The scientist behind the miracle of synthetic biology

The scientist behind the miracle of synthetic biology

Aristides (Ari) Patrinos is the Greek scientist and geneticist behind the creation of the first synthetic cells in the J. Craig Venter Institute in USA.

He was born in 1947 in Alexandria, Egypt. He graduated with honours in 1965 of the Abet School in Cairo. He studied Mechanical and Electrical engineering in the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. He took his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Astronautical Sciences from Northwestern University, USA in 1975.

He was a professor at the University of Rochester (1975-1976) and Research Scientist on climate changes issues of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1976-1980) in Tennessee and Brookhaven National Laboratory (1980-1988) in New York.

From 1988 to 2006 he was the Deputy Director of Biological and Environmental Research of the Department of Energy in USA, having the oversight of the research activities in the field of microbial research, structural biology, nuclear medicine and global environmental changes. He played a leading role in the Human Genome Project and has been a central architect in the genomics revolution.

In 2006, Patrinos became the President of the Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) a company which is dedicated in biotechnology, in the developing of synthetic biology and in the developing of clean and renewable fuels and chemicals, sustainable food products, and novel medical applications. From November 2012, he is the Deputy Director for Research of the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) at New York University.

He is a member of many scientific societies in Greece and in the United States and is a recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including three US Presidential Rank Awards, and two Secretary of Energy Gold Medals.