2024 Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D., Ph.D. ’61 and Martha A. Darling *70 Lecture in Ethics and Policy in Bioengineering

Synthetic Biology: Life Redesigned
Mar 6, 2024, 4:00 pm5:00 pm
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Event Description

Princeton's Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute welcomes James J. Collins, Ph.D. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the 2024 Omenn-Darling Lecture in Ethics and Policy in Bioengineering on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 on the Princeton campus. Open to the public and all are welcome. Wine and cheese reception to follow. 

The title of his lecture is "Synthetic Biology: Life Redesigned."


Synthetic biology is bringing together engineers, physicists and biologists to model, design and construct biological circuits out of proteins, genes and other bits of DNA, and to use these circuits to rewire and reprogram organisms.  These re-engineered organisms are going to change our lives in the coming years, leading to cheaper drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, and synthetic probiotics to treat infections and a range of complex diseases.  In this talk, we highlight recent efforts to create synthetic gene networks and programmable cells, and discuss a variety of synthetic biology applications in biotechnology and biomedicine, as well as their ethical and societal implications.

About Prof. Collins:

Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, as well as a member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology Faculty, a Core Founding Faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.  

Don't miss:

The Princeton Bioethics Exchange is hosting a symposium immediately preceding Prof. Collins' lecture. Learn more and register.

To request disability-related accommodations, please contact Wright Seneres at [email protected] no later than three working days before the event.


  • Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute
  • Council on Science and Technology
  • University Center for Human Values