Generating Programs for Living Cells
Generating Programs for Living Cells


Living cells naturally perform information processing using genetic circuits — networks of DNA-encoded genes that dynamically sense and respond to their environment. The ability to engineer new genetic circuits has broad applications in biotechnology, personalized medicine and human health. Biologically informed, predictive, and robust genetic circuit design tools are necessary to realize the next generation of intelligent treatments.

Despite progress over the past two decades, genetic circuit design remains imprecise. Computer-aided design tools have been coupled with genetic part libraries to design complex genetic circuits. However, many circuits fail to function as predicted due to hidden genetic interactions, contextual effects at the DNA-level, and other subtle biophysical phenomena.

Here, we discuss a radically new approach for designing and inferring performance of genetic circuits. We use machine learning to fit complex biophysical models that map to semantic structures to enable more accurate forward inference of circuit performance. Methods adapted from Bayesian inference, sequence-to-sequence models and deep generative models are applied to realize and introspect biophysical systems.


Joe Isaacson is the vice president of engineering at Asimov, a biotechnology startup that engineers living cells to produce next generation therapeutics. Asimov develops machine learning methods to accelerate the R&D lifecycle of synthetic biology. Previous to Asimov, Joe lead machine learning teams at Quora (a top 100 Alexa website) and URX (acquired by Pinterest) building products spanning recommendation systems, ad targeting and search relevancy. Joe has spent the past ten years contributing to research and products spanning forensics, computer vision, natural language understanding and biological design.

Open Data Science




Open Data Science
One Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google