Andrew Hessel

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About Me

I am a consultant-catalyst for open source biology, synthetic biology, the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) program, DIYbio, and open innovation models, with a focus on Canada. I am also faculty and co-chair of the biotechnology and bioinformatics track at the Singularity University.

I do not consider myself an expert on anything and try to maintain a beginner's mind. It's my intention to raise awareness about the emerging tools and technologies with just about everyone I meet with, even those opposed to them or afraid of them. I facilitate introductions and connections, and try to help groups or regions find the money and other resources necessary to take real and practical steps. I sincerely enjoy helping people achieve their goals.

I usually have a patronage appointment that makes it relatively easy for me to travel and network. Currently, I am supported by a consortium of energy companies genuinely interested in collaboration and innovation furthering sustainable development. Past patrons have included the Alberta Ingenuity Fund and the Alberta Research Council. I also work with MIT. If you are interested in participating in or sponsoring the iGEM program, please contact me. Travel and accommodation support is gratefully accepted for face-to-face meetings.

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Business and Consulting

Pink Army Cooperative (open source biotech)

I am a co-founder, along with Jayson Tymko and John Carlson, of the world's first cooperative biotechnology company, the Pink Army Cooperative. Our inspiration is open source software successes like Apache and Linux that compete with billion-dollar software giants. We believe open source biotechnology can do the same with big pharma, and we're creating a community of professionals to build our own drug development company. We're focusing on breast cancer to start, and because we're structurally different than any other biotech or pharma, we can take novel approaches to making medicines. In fact, rather than use the conventional drug development "pipeline", famous for being slow and expensive, we're championing a new system that we believe will be able to produce safe, effective, and individually personalized medicines quickly and inexpensively today, and be faster and cost even less as further improvements are made.

Pink Army is growing and attracting more and more attention. We're always looking for sector experts and supporters. A share of the cooperative costs $20. Beyond this investment, members help us grow by sharing their efforts and abilities. We're currently focusing on communications, web development, public relations, community-building, social networking, etc. but will soon be recruiting best-in-class scientific R&D experience.

For more information, check out the Pink Army website.


Q Squared Consulting Inc.

My consulting work (and life) is managed through Q Squared, an Alberta-based consulting company, founded in 2009. Inquire for standard rates and availability.

Q Squared delights in collecting exceptional people with odd skills in everything from game theory, to information technologies, to various types of human performance and artistic expression. This stable can be configured and deployed quickly by Q Squared to brainstorm, collaborate, and participate. We're always looking for big challenges, unconventional projects, or uncommon experiences.

Singularity University

From the SU website

Singularity University (SU) is an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies in order to address humanity’s grand challenges. With the support of a broad range of leaders in academia, business and government, SU hopes to stimulate groundbreaking, disruptive thinking and solutions aimed at solving some of the planet’s most pressing challenges. SU is based at the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley.

I consider SU to represent an exciting new paradigm in education and a powerful, even transformative experience. As co-chair the Biotechnology and Bioinformatics track with Daniel Reda, I am always on the lookout for breakthrough ideas, activities, individuals and groups, etc. in systems and synthetic biology and related technologies. Please contact me if there's anything you think I should be aware of, if you are thinking of taking the graduate or executive program and have questions, or if you want to be considered as a presenter in this track.

Contact Information

email: ahessel (at) gmail (dot) com
phone: 780.868.3169
Skype: search for "Andrew Hessel", ahessel (at) gmail (dot) com

2009 Activities

TEDxSV, "The End of Cancer", Standford University, December 12

Alberta Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes, "Driving Innovation", Banff, Alberta December 10 H+ Summit, Irvine, California, December 5-6

Biomedical Engineering Distinguished Speakers Series, Energy & Environmental Engineering, University of Calgary, November 19, 2009

Singularity University Executive Program, November 6-15, 2009

The Drive to Innovate, Conoco-Phillips, Calgary, November 3, 2009

iGEM 2009, MIT, Cambridge, MA October 30 - November 2, 2009 (attending only)

BIL:PIL, Building a Drug Development Pipeline for Personalized, Open Source Therapies for Breast Cancer. San Diego, October 30, 2009

TEDMED, San Diego, Oct 27-30, 2009 (attend)

SENS4, Cambridge, UK, September 3-7, 2009

Swedish-American Life Science Summit, Bionetworking Sessions, Stockholm, Sweden August 19-21, 2009

Singularity University, Introduction to synthetic biology and applications, July 20-21, 2009

iGEM Ontario Regional, University of Waterloo, May 29, 2009

SciBarCamp 2009, Toronto, May 8-9, 2009

Oil Sands Leadership Initiative keynote and meeting, Calgary, April 15-16, 2009

2008 Talks, Conferences, Posters

Convergence 08, Panel Debate, Talk, November 15-16, 2008

iGEM Jamboree, MIT, Cambridge, MA, November 7-9, 2008 (Chairing iGEM Canada session)

Singularity Summit 2008, San Jose, CA, October 25, 2008 (attending)

UofC Engineering, Calgary, Sept 24, 2008 (Engineering Biology)

SciFoo, Mountain View, CA, August 8-10, 2008

BioBarCamp, Palo Alto, CA, August 6-7, 2008

Science Cafe, Telus World of Science and Alberta Ingenuity, Edmonton, May 6, 2008

Sanofi Aventis BioTalent Challenge Keynote, Calgary, April 23, 2008

Sanofi Aventis BioTalent Challenge Keynote, Edmonton, April 16, 2008

Civil Society Synthetic Biology Teach-In, Washington DC, April 14, 2008 PDF

TEC Edmonton, Open Source Therapeutics, round 2, March 31, 2008

TEC Edmonton, Open Source Therapeutics, March 19, 2008

Overview of iGEM program, Edmonton Catholic School Board, March 18, 2008

Open Source Therapeutics. UofA Digital Biology Meeting, March 17, 2008

National Post Article on SciBarCamp by David Sachs.

Synbio Debate w/ Jim Thomas, ETC group; open source therapeutics scibarcamp, Toronto, May 14-16, 2008

Synthetic Biology and Nanotechnology: Opportunities and Implications for Alberta, Green Paper and Talk, Banff, March 5-6, 2008

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Overview of Synthetic Biology, February 2008.

2007 Talks and Posters

iGEM and Synthetic Biology: Opportunities for Canada, University of Ottawa, November 23, 2007 audio by request

SemBioSys Biotechnologies, Calgary, Alberta, October 26, 2007

Synthetic Biology, Risks, Rewards, and Opportunities, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, October 23 audio by request

Synthetic Viruses Targeting Cancer, SENS 3, Cambridge UK, September 7Video

Overview of synthetic biology, University of Lethbridge, July 19

University of Alberta Department Chairs and Divisional Directors Meeting, July 4

SB3.0 Poster -- iGEM: A case study for open source biological engineering

MIT TTT Canada overview May 26 Video

Digital Genetic Engineering, Google, May 3 Video

Alberta Ingenuity, January 17/18

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