Jim Collins, Boston University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Dr. Collins' has developed the world’s first genetic toggle switch, a bistable synthetic gene network that enables a number of biotech and medical applications. His research focuses on developing nonlinear dynamical techniques and devices to characterize, improve and mimic biological function. His specific interests include: (1) modeling, designing and constructing synthetic gene networks, and (2) reverse engineering naturally occurring gene regulatory networks.
Collins is an American bioengineer, a William F. Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. He is one of the founders of the emerging field of synthetic biology, and a pioneering researcher in systems biology, stochastic resonance, biological dynamics and neurostimulation. Collins has received many research and teaching accolades throughout his career, including the 2003 MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Award" in 2003. A BU faculty member since 1990, he received the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Teaching Excellent (which is BU’s highest teaching award), was named one of Technology Review's 100 young innovators who will shape the future in 1999, received an National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award in 2007, and was the first BU faculty member to be selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2008.