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History of the Frontiers of Biotechnology Lecture

The Frontiers of Biotechnology Lectureship was established in 1999 through a generous donation from Dr. Noubar Afeyan to acknowledge the enabling technologies and developments that have sustained the growth of biotechnology and life sciences. Some of these include bioprocess engineering (upstream and downstream processes), bioanalytical developments, advanced and new instruments, novel delivery concepts, biomedical devices, rational drug design, computational methods, bioinformatics, and information technology. It is the intent of this Lectureship to recognize and honor achievements on the "frontiers of biotechnology" and the distinguished scientists and engineers responsible for them.

Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D.
Noubar Afeyan is Managing Partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures, a firm he co-founded in 2000 that focuses on inventing, launching, funding and building new ventures. He is also a Senior Lecturer at MIT where he has taught courses on entrepreneurship and innovation since 2000. In addition, he recently joined Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering as a visiting scholar.   Dr. Afeyan has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987.  During his 23-year-long career as inventor, entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist, Dr. Afeyan has co-founded and helped build more than 22 life science, technology and energy startups.   Currently Dr. Afeyan serves on a number of public and private company boards and he is a member of several advisory boards including the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT, the Whitehead Institute at MIT, the SKOLKOVO School of Management in Moscow and the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia.  Dr. Afeyan's past and current ventures include: PerSeptive Biosystems, ChemGenics Pharmaceuticals, EXACT Sciences, Color Kinetics, Celera Genomics, Affinnova, Adnexus Therapeutics, BG Medicine, LS9 and Joule Unlimited.

Previous Lectures
2011 Chris Somerville, Energy Biosciences Institute, University of California - Berkeley
2011 Professor Tillman Gerngross, Dartmouth College
2009 Professor Peter Schultz, Scripps Professor of Chemistry, Scripps Research Institute, Director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
2007 Dr. Peter S. Kim, President, Merck Research Laboratories
2005 Jay D. Keasling, Director, Berkeley Center for Synthetic Biology, University of California, Berkeley
2004 Douglas C. Cameron, Director of Biotechnology, Biotechnology Development Center, Cargill Incorporated
2003 Dr. Phillip A. Sharp, Director, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT
2002 William H. Rastetter, IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation
2001 George M. Whitesides, Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University
2000 Mark J. Levin, Chairman and CEO, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
1999 Inaugural Lecture Daniel I. C. Wang, Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT