Dr. Endy developed the world's first "fabless" genetic engineering teaching lab in the new Bioengineering program at Stanford and previously helped start the Biological Engineering major at MIT. His Stanford research team develops genetically encoded computers and redesigns genomes. He co-founded the BioBricks Foundation as a public-benefit charity supporting free-to-use standards and technology that enable the engineering of biology (BioBricks.org). He co-organized the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM.org) competition, the BIOFAB International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology (BIOFAB.org), and Gen9, Inc. (Gen9bio.com). He serves on the US Committee on Science Technology and Law and is a new voting member of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He chaired the 2003 Synthetic Biology study as a member of DARPA ISAT, served as an ad hoc member of the US NIH Recombinant DNA Advisor Committee, and co-authored the 2007 "Synthetic Genomics: Options for Governance" report with colleagues from the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the J. Craig Venter Institute. Esquire named Endy one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. He lives in Menlo Park CA with his wife and Stanford Bioengineering colleague Prof. Christina Smolke.
Dr. Endy's laboratory is focused on the development of engineered DNA systems that are capable of data storage inside living cells. Their recent work has focused on non-volatile recombinase addressable data (RAD) storage engineered from serine recombinases that target reversibly-invertible chromosomal data registers. They are interested in scaling genetically-encoded data systems from from a few bits to a few bytes.
Their overall long term goal is to help make biology easy to engineer, an area of research sometimes known as synthetic biology. In particular, they adapt ideas from metrology that help enable the distributed measurement and representation of in vivo molecular activities. They also develop genetic layout architectures that help establish reliably reusable standard biological parts supporting abstraction of biological functions.