Daniel I.C. Wang Lecture on the Frontiers of Biotechnology – 2016

“Redesigning Iron-Sulfur Proteins to Improve Biological Electronics”


James R. Swartz
Professor of Chemical Engineering and of BioEngineering
Stanford University

Friday, September 23, 2016
3:00 p.m. Room 32-123
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

Dr. Swartz obtained his BS in chemical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. After working two years for Union Oil Co. of California, he earned his M.S. in chemical engineering and D.Sc. in biochemical engineering at MIT. Following a scientific exchange visit to the U.S.S.R. and an initial research position at Eli Lilly and Co., he joined Genentech in 1981, where he served in both scientific and managerial positions related to rDNA protein production and protein pharmaceutical development for nearly 18 years.

In 1998, he moved to Stanford University as Professor of Chemical Engineering focusing on cell-free biology. In 1999, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and, in 2003, helped initiate Stanford’s new Department of Bioengineering.  He was named the Leland T. Edwards Professor in the School of Engineering in 2006 and the James H. Clark Professor in 2009. He is a founder of Sutro Biopharma, Inc., dedicated to developing cell-free protein pharmaceutical technologies, and of GreenLight Biosciences, a cell-free metabolic engineering company, and of Bullet Biotechnology, a company developing anti-cancer therapeutics. His research seeks to reproduce and direct complex metabolism in a cell-free environment. Current applications include improved vaccine architectures, new cancer diagnostics, and biological hydrogen production from sunlight and biomass.