PLENARY KEYNOTE SESSION

Cambridge Healthtech Institute and the PEGS Summit Team is honored to announce that Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, will give a plenary keynote address at the PEGS Boston Virtual Summit on Monday, August 31. Dr. Church will be joined by the PEGS 2020 Young Scientist Keynote, Dr. Jamie Spangler, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

MONDAY, August 31 | 3:45 - 5:00 PM

3:45 Chairperson’s Remarks

Wittrup_DaneK. Dane Wittrup, PhD, J.R. Mares Professor, Chemical Engineering & Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

 

3:50 From Energy to Machine Learning

George Church, PhD, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

In 1974, I adapted energy optimization methods for use in models of nucleic acids, protein and their interactions, and then for use in crystallographic refinement. In the last days of the second millennium, David Baker's team won the Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP) by an unbelievable margin. Since then, our labs exchanged 3 PhD students (Dantas, Raman, Lajoie), for Wannier from Mayo's group, Stranges from Kuhlman, and Mandell from Kortemme. We engineered new sensor proteins for metabolic engineering, essential proteins with non-standard amino acids for biocontainment, and polymerase-pore fusions for nanopore sequencing. None of this prepared us for the revolution following Gleb Kuznetsov joining our lab in 2012, joined soon by Surge Biswas, Pierce Ogden, Ethan Alley, and Sam Sinai. Together we abruptly moved to "sequence only" deep machine learning for protein design ranging from fluorescent proteins to AAV capsids to antibodies. When combined with libraries of millions of designed gene segments from chip-synthesis and rapid testing, each design cycle can take large leaps in sequence space and function space.

4:15 The Case for Intelligent Design in Protein Engineering

Jamie Spangler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Directed evolution is in its prime, and it is deepening our understanding of biological systems and empowering therapeutic design. Recent breakthroughs in structural biology, computational design, and high-dimensional data analytics afford us the unprecedented opportunity to apply molecular, structural, and computational principles to guide protein engineering, employing a so-called “intelligent design” approach. This talk will highlight how my lab harnesses this interfacial approach to overcome the deficiencies of natural proteins.

4:40 Q&A, Session Wrap-Up

5:00 Happy Hour - View our Virtual Exhibit Hall

5:40 Close of Day

 

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES


George Church, PhD, Professor, Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Professor, Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Director, US Department of Energy Technology Center; Director, NIH Center of Excellence in Genomic Science

George M. Church, PhD ’84, is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence & dramatic cost reductions since then (down from $3 billion to $600), contributing to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies. His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications – including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme Disease and Malaria. Church is director of IARPA & NIH BRAIN Projects and National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. He has coauthored 450 papers, 105 patents, and one book, “Regenesis”. His honors include Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science, the Time 100, and election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.


Jamie B. Spangler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Jamie Spangler earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and went on to complete a PhD in Biological Engineering at MIT under the supervision of Professor K. Dane Wittrup. She conducted postdoctoral training in Professor K. Christopher Garcia’s lab at Stanford University School of Medicine, and then launched her independent research group at Johns Hopkins University in July 2017, jointly between the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Spangler’s lab, located in the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at the School of Medicine, applies structural and mechanistic insights to re-engineer existing proteins and design new proteins that therapeutically modulate the immune response. In particular, her group is interested in engineering immune molecules such as antibodies, cytokines, and growth factors for targeted treatment of diseases such as cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders. Dr. Spangler’s work has been recognized with honors including a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Career Development Fellowship, a V Foundation Scholar award, and a Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund Discovery award.

 

K. Dane Wittrup, PhD, J.R. Mares Professor, Chemical Engineering & Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Prof. Dane Wittrup attended the University of New Mexico as an undergraduate, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering in June 1984. Wittrup went on to attend the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, where he worked with Prof. James Bailey on flow cytometry and segregated modeling of recombinant populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. After obtaining his PhD in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biology in 1988, he spent a brief time working at Amgen before becoming an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. He moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in September of 1999, where he is now the C.P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering, in addition to working with the Koch Institute as the Associate Director for Engineering.


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