Andrew Hessel

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Contact Information

email: ahessel (at) gmail (dot) com (preferred contact method)
phone: 443.844.1309 or 780.868.3169
Skype: search for "Andrew Hessel", ahessel (at) gmail (dot) com
factsheet: see PDF

About Me

I am a catalyst for open source synthetic biology. I advocate that cells are living computers and DNA is a programming language. I want to see life programmed and used to solve global challenges so that humanity can achieve a sustainable relationship within the biosphere. LinkedIn profile Facebook

Educational Work

Singularity University

I co-chair the Biotechnology and Bioinformatics track at the Singularity University, located at the NASA Research campus. The mission of Singularity University is to prepare leaders for accelerating technological change. See for more information.

Advancing Personalized Medicine

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.

We're out to fundamentally change the way medicines are developed. We're building a development system able to make drugs for just one person at a time. This simplifies the science, manufacturing, testing, interpretation, risk, and liability -- all saving money and years of effort. When we get it right, we then scaling the system to treat more people.

We are not a cancer research group. We're a socially-owned and backed biotechnology company out to make personalized therapeutics very, very fast.

We're currently in the member acquisition phase, recruiting 2500 members to purchase a $20 share (this is equity, not a donation) and thus provide capital for the first R&D push. Until this trigger point, all member capital is being banked. No salaries or expenses are paid. This is a truly member-owned, non-profit biotechnology company, something very different in the world of pharmaceuticals.

For more information, check out the Pink Army website.

2012 Activities

Please see

2011 Speaking Engagements and Activities

Singularity University Executive Program, Dec 3-10

Quantified Self Europe, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Nov 26-27

TEDxAmsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Nov 25

Human Genetic Engineering Debate, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Nov 23

TEDxBrussels, Brussels, Belgium, Nov 22

Good Morning Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden, Nov 17

Our Post Human Future, ISSB, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada Nov 15

Techonomy 2011, Tucson, Arizona, Nov 13-14

AECON Board Briefing, Mountain View, CA, Nov 4-6

TEDxLosGatos, Los Gatos, CA Oct 26

Flow State Summit, Malibu, CA Oct 22

Intel, New York Comic Con, Oct 15-16

Singularity University Executive Program, Oct 1-8

Oil Sands Leadership Initiative Innovation Days, Sept 28-29

Alberta iGEM Regional Meeting, Edmonton, Canada Sept 23-25

ANBio Brazil Biosecurity Conference, Joinville, Brazil, Sept 19-22

Biosafety and Biosecurity International Conference, Amman, Jordan, Sept 13-16

Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Sept 7

Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, Colorado, Sept 1-6

SALLS 2011, Stockholm, Sweden, August 24-26

Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden, August 19

HealthFOO, Cambridge, MA, July 15-17

TED Global, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 11-14

DARPA Living Foundries, Arlington, VA, June 28

Synthetic Biology 5.0, Stanford University, June 15-17

Autodesk IDEAS, San Francisco, May 22-24

Medical Synthetics: An Introduction to Synthetic Biology for Medical Professionals, SU Futuremed Program, Mountain View, May 10-15

Intentional Selection: A Look Into Our Biological Future, Museum of Tomorrow Visioning, CRIA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 29

Preparing Abu Dhabi for Exponential Change, ATIC-SU Meeting, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi, April 19-20

Flow State University Founders Circle, Standard Hotel, Los Angeles, April 13-14

Patient, Heal Thyself, TEDxUSC, Los Angeles, April 12

Singularity University Executive Program, NASA Ames, April 1-8

Here be Dragons: Governing a Technologically Uncertain Future (Synthetic Biology), Google Inc., Washington DC, February 3-4

Open Source and Regulation, Engineering Life and Ethical Practices (Course, with Laura Dress), Emory University, February 2

2010 Speaking Engagements and Activities

Hardware, Software, Wetware, Singularity University Executive Program (4 day), NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, December 9-12

Personalized Medicine and Cancer as Information Technology, Biotech Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden, December 8

Engineering a More Secure Future, United Nations Bioweapons Commission, ISU, Geneva, Switzerland, December 7

It's Always Raining in Blade Runner, Danny DeVito/Rob McElhenney Technology Salon, Los Angeles, November 20

Singularity University-FIAP Program, Sao Paolo, Brazil, November 9-15

iGEM Track Judge, New Applications, MIT, Boston, MA, November 6-8

Biology as an Information Technology, MILCOM 2010, San Jose, CA, November 1

NASA-Synbio Meeting, NASA Ames, Moffett Field, CA, October 30-31

Life, Programmable, Singularity University Fall Executive Program, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, October 13-22

Understanding Exponential Trends in Life Science, Swedish American Life Science Summit 2010, Stockholm, Sweden September 29-30

Open Source Genetics, IN|10 Interactive Exchange, Toronto, Ontario, September 13-14

Building Bridges to Biotechnology, AAAS-FBI Joint Meeting, Boston, October 31-September 1

Building Bridges (Extended edition), Stockholm School of Economics, Executive MBA program, Stockholm, Sweden, August 20

Building Bridges: Health in a Digital Age, Leading Health Care keynote, Stockholm, Sweden, August 18

Pink Army Cooperative, A drug company for everyone, Open Science Summit 2010, Berkeley, July 29-31

Intelligent Design: An introduction to synthetic biology, IDEO, Palo Alto, July 29

FBI-DIYbio Meeting, St. Regis Hotel, Washington DC, July 22

Singularity University Graduate Studies Program, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, June - August

Altered Carbon: Programming, processing, and economics. Humanity+ Summit, Harvard University, June 12-13

Biology: Faster, Better, Cheaper, University of Alabama, Huntsville, May 20

X Prize Foundation, Life Science Prize Final Development, May 13-17

MoMo (Mobile Monday) Amsterdam, March 28

Alberta SuperDesigner Workshop, Red Deer, March 25-26

TEDx Edmonton, March 13

X Prize Foundation, Life Science Prize Visioning, March 10

Singularity University Executive Program (Winter), February 26 - March 7

Sustainable Communities Working Group, Calgary, January 27-28

OSLI Communications Workshop, Calgary, January 18

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