Date & Time

Wed, 08/03/2011


Life Technologies (LIFE) is coordinating wet lab applications with software and bioinformatics tools to model, design, and validate organisms engineered through synthetic biology approaches. These research applications will enhance understanding the biology of organisms while engineering them in a more controlled way. This approach has applications in material sciences, metabolic engineering, the study and treatment of disease and basic biology.

Simplifying and productizing synthetic biology leads to a series of ethical issues for LIFE . We can engineer genomes now, not just genes. As a public company LIFE delivers share holder value, so support of science is based on successful commercial outcomes. Rational design tools and solutions of biological organisms will allow more people to analyze and engineer genetically manipulated organisms in a global market.

Clancy described LIFE’s current commercial approach to research, development and distribution of technologies, comparing and contrasting with academic concerns and practices. He shared examples of how LIFE interacts with and contributes nationally and internationally to bioethical issue identification, problem solving and biosecurity.

He contrasted the desire for enhancing biosecurity screening with privacy concerns and the risks of stifling innovation in this nascent field.


Kevin Clancy
Life Technologies

Kevin Clancy is Senior Staff Scientist for Synthetic Biology Software at LIFE, leading the development of Vector NTI, a bioinformatics software suite that has been cited in more than 25,000 published pieces of research. He is now responsible for development of new software solutions for synthetic biology.

He received his BSc Honors in Biochemistry in 1986 from Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland and a PhD in Molecular Neurobiology for work done at the University of Cambridge, Department of Clinical Biochemistry in England in 1992. At the Eleanor Roosevelt in Denver in 1992 he worked on causes of inherited disease in humans. He organized annotated and published data on the genomic organization and content of Human Chromosome 21 for the Chromosome 21 Sequencing Consortium. He joined InforMax, Inc where he led a team providing support and services for commercial and custom software products. At Invitrogen Corp since 2002, he worked on a wide variety of bioinformatics and product development projects, licensed and sponsored research at academic institutes and participated in bioinformatics community development projects. He is a member of the International Society for Computational Biology and a PerlMonk.

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