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Christina D. Smolke, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2016
For outstanding contributions in biological engineering and synthetic biology, especially RNA systems that process information and control biological processes

Can This Silicon Valley Startup Bioengineer A Less Addictive Opioid?

Via Fast Company | February 1, 2018

Back in 2015, a 40-year-old synthetic biologist named Christina Smolke, along with a small team of researchers at Stanford, made a huge discovery. They proved that a genetically engineered yeast could produce opioid molecules, the core ingredients of some of the world’s most widely prescribed pain medicines.

Using yeast to produce things is as old as beer and bread, but with the complete mapping of, and increasing understanding of, the entire yeast genome–the totality of its DNA–the microbes are being used to produce more complex and valuable things, like fuels and medicines. Twenty percent of bioengineered drugs are now produced with microbials, including a great many produced with organisms other than yeast. But Smolke’s mission to make opioids out of yeast is on another level of complexity, requiring many successful chemical reactions as the yeast metabolizes sugar… Continue reading.

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Christina D. Smolke, Ph.D. To be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Via AIMBE | February 25, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Christina D. Smolke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Stanford University, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Smolke was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions in biological engineering and synthetic biology, especially RNA systems that process information and control biological processes.

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