Today we’re talking to Michael Levin, Professor of Biology at Tufts University; and we discuss how Michael has learned to create reproducing robots from frog cells, what we can make these robots do and what they’re already capable of, and how Michael’s studies of cellular cognition are being applied to regenerating lost limbs.

All of this right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast! 

Learn more about Michael Levin and his research at http://drmichaellevin.org

About Dr. Michael Levin:

Michael Levin, a Distinguished Professor in the Biology department at Tufts, holds the Vannevar Bush endowed Chair and serves as director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts and the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology. Recent honors include the Scientist of Vision award and the Distinguished Scholar Award. His group’s focus is on understanding the biophysical mechanisms that implement decision-making during complex pattern regulation, and harnessing endogenous bioelectric dynamics toward rational control of growth and form. The lab’s current main directions are:

• Understanding how somatic cells form bioelectrical networks for storing and recalling pattern memories that guide morphogenesis;

• Creating next-generation AI tools for helping scientists understand top-down control of pattern regulation (a new bioinformatics of shape); and

• Using these insights to enable new capabilities in regenerative medicine and engineering.

Prior to college, Michael Levin worked as a software engineer and independent contractor in the field of scientific computing. He attended Tufts University, interested in artificial intelligence and unconventional computation. To explore the algorithms by which the biological world implemented complex adaptive behavior, he got dual B.S. degrees, in CS and in Biology and then received a PhD from Harvard University. He did post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School (1996-2000), where he began to uncover a new bioelectric language by which cells coordinate their activity during embryogenesis. His independent laboratory (2000-2007 at Forsyth Institute, Harvard; 2008-present at Tufts University) develops new molecular-genetic and conceptual tools to probe large-scale information processing in regeneration, embryogenesis, and cancer suppression.

At the Wyss Institute, he collaborates with Donald Ingber and James Collins on a program focused on development of a highly multiplexed, microfluidic, Xenopus embryo culture system that will enable discovery of new drug targets and development of therapeutics when combined with multi-omics and an integrated bioinformatics pipeline. The team’s initial focus is on development of therapeutics that enhance host tolerance to infections, as part of a DARPA-funded THoR research program.

Joel Beasley

Joel began writing code at age 13 selling his first technology by age 18 for one million dollars. In his first three transactions, he developed key relationships and began working with Investors and Chief Technology Officers collaborating and building products in Real Estate, Law, Finance, and Fitness.

Today, Joel is a Chief Technologist volgging the process of building a company LeaderBits.io. Joel is an author of the book Modern CTO a #1 New Release on Amazon and a #1 Technology Podcast with 70k active listeners. Joel has a clear vision and passion for modern technology, placing him as one of the most exciting Chief Technology Officers to watch out for.

Joel is the President of BeasleyFoundation.org a charity that designs STEM related children’s books Back to the Moon and Princess Physicist. These books are then donated to orphanages, homeless pregnant woman and in-need children. Beasley Foundation was formed in February 2017 after Joel, Mitch and Valerie lost their Mother to Leukemia after being diagnosed 6 weeks earlier. Joel and his siblings wanted to do something unique with her life insurance money and the Beasley Foundation was formed.

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