ChE Pirkey Centennial Lectureship Seminar – “Designing Biology for Health and Sustainability” by Dr. Pamela Silver (Harvard University)

Host: Dr. B.K. Keitz; 2018-2019 Pirkey Lectureship


The engineering of Biology presents infinite opportunities for therapeutic design, diagnosis, prevention of disease and solutions to environmental problems. We use what we know from Nature to engineer systems with predictable behaviors. We also seek to discover new natural strategies to then re-engineer. I will present concepts and experiments that address how we approach these problems in a systematic way. We have engineered components of the gut microbiome to act as both diagnostics and therapeutics for inflammation and infectious disease. We complement this with new general strategies organism engineering.


Pamela Silver received her BS in Chemistry and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Pam was an Assistant Professor in the department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University where she was an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, a Research Scholar of the March of Dimes and was awarded an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. Pam moved to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute where she was a Professor in the department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. In 2004, Pam became one of the founding members of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and the first Director of the Harvard University PhD Program in Systems Biology. In 2009, she became one of the first members of the Harvard University Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. In 2012 Pam was named the Elliot T and Onie H Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard. The Silver Lab works at the interface between systems and synthetic biology to design and build biological systems.

Posted on: