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James J. Collins

Life Sciences Faculty Lead

Jim Collins is a Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT. He is the Life Sciences faculty lead at the Jameel Clinic as well as a member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology (HST) faculty. He serves as the Director of the Antibiotics-AI Project at MIT. He is also a Founding Faculty member of the Wyss Institute and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

His research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology and AI approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance.

Known has the “father of synthetic biology”, Collins and his work on synthetic gene circuits and programmable cells has led to the development of new classes of diagnostics and therapeutics, which have influenced research in detecting and treating infections caused by emerging pathogens such as Ebola, Zika, SARS-CoV-2, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Awards and Accolades

  • Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Experiment 2023
  • Clarivate Citation Laureate 2023
  • Dickson Prize in Medicine 2020
  • Max Delbruck Prize 2020
  • Gabbay Award 2017
  • HFSP Nakasone Award 2015
  • National Academy of Sciences 2014
  • National Academy of Medicine 2012
  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences 2012
  • National Academy of Engineering 2011
  • MacArthur Fellow 2003
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