current software ecosystems I see emerging in the field.