The Synthetic Biology Community Builder


Lorenzo Gritti

Lorenzo Gritti

By Paolo Pontoniere

When you ask people who know synthetic biologist and community activist David Sun Kong what stands out in their minds about the thirty-something-year-old MIT professor and community activist, you get enthusiastic answers touching on everything from his research expertise to his Renaissance-man appeal. But one thing is clear: His influence is felt far beyond the confines of his own laboratory.

Professionally, Kong is a pioneer in microfluidics, a multidisciplinary field that seeks to study, manipulate, and control streams of liquid in channels so tiny you’d be hard pressed threading a human hair through one. As a DJ, musician, photographer, writer, motivational speaker, and animator, his work often crosses boundaries. One example is Biota Beats, a microbial “record player” that translates the composition of the body microbiome into sound and music. 

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