Asimov Appoints Synthetic Biology Pioneer James J Collins as Inaugural Member of Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Collins brings multi-disciplinary expertise in the design and construction of synthetic gene circuits and programmable cells

Mar 19, 2019 · 2 min read

Cambridge, MA — January 11, 2019.

Asimov, the synthetic biology company building a genetic design platform for molecular manufacturing and therapeutic applications, announced today it has appointed Dr. James J. Collins as its inaugural Scientific Advisory Board member.

Dr. Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a prolific bioengineer, having published more than 200 scientific papers and patents including the seminal synthetic biology publication, “Construction of a genetic toggle switch in Escherichia coli”. A recipient of numerous awards including a MacArthur Genius Award and a Rhodes Scholarship, Dr. Collins is an elected member of all three national academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.

“We are thrilled to have Jim join us, as he is quite simply one of the most influential and visionary bioengineers of all time,” said Alec Nielsen, Ph.D., Asimov co-founder and CEO. “He established the field of synthetic biology and has consistently driven the cutting edge across multiple scientific domains. Jim’s deep expertise in genetic circuit design, systems biology, and machine learning aligns perfectly with Asimov’s mission to build the world’s most powerful genetic design platform.”

Dr. Collins joins the 15-person synthetic biology company, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The team also includes MIT professor Christopher Voigt, Boston University professor Douglas Densmore, and MIT Ph.D. Raja Srinivas as co-founders.

“I’m delighted to join Asimov, which is bridging the synthetic biology and machine learning domains,” said Dr. Collins. “To achieve true predictive design of biology, we require radical advances in both the computational and genetic engineering toolchains. I look forward to helping guide development of Asimov’s platform.”

ABOUT ASIMOV. Asimov is a synthetic biology company combining genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and design automation. Asimov’s interdisciplinary team is building an advanced genetic design platform for next-generation therapeutics and molecular manufacturing. For more information visit

Tweet: Synthetic biology startup @asimov_io announces it has appointed Jim Collins, synbio pioneer and creator of the seminal genetic toggle switch, to its Scientific Advisory Board.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store