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Sustaining U.S. Leadership in Biotech

Washington, D.C.  |  June 26, 2014

Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-339
Washington, D.C.

Just as the 20th century was transformed by information technology, the 21st century promises to be the era of biology.

Biotechnology is beginning to move discoveries from the lab to the public faster than ever. And synthetic biology is at the forefront of that, combining advances in engineering and biology in ways that will profoundly impact human well-being.

It will enable manufacturers to rapidly create and make available vaccines for the seasonal flu and pandemic outbreaks. Chronic diseases, agriculture and energy production all stand to benefit from continued research.

Beyond the technical accomplishments, the synthetic biology community is striving to create a culture of responsible innovation that anticipates and proactively addresses issues of safety and security.

Panelists will discuss how investments in advanced biotechnologies are helping researchers address these challenges in better ways, sometimes solving problems with no current solutions. They will also talk about how federal investments are revolutionizing biotechnology, efforts to ensure that this field innovates responsibly, and how public-private partnerships will solidify the nation's leadership in the bioeconomy and speed innovations from the lab bench to the public.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Its FY 2012 budget was $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions.
In 2006, the National Science Foundation established the first federally funded engineering research center (ERC) to advance the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synberc, a consortium of UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC San Francisco, MIT and Harvard, is now the world’s leading synthetic biology research organization. At Synberc, we believe that by responsibly leading the field of synthetic biology we will enable transformative technologies to meet global challenges and improve lives. Our mission is to build the foundations of synthetic biology by catalyzing multidisciplinary collaborations in research and education. Join us as we build the future with biology.
Founded in the wake of the gold rush by leaders of the newly established 31st state, the University of California's flagship campus at Berkeley has become one of the preeminent universities in the world. Its early guiding lights, charged with providing education (both "practical" and "classical") for the state's people, gradually established a distinguished faculty (with 22 Nobel laureates to date), a stellar research library, and more than 350 academic programs.