Professor Mustafa Khammash, who is a world leader in control theory and its applications to biology, will introduce the exciting new field of Cybergenetics in a semi-public talk. Inspired by control systems concepts in traditional engineering disciplines, Cybergenetics aims to control biological processes through the engineering of genetic control systems in living cells that function at the molecular scale. He will showcase the latest breakthroughs in this field and discuss its wide-ranging potential applications, focusing on industrial biotechnology and medical therapy. This talk aims to illuminate how Cybergenetics is redefining our approach to controlling biological processes.
Professor Mustafa Khammash works in the field of Control Theory and Systems and Synthetic Biology. He received his B.S. degree from Texas A&M University in 1986 and his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1990, both in Electrical Engineering.
Before joining ETH Zurich, Prof. Khammash had a notable academic journey. After completing his Ph.D., he joined the Electrical Engineering Department at Iowa State University, where he established the Dynamics and Control Program and led the control group until 2002. Subsequently, he was a member of the Mechanical Engineering faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). During his tenure at UCSB, he served as the Director of the Center for Control, Dynamical Systems, and Computation. In 2011, Prof. Khammash moved to Switzerland, joining ETH Zurich, where he has held various positions, including serving as the head of the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering.
His research at ETH Zurich involves working at the interface of systems biology, synthetic biology and control theory. His work is pivotal in the development of Cybergenetics in synthetic biology, focusing on the real-time control of the dynamic behaviour of living cells with applications in various areas such as industrial biotechnology, tissue engineering and medical therapy. His laboratory at ETH Zurich combines expertise from various disciplines, including engineering, mathematics, computational science, physics and biology to advance the theoretical and experimental foundations of Cybergenetics.
Prof. Khammash is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He is the winner of the prestigious European Research Council Advance grant (2018) and the Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced grant (2023) to develop the field of Cybergenetics.