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Research Specialist

Nevin Summers

Nevin M. Summers

Title(s): Executive Director for the MIT Synthetic Biology Center; Research Scientist-Architect in the Weiss Lab
Affiliated lab(s): Weiss Lab

Phone: 617-566-3559
Address: NE47-257

Research interest:

Organize with colleagues a multi-disciplined initiative to:

1)  Apply systems biology, synthetic biology and genome design engineering to reverse the six decade decline in the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry R&D/Manufacturing value chain.

2)  Change the innovation economics of post-genomic medicines to behave like Moore’s Law, thereby both exponentially decreasing cost and increasing demand, just as semiconductor-based computer products have been doing for four decades.

3)  Expand drug accessibility and affordability on a global scale through philanthropic, governmental and commercial market-driven means.

Six billion out of seven billion people on the planet now have cell phones, and soon will have smartphones and handheld computers.

What’s preventing us from doing the same for life-saving drugs?


MIT thesis on gene therapy (1993)

My Favorite Things:
Ligands on targets and returns on investments
Solar collectors and downtown developments

Jazz musicians playing with improvised rhythms
Embryos in a dish dancing with genetic algorithms

Wet paint on canvas and facades on skyscrapers
Manuscript drafts and peer reviewed papers

Evolution stumbling through infinite sequence space
Emergent human consciousness quickening the pace

In carbo instantiations of in silico dreams
The passage of time recorded in genomic slipstreams

White cathedrals with high vaulted ceilings
Young lovers embracing with ancient feelings

Pre-competitive consortia inspired by game theories
Gibson DNA assemblies and database queries

Proteins, circuits, drug targets and genes
These are a few of my favorite things.

When sickness strikes
When I think and say negative memes
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

(apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein)