Assistant Professor and Director, Sculpting Evolution Group, MIT Media Lab
Kevin Esvelt is an assistant professor at MIT Media Lab, where he leads the Sculpting Evolution group in exploring evolutionary and ecological engineering. After receiving his PhD at Harvard for inventing a synthetic microbial ecosystem to rapidly evolve useful biomolecules, he held two fellowships at Harvard and helped pioneer the development of CRISPR, a new method of genome engineering. In 2013, Esvelt was the first to identify the potential for CRISPR “gene drive” systems to alter wild populations of organisms. An advocate of open science to accelerate discovery and improve safety, he seeks to use gene drive as a catalyst to reform the scientific ecosystem.