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.


Devin Burrill

Devin Burrill

Lab Director

Senior Scientist, Obsidian Therapeutics & Precision Biosciences
Boston Biomedical Innovation Center Fellow, Protein Drug Development, MIT & Wyss Institute at HMS
NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Protein Drug Development, MIT & Wyss Institute at HMS
Ph.D., Bioengineering, Biological, & Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School
B.S., Biochemistry & Chemistry with Honors, University of Chicago

Devin is the lab director of the Silver group. Her background is in bioengineering, cancer biology, biochemistry, and drug development. Her current research interests include DNA/protein engineering, protein therapeutics, genetic circuit design, CAR-T design, synthetic biology in general, and business development. She is a pioneer in building complex genetic circuits in stable yeast and mammalian cell lines for studying long-term responses to DNA damage and hypoxia. Her post-doctoral work on engineering versions of erythropoietin and anti-Ebola antibodies has contributed significantly to Harvard’s initiative to promote protein drug engineering and to moving products from bench-to-bedside. Before returning to Boston, she worked at two CAR-T start-ups, where she assisted with construct design and cell line engineering. She then went on to do independent scientific consulting. Devin returned to Harvard in 2020 to act as lab director.


Research Scientists

Shannon Nangle

2017 NIH F32 NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D. Pharmacology, University of Washington

Shannon is a a technical lead on a Wyss Institute Project focused on commercializing a CO2-based fermentation system for the production of tailored polymers. She is committed to developing synthetic biology and fermentation approaches to promote a more sustainable relationship with the planet.

Marika Ziesack

Ph.D. Biological and Biomedical Science, Harvard University

Marika Ziesack is a Research Scientist working on the Wyss Institute Project “Circe” which aims to convert carbon dioxide waste streams into biodegradable polymers. Her research interests include metabolic engineering of non-standard bacteria, fermentation of sugar and gas feedstocks and bio-process design and analysis. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Heidelberg University and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Tim 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.

Dan Nguyen

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

Dan has worked in a variety of scientific fields, including tumor angiogenesis, non-canonical amino acids, single-molecule force spectroscopy, self-assembled DNA nanostructures, and phase separation in biology. In the Silver lab, he is adding “little water bears” to this eclectic list.

Michael Veling

Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison
B.S. Chemistry and Biochemistry, UMass Amherst

Mike wants to use biology to solve problems big and small. He is hoping his current project will allow him to travel across the galaxy in a biostatic sleep someday.

Rebecca Sherbo

2019 Schmidt Science Fellow

Ph.D. Chemistry, University of British Columbia

Rebecca is a chemist trying her hand at some biology for her postdoc. She wants to use microbes to convert CO2 to chemicals and fuels.

Tai Ng

Ph.D. Chemistry, Harvard University

Tai is a postdoctoral fellow in Pam Silver’s lab who is interested in synthetic biology.

Samuel Lim

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley
B.S. Chemical-Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sam has spent years at Berkeley playing with protein nanofibers from extremophiles, teaching them to assemble in interesting ways like Lego blocks. In the Silver Lab, he is trying to engineer a unique set of proteins that can freeze cells and protect them from injury.

Kierra Hardy

Ph.D. Basic Medical Sciences, University of South Alabama
B.S. Biology w/ Concentration in Microbiology/Public Health, Auburn University of Montgomery

Kierra is a joint postdoctoral fellow in the Silver/Mitchison lab who is interested in identifying host-virus interactions to develop anti-viral drugs targeting existing and emerging viruses.

Graduate Students

Kasia Kready

B.Sc. Biomedical/Medical Engineering, Dartmouth College

Kasia is a grad student in the Silver lab.

Kailyn Doiron

Ph.D. student in Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology
M.A. Biotechnology, Boston University
B.A. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Boston University

Kailyn is a graduate student in SSQBio and is a molecular and cell biologist at heart. She is very interested in making your cells do things they don’t normally do in order to create novel therapeutics. She was a competitive dancer in a past life and can be seen busting a move in studios or her kitchen in her free time. She loves binge-watching TV and tending to or talking about her five cats and seven orchids.

Rui Tong Quek

Ph.D. student

Rui is a PhD student in the Chemical Biology program and is broadly interested in synthetic biology and cell line engineering. She is currently working on characterizing host-virus interactions developing platforms for antiviral drug discovery. Outside of science, she enjoys playing the ukulele and watching horror films.

Ethan Jones

Ph.D. student

Ethan Jones is a PhD student in the SSQB program interested in creating synthetic biology platforms that will allow the field to solve more complex problems. Outside of lab he builds computers and attempts to breed tropical fish.

Roman Sprick

M.Sc. candidate Biochemistry, Technical University Munich
B.Sc. Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Roman is a visiting student from Munich, Germany interested in both biotechnology and virology. Currently, he’s working on the interaction of virus genes with host innate immune factors. He’s a passionate about sailing during the summer, skiing during the winter and cooking all year round.

Philipp Hoflich

M.Sc. candidate in Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Germany B.Sc. Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Germany

Philipp is a visiting graduate student from Heidelberg, Germany who has a strong interest in medical research. Instead of using yeast to brew German beer, he decided to join a project in which he could use this organism to produce a novel therapeutic against pancreatitis. He is passionate about music, as well as photography and tends to get lost in pseudo-philosophical thoughts.

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.

Colin Molloy

Colin recently graduated with degrees in Biology and Spanish from Hobart and William Smith College.

Vivek Sivaraman

Vivek is working on the Circe project, and is really interested in biotechnology climate change mitigation and in situ resource utilization for Mars habitation and deep space exploration. He studied biochemistry at University of Massachusetts Amherst. When not in the lab he loves hiking and comedy.

Alicia Jorgenson

B.S. Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics, UC Santa Cruz

Alicia is a research assistant in the Silver Lab working on the Functional Genomics and Computational Assessment of Threats project. Specifically, she is studying the effects of viral genes on innate immune signaling. Outside of the lab she loves to read non-fiction, find new recipes to cook, or binge watch shows.

Gauhar Sagindykova

Gauhar is a student researcher, who is extremely excited about the fields of synthetic biology and genetic engineering. Originally from Kazakhstan, she is an undergraduate student in Munich, Germany.  She is also passionate about traveling, learning new cultures and people.

Recent Alumni

For information on recent Silver Lab alums please contact