Dr. Megan Palmer

Member, BioTech Task Force

Senior Director of Public Impact, Ginkgo Bioworks

  • Press: comms@cnas.org

Dr. Megan J. Palmer is Senior Director of Public Impact at Ginkgo Bioworks where she leads efforts to ensure that the company’s platform for biological engineering is developed with care. She is also an adjunct professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University where she previously served as Executive Director of Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives leading programs to explore how biological science and engineering is shaping our societies, and to guide innovation to serve public interests.

Dr. Palmer has led many programs aimed at developing best practices and policies for the responsible development of bioengineering. She is a member of the Council of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) and co-chaired the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Synthetic Biology. For over a decade she led social responsibility programs for the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. She also served as Deputy Director of Policy and Practices for the multi-university National Science Foundation (NSF) Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc). She founded the Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP) and serves on the board of directors of Revive & Restore.

Previously, Dr. Palmer was a Senior Research Scholar and William J. Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford, where she is now an affiliate. She was also a project scientist at the California Center for Quantitative Bioscience at the University of California Berkeley and a postdoctoral scholar in the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. Dr. Palmer received her Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from M.I.T. and a B.Sc.E. in Engineering Chemistry from Queen’s University, Canada.

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