Protein Design · Programmable Protein Interaction · Protein-Based Neural Networks

Zibo Chen

What's really cool is when it's functional and predictable

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Show Notes

In this episode of the molpigs podcast, Hannah, Boya and Erik talk with Zibo Chen, a new professor at Westlake University about his scientific journey through the world of biological information system design. We discuss how he went from designing DNA, to proteins, to entire cellular systems. Designing with different materials requires different design and modeling methods. We also take a look to the future and how he plans to take protein-based neural networks from living cells to synthetic cells.


Zibo Chen is an assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences at Westlake University. He received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry in the labs of David Baker and Frank DiMaio at the University of Washington and worked on mammalian synthetic biology with Michael Elowitz at Caltech as a Damon Runyon Fellow. His work focuses on programming biology using proteins as the coding language. He has received a number of awards, including the Robert Dirks Molecular Programming Prize, and was included in Forbes 30 Under 30. Outside of the lab, Zibo is an instrument rated pilot and enjoys flying around in a small Cessna.