International, world-leading experts from across science, engineering and technology

SynbiTECH 2019, 24-25th June, QEII Centre, London

Our diverse panel of speakers from across the world will share their opinions, insights and expertise at this not to be missed event as we accelerate towards realising synthetic biology's true potential.​

More speakers coming soon 

Headline speakers

Hagan Bayley Professor Hagan Bayley
Oxford Nanopore Technologies
Hagan Bayley

Professor Hagan Bayley

Co-Founder, Oxford Nanopore Technologies

Hagan Bayley is Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford. Major interests of his laboratory are the development of engineered pores for stochastic sensing, the study of covalent chemistry at the single molecule level, ultra-rapid DNA sequencing and the fabrication of synthetic tissues.

He received his B.A. in chemistry from Oxford in 1974, while at Balliol College, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1979 in the laboratory of Jeremy Knowles. After postdoctoral work with Gobind Khorana at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was on the faculty at Columbia University and the University of Oxford. From 1988 to 1996, he was at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and from 1997 to 2003 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

In 2005, Professor Bayley founded Oxford Nanopore to exploit the potential of stochastic sensing technology. The company has developed the MinION portable DNA sequencer. In 2014, he founded OxSyBio to build synthetic tissues for regenerative medicine. He has been a recipient of the Royal Society’s Wolfson Research Merit Award and was the 2009 Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, Professor Bayley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2012, he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry's Interdisciplinary Prize and in 2017, the Menelaus Medal of the Learned Society of Wales. In, 2018 Professor Bayley held the Kavli Chair at TU Delft.


Rich Johnson Rick Johnson
Global Helix LLC
Rich Johnson

Rick Johnson

CEO and Founder, Global Helix LLC

Rick Johnson is the CEO and founder of Global Helix LLC, an STI strategy and thought leadership firm, and Senior Partner Emeritus at Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington DC.  

Johnson has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Board on Life Sciences, numerous NAS National Committees, and U.S. co-chair of the Six Academies Synthetic Biology initiative. His current interests include: (i) synthetic biology/engineering biology; (ii) bioeconomy strategies; (iii) emerging technologies and the Next Production Revolution; (iv) university-business-industry innovation; and (v) compute-SemiSynBio.

Rick is the Chair of the OECD/BIAC Technology & Innovation Committee, the Brown Biology & Medicine Council, and the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) Policy and International group. Johnson now serves as a Board Director of: (i) the EBRC; (ii) the iGEM Foundation; and (iii) the Stanford Biofab and BioBricks Foundation. For many years, Rick served on the MIT Corporation Committee, U.S. national commissions and task forces, and the NAS Synthetic Biology Forum. He now is helping to create the Global Alliance of Biofoundries.  

In addition to receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School where he was Editor of the Yale Law Journal, he received his graduate degree from MIT where he was a National Science Foundation National Fellow, and his undergraduate degree with highest honours from Brown University 

Zowie Broach Zowie Broach
Royal College of Art
Zowie Broach

Zowie Broach

Head of Programme for Fashion, Royal College of Art

Zowie Broach is Head of Programme for FASHION RCA and after arriving 5 years ago has radically changed the paradigm of what it means today to consider how we might design in FASHION. Zowie previously co-founded the label BOUDICCA who was the first independent British Label to show during Couture, Paris, as well as exhibiting at Chicago Arts Institute, Tel Aviv Museum and their Invisible City collection AW04 is part of the permanent collection of The Metropolitan in New York, Kensington Palace and FIT. She has consulted for Honda, Cartier and Jaguar. BOUDICCA, the first ever fashion show to be live streamed back in 2004, continued to investigate the digital interface as a tool, an exploration of identity and material, with a fellowship at The Stanley Picker Gallery 2014 that echoed the virtual worlds of computer gaming – ‘The Liquid Game’ an immersive audio-visual installation.

Whilst at the RCA Fashion has established a new series of platforms – Futures Systems, Sports as Identity, Mixed Realities and Bio as Design that expands the practice of Fashion. This is not exclusive of values, economy and philosophy of self; taking on board the myriad of potentials that need investigating to assure a practice that can reveal and express the question of identity for our future. Fashion has recently worked with Intelligent Mobility collaborating with Porsche, and Design Directions with Microsoft; had the first Fashion designers to be supported by Innovation RCA and Fashion Bio design with the Onassis Fellowship in Athens and Open Cell in London. Zowie Broach has been voted into the top 500 Fashion Leaders, Business of FASHION for the last 4 years.

Richard Kitney Professor Richard Kitney
Richard Kitney

Professor Richard Kitney

Co-Director, SynbiCITE

Professor Kitney has been working at the forefront of synthetic biology and has been pivotal in shaping its development in the UK and internationally since 2003.

He has championed synthetic biology to governments, industry, learned societies and the public. Kitney is globally recognised as pioneering in the field. Dick has been a leader of UK R&D and the translation of synthetic biology for more than a decade, promoting global synthetic biology developments.

As Chair of The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Inquiry into Synthetic Biology and a member of the UK’s Ministerial Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, Dick has driven the UK’s approach to the field and the technology, its development and its translation into industrially useful products, tools, processes and services - alongside educating future synthetic biologists. In addition to The Royal Academy of Engineering Inquiry Report (Synthetic biology – Scope, Applications and Implications, 2009), he is one of the authors of the two, subsequent, UK roadmaps for synthetic biology (A Synthetic Biology Roadmap for the UK, 2012; and Bio Design for the Bio Economy, 2016).

Dick Co-Directs the UK’s first R&D centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI) and the UK’s National Industrial Translation Centre for Synthetic Biology (SynbiCITE).

He gives many keynote presentations at public lectures and international conferences – recently the IET Kelvin Lecture and the City and Guilds Fellowship Lecture.

Michael linden Michael Linden
Touchlight Genetics Ltd
Michael linden

Michael Linden

Chief Scientific Officer , Touchlight Genetics Ltd

After receiving his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland, Prof. Linden trained in Molecular Virology at Cornell University Medical College, N.Y. After his postdoctoral training he joined the faculty at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where he used a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the molecular mechanisms and the potential applicability of site-specific genome integration by adeno-associated virus (AAV). In 2007, he moved continents to set up a new research group at King’s College London as the chair in Molecular Virology. 

His contributions to the field include the biochemical and structural determination of the AAV Rep proteins, which orchestrate all aspects of the AAV life cycle, and the proposal of a mechanism of site-specific integration. During these studies Prof. Linden’s laboratory has demonstrated the potential of using embryonic stem cells for gaining insights into complex viral mechanisms. 

Throughout his career, Prof. Linden has engaged in the field of AAV-mediated gene therapy including a role as the Director of the UCL Gene Therapy Consortium where he was responsible for clinical-grade vector production and the support for further developments in UK based gene therapy efforts. In this context, Prof. Linden was actively engaged in translational projects aimed at the development of novel therapies using AAV-based vectors. 

In December 2014 Prof. Linden joined Pfizer Inc as the Vice President of Gene Therapy, to establish and lead the Genetic Medicine Institute in London. He held this position until August 2017.
 Since November 2018 Dr. Linden is the Chief Scientific Officer at Touchlight Genetics Ltd. in London, UK. 

Paul Freemont Professor Paul Freemont
Paul Freemont

Professor Paul Freemont

Co-Director, SynbiCITE

Paul has been working at the forefront of international synthetic biology developments since 2002 and has played a key role in developing from the outset the UK strategy for synthetic biology research, innovation and training. 

A leading figure in synthetic biology, he has played a key part in the development of synthetic biology in the UK and was a co-author of the British Government’s UK Synthetic Biology Roadmap. Paul has been a passionate advocate for synthetic biology research and translation both in Europe and internationally and has participated as a technical expert in the United Nations Convention for Biological Diversity and Biological Weapons Convention. He is also a working group member of the US NIST synthetic biology standards consortium.

Paul’s research interests span from understanding the molecular mechanisms of human diseases and infection to the development of synthetic biology platform technologies and biosensors and he is the author of over 170 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He gives many lectures both at international scientific meetings and also public lecture - the most recent being the Ellison-Cliffe medal lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Paul co-founded and co-directs the UK’s first academic research centre for synthetic biology at Imperial College London (CSynBI) and the first R&D centre for synthetic biology SynbiCITE.

Paul is also very active in public engagement including numerous public debates - the most recent at the Royal Institution and public displays including at the Science Museum and the first ‘pop-up’ lab at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He is also an advocate for training young people and talks regularly at schools and has successfully co-supervised Imperial undergraduate iGEM teams since 2006.