Sebastian Palacios is a Colombian-American researcher and engineer. He is currently a Ph.D. doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT in the Synthetic Biology Center and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). He focuses on using principles of engineering and computer science to engineer biological systems for medical applications. Palacios is also a trainee in the MIT Neurobiological Engineering training program, and the MIT Graduate Education in Medical Sciences program through a collaboration with Harvard Medical School. He has been featured by Colombian newspapers, magazines and news organizations such as RNC and Caracol as one of the brightest minds of Colombian descent.
Palacios has been an active leader in research and graduate education at MIT. He received the Harvard-MIT Martha Gray Prize for Excellence in Research for his graduate research at MIT. He was awarded for his excellence in leadership at the MIT Awards Convocation with the Golden Beaver Award, which represents one of the most prestigious awards given at MIT. He was also awarded by the MIT University Center of Exemplary Mentoring for outstanding performance in his graduate program, and received an NIH National Research Award for his potential to shape the future of neuromedicine, among other recognitions. Palacios currently serves as the president of the Student Leadership Board in the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT, is an MIT Graduate Diversity Ambassador, and is a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. He is also highly devoted to teaching and is the course director and instructor of MIT's 6.S096 Biological Digital Circuit Design, and is a co-developer of the massive open online course (MOOC) Principles of Synthetic Biology in Edx. Before coming to MIT, he received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Georgia Tech, where he received the college-wide award as most outstanding undergraduate researcher in the School of Engineering.