a16z Podcast

All About Synthetic Biology

Episode Summary

With the field of synthetic biology -- which involves designing and engineering organisms to specific purposes -- exploding and driving both innovation and real-world impact from drug development to manufacturing and more, how did we get here? This episode digs deep with one of the pioneers of the synbio field.

Episode Notes

Over the last 20 years, the idea of “designing biology” has gone from science fiction to just science, as the field of synthetic biology has exploded, with applications from therapeutics to manufacturing and more. 

In this episode from January 2019, one of the pioneers in the field, professor James J. Collins of MIT, joins a16z general partner on the Bio + Health fund, Vijay Pande, and editorial partner Hanne Winarsky, to discuss the origins of synthetic biology or "synbio", to what "engineering and designing" biology really looks like in action and the disciplinary differences between how biologists and engineers see the world.