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Biography

Dr. Sebastian Palacios received his Ph.D. from MIT's College of Computing in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, where his doctoral thesis focused on the development of machine learning methods and algorithms for biological design. He has been featured in Colombian news outlets as one of the brightest persons of Colombian descent.

During his graduate studies, he received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, the Harvard-MIT Martha Gray Prize for Excellence in Research, MIT's Shillman Fellowship, MIT's University Center for Exemplary Mentoring Sloan Fellowship, an NIH/MIT predoctoral training fellowship, and was awarded for excellence in leadership at the MIT Awards Convocation. He received M.S. and B.S. degrees from MIT and Georgia Tech in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science. During his undergraduate studies, he received a nearly perfect GPA and received the award for most outstanding undergraduate researcher in the College of Engineering. 

He is pioneering the development of advanced artificial intelligence methods for biological design in Jim Collin's Group at MIT. He is concurrently applying computational and experimental methods to elucidate and engineer epigenetic cell memory in Domitilla Del Vecchio's Group at MIT.

Interests

My interests focus on four broad categories: 

1. The development of artificial intelligence systems for biological design with an emphasis on solving previously intractable problems. 

2. The development of synthetic genetic systems that comprise both memory and computation. In particular, I am interested in elucidating and engineering epigenetic cell memory as a framework for engineering novel useful functions in living cells. 

3. The development of systems and tools for reliably engineering human cells, combining genome engineering, epigenetics, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, computer engineering and mathematical modeling for robust design and engineering.  


4. Entrepreneurial ventures in the above categories to impact and benefit society. 

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