I’m a departmental fellow in Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. In 2016-2017, I will also be a fellow at Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. I was a graduate student in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.
My scientific interests are at the border between artificial intelligence and biology. To what extent can cells learn from their environment, and use this information to intelligently adapt their internal state? How sophisticated are the information-processing capabilities of single cells and how are these implemented using noisy molecular parts? I explore these questions in microbes, focusing on yeast. Much of this work is inspired by developments in cognitive science.
Apart from doing science, I’m interested in the history, philosophy and politics of science (especially biomedical science). I am particularly interested in how scientific projects are influenced by fields thought to be external to science, like journalism and economics. What questions are prioritized, and which directions get sidelined, by these seemingly “non-scientific” considerations? And how do these external factors affect the building of a “commons” in biomedical science?
On the future of neuroscience and artificial intelligence, featuring an interview with Noam Chomsky:
Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong. The Atlantic, November 1, 2012. (single page). Selected videos from the interview.
On ownership and sharing in molecular biology, and the CRISPR patents:
Who Owns Molecular Biology? Boston Review, October 28, 2015.
On universities and patent trolls:
Universities have turned over hundreds of patents to patent trolls Medium, October 13, 2016.
On storytelling in science: