Sebastian Palacios is currently a Ph.D. doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He conducts his research in the Synthetic Biology Center (SBC) and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), where he focuses on using engineering principles and machine learning to engineer biological systems. Palacios is also a trainee in the MIT Neurobiological Engineering training program, and the MIT Graduate Education in Medical Sciences program through a collaboration between MIT and Harvard Medical School. He has been featured in Colombian news and media as one of the brightest minds of Colombian descent.
Palacios received the Harvard-MIT Martha Gray Prize for Excellence in Research for his research at MIT. He was awarded for 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. Palacios currently serves as the president of the Student Leadership Board in the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT, serves as an MIT Graduate Diversity Ambassador, and is a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. Palacios is also the course director and instructor of MIT's 6.S096 Biological Digital Computation, and co-developer of the massive open online course (MOOC) Principles of Synthetic Biology in Edx, through which he has taught over 20,000 students. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Georgia Tech, where he also received the award given yearly to the most outstanding undergraduate researcher in the School of Engineering.