Christopher Voigt, Ph.D.
Christopher Voigt is an institute member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is also the Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT and is the co-director of the MIT Synthetic Biology Center, where his lab is located. His lab focuses on pushing genetic engineering to the scale and sophistication required to design genomes from the bottom up. They have developed genetically encoded sensors and circuits and have used these to control multiple pathways and cellular functions. This has been applied to the optimization of chemical and materials production and to the discovery of novel pharmaceuticals.
Several companies have been founded out of Voigt’s lab, including Pivot Biotechnologies (agricultural), and Asimov (mammalian cell programming for biologics). Voigt serves on the scientific advisory boards of DSM, Zymergen, Twist Biosciences, SynLogic, Design Therapeutics, Senti Biosciences, Aanika, Empress Therapeutics, Generate Biomedicines, DeepBiome Therapeutics, and General Probiotics. He founded the journal ACS Synthetic Biology and he co-founded the SEED conference series.
Voigt received his B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in biophysics and biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. His thesis was on the interface of protein-directed evolution, computational protein design, and statistical mechanics (with Frances Arnold, Stephen Mayo, and Zhen-Gang Wang). He conducted postdoctoral research with Adam Arkin at UC Berkeley on systems biology before starting his own lab at UCSF in 2003.