Pamela Silver

Pamela Silver

Principal Investigator

Pamela Silver is the Elliot T and Onie H Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. She is also a full member of the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering. She was one of the first members of the Department of Systems Biology and the first Director of the Harvard University Graduate Program in Systems Biology.

Read more here.

Jeffrey Way

Jeffrey Way

Senior Staff Scientist

Jeff’s current research interests are in therapeutic protein development and bioenergy. As a senior staff scientist at the Wyss, he is also supporting faculty-driven efforts in DNA synthesis and DNA assembly. Before coming to the Wyss, he was Director of Structural Biology and Director of Intellectual Property at EMD Serono, a major protein-focused pharmaceutical company, where he designed protein drugs. Previously, he was a Director of Intellectual Property and Director of Communications there. He has published numerous articles on drug development, synthetic biology, nervous system development, and bacterial genetics, and holds several patent applications and issued patents. He received his Ph.D. and B.A from Harvard University.

Roger Larken Chang

Roger Larken Chang

Associate Lab Director

Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow 2014
PhD Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, UC San Diego
BA Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley

Roger’s current research interest is in the study of proteome-wide oxidative stress resistance, as in the radioresistance of the polyextremophile Deinococcus radiodurans. Roger previously developed landmark models for structural systems biology of E. coli metabolism to identify growth-limiting enzymes for thermotolerance, antibiotic mechanisms, and human renal metabolism to characterize drug off-target effects in silico. More info here.

Elizabeth Libby

Elizabeth Libby

Departmental Fellow, Systems Biology

PhD Physics, University of Pennsylvania
BS Physics, Stanford University

Elizabeth is interested in how bacterial populations regulate antibiotic tolerance and the appearance of rare cells with extreme phenotypes. She is currently designing new ways to measure bacterial signaling system activity.

Postdoctoral Fellows


Tobias Giessen

Leopoldina Postdoctoral Fellow 2014

PhD Biochemistry, Philipps-University Marburg

M.S. Chemistry, Philipps-University Marburg

Enzymology, Combinatorial Biosynthesis, Compartmetalization in Bacteria, Synthetic Metabolons and Bio-Inorganic Hybrid Materials

David Riglar

Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellow 2015

NHMRC – RG Menzies Postdoctoral Fellow 2014

PhD Malaria Cell Biology, University of Melbourne

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne

David is a postdoc interested in the potential for synthetic biology to help us to better understand human disease. He is currently working to design diagnostics of gut disease.  Profile here.

Bryan Hsu

Ph.D. and M.S. Chemistry, MIT

B.S. Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, UC Berkeley

Has worked in the fields of surface science, antimicrobial coatings, biomaterials, and controlled drug delivery. Now studying bacteriophages of the human gut and engineering formulations for their oral delivery.

Shannon Nangle

2017 NIH F32 NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D. Pharmacology, University of Washington

Shannon is a postdoc interested in creating human-plant hybrids to live on Mars (but is totally not working on that).

James Kuo

PhD Chemical Engineering, Stanford

BS Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Amateur still trying to turn pro. Looking at controlling and recoding cells, after previously playing with natural product biosynthesis. Hoping to imagine again.


Erika Olson 


Ph.D. Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

A.B. Chemistry, Cornell University

Erika is a former peptide chemist interested in improving human-environmental relations. She is currently investigating how viruses play Jedi mind tricks on their host.

Michael Melfi

Ph.D. Chemistry, Stanford University

B.S. Biological Sciences, Cornell University

Interested in the connections between energy dissipation and accuracy of biochemical networks and oscillators, as well as in engineering low-cost networks in cells.


Timothy Chang

Ph.D. Bioengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

S.B. Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tim is currently developing high throughput analyses of viral genes and their effects on intracellular signaling. In short, studying the viruses of today to better defend against the diseases of tomorrow.


Marika Ziesack

Ph.D. Biological and Biomedical Science, Harvard University

Marika works on engineering microbes for renewable production of chemicals.

Dan Nguyen

Ph.D. Biophysics and Bioengineering, UC Santa Barbara
M.S. Nanoscience, Arizona State University
B.S. Biochemical Sciences, Harvard University

Dan is a new postdoc in the Silver lab.

Graduate Students

Jernej Turnšek

PhD Candidate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Diploma in Biotechnology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Jernej is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind intricate nanoscale patterning of naturally occurring biomaterials. He can dunk, collects vinyl records and trains to become an Ironman. More about Jernej.

Emma Spady

PhD Candidate in Chemical Biology

B.A. Biochemistry, Swarthmore College

Emma is currently synthesizing novel steroids in mammalian cells by combining enzymes from different animals, bacteria, and fungi. In her spare time, she sings in the Dudley House choir and hangs around art museums.

Suhyun Kim

Suhyun is engineering gut bacteria to perform useful functions in humans. She enjoys dancing Rock’n’Roll and Zumba.

Isaac Plant

 Ph.D. Candidate in Bioengineering

M.Sc. in Philosophy and Public Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

Isaac’s work focuses on harnessing the unique biology of cyanobacteria to construct new microbial engineering paradigms. He is also interested in the policy and ethics of biological research, and has far more opinions than is generally considered healthy.

Finn Stirling

Finn is a student from the UK, and is interested in making sure the stuff that comes out of you is dead and has no friends. I am looking to recruit undergrads or anyone else to help me in this endeavor.

Sasha Naydich

Ph.D. Student in Bioengineering

B.S. Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University

 Sasha is interested in engineering gut microorganisms to diagnose and treat infection and disease, as well as the translation of discoveries from the lab to real-world application. Outside the lab, Sasha enjoys hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Profile here.

Nathan Rollins

Nathan is investigating the molecular events that enable conditional behavior in biological systems. He is adding layers of requirement to proteins that function in these systems so they may only act when specific circumstances are met. Particularly, he is teaching cytokines when to pull the trigger on cell death.

Sarabeth Buckley

NSF Fellow

B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science, Tufts University

A plant chemist escaping geology to synthetic biology, Sarabeth is fascinated by plant microbial interactions and driven to address climate change. She wants to enhance plant growth and sequester CO2 with the bionic leaf and protein microcompartments. When not biking between campuses, she can be found running, dancing, or baking crazy cakes.

Jungmin Lee

B.S. Chemistry, Duke University

Jungmin is a graduate student in the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Program. She is interested in protein therapeutics and mammalian synthetic biology.

Katherine Redfield

M.D. Candidate, Harvard Medical School

Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

BS Mathematics, MIT

Katie may be no Doogie Howser, but she’s still full of pep about her second career as a budding physician-scientist. She would love to talk your ear off about fusion proteins, dancing and the best coffee shops to camp out in. Her enthusiasm is fueled by a diet of red bull and leftover conference room pizza.

Nathalie Gruber

Nathalie is working with Elizabeth and Isaac on building living sequence sensors. She wants to artificially increase the natural competence of bacterial cells to efficiently uptake DNA samples. Her interests are various like dancing, painting and e-guitar but she is mostly seeking for new adventures and challenges.


Daniel Loh 

PhD Candidate in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

BS Chemistry, Yale University

Dan (not to be confused with Dan) is interested in renewable chemistry and is even more interested in getting microbes to do it for him. He also thinks self-replicating cyborg bacteria would be cool.

Josh Van Zak

Josh is a Research Assistant in The Mediated Matter Group at MIT who is interested in using nature’s most overpowering adaptations to our benefit. His current research involves 3D printing bone cancer cells to generate functionally graded architectural structures that people will one day live in.


Research Staff

Kathleen Buhl

Lab Manager

Kathy has been managing the Silver lab since 2006. When she’s not whipping the Silverinos into shape, she plays hockey and enjoys hiking. She’s recently discovered her spirit animal is the squirrel.

Yukiye Koide 

Yukiye is a recent Harvard graduate with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She is currently working on ~virus stuff~ and hopes to eventually get a graduate degree in bioengineering. In her spare time, she relives her college days and joins the Harvard Band in cheering various sports teams to victory.

Christine Zheng

Christine recently graduated from Harvard with a degree in Chemistry, although she never was and never intends to be a “real chemist.” She likes to put DNA places it doesn’t normally go and seeing what happens. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reality TV, and explaining jokes to people.

Lorena Lyon

Lorena recently graduated from Harvard with a degree in Human and Developmental Biology. She is currently working with David on various projects involving mouse poop and memory circuits. A few of her favorite things are taro bubble tea, public transportation, dance parties, and the Oxford comma.


Disha Trivedi

Disha is a Harvard undergraduate currently mentored by Shannon Nangle.

Jason Lee

Jason is a Harvard undergraduate who is currently studying “science,” whatever that means, and is considering dabbling in the practical world of business. He is currently mentored by the space-visionary Shannon Nangle. In his free time, he likes to read the Wall Street Journal and peruse the delicious fruits in Haymarket.

Recent Alumni

Maya Ordenez

Rachel Barocio – University of California Santa Cruz

Kassandra Boada – University of Massachusetts Amherst

Andrew Verdegaal- Graduate student, Yale University 

Andy Shumaker- Indigo

Florian Bieberich- Graduate student, Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg

Yu Heng Lau- Assistant Professor, University of Sydney 

Kelsey Sakimoto- KulaBio

Kira Sarup-Lytzen- Graduate Student, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Copenhagen

Jessica Polka- Director, ASAP Bio

Connor Horton- Undergraduate, Harvard University

John Oliver- ZBiotics

Alan Pacheco- Graduate Student, Boston University

Leon Liu- Senior Data Engineer, Athenahealth

Ryan Richardson- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland

Stephanie Hays- Postdoctoral Researcher, UC Berkeley

Brendan Colón-Data Scientist, Amazon

Kriti Lall- Investment Banking

Michael Baymv- Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Joshua Grossman

Marta Tomaselli- Graduate Student, University of Cambridge

Una Choi- Undergraduate, Harvard University

Avi Robinson-Mosher- Scientific Programmer, DE Shaw Research

Devin Burrill- Scientist, Precision Biosciences Inc.

Matthew Robinson- Consulting

Matthew Niederhuber- Graduate Student, University of North Carolina

Cameron Myhrvold- Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute of MIT/Harvard

Clovis Basier- Graduate Student, The Crick Institute

Kevin Hof- Graduate Student, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Michiel Karrenbelt- Institute of Systems Biology Zurich

David Lips- University of Amsterdam

Gladys Kibunyi- Charles River Lab

Johannes Bues- École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Joost Verduijn- Ghent University

Drew MacKellar- University of Washington

Audam Chhun- PhD Candidate, University of Warwick

Thomas Perli- Delft University of Technology

Tyler J Ford- Scientist, Addgene Inc.

Lauren Kennedy-

Matthew Mattozzi- Senior Scientist, Conagen Inc.

Wade Hicks- Head of Operations and Lab Automation, KSQ Therapeutics Inc.  

Anna Chen- Life Scientist Specialist, L.E.K. Consulting

Buz Barstow- Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering, Cornell University

Wiggert Altenburg- Eindhoven University of Technology

Pia Mach- University of Tübingen

Takashi Imada- Professor, Kyoto University

Elena Schafer- Graduate student, University of Cambridge 

Max Van der Ploeg – Wageningen University and Research

Michael Tscherner- Fellow, University of Vienna

Nabeel Nissar

Sherry Gao- Postdoc, Harvard Medical University

Samuel O’Keefe

Nicholas Wong- Undergraduate, Harvard University

Aashna Shah- Undergraduate, Northeastern University

Ashton Omdahl- Graduate Student

Disha Trivedi- Undergraduate, Harvard University

Elizabeth Redfield- Discovery Immuno-oncology Intern