food and beverage

"It’s not Like My Yeast Is Going to Become a Lizard": A Conversation with Ginkgo Bioworks' Creative Director

The Resonance Test 7: Christina Agapakis

March 15, 2017
by Mike DunkleyKen Gordon

“Biology is awesome!” says Christina Agapakis, Creative Director of Ginkgo Bioworks, the synthetic biology firm, and who would dare argue with that? Not us! Just the opposite, in fact. The 78th person on Fast Company’s list of the Most Creative People of 2016, Agapakis recently jogged over to record a fine episode of The Resonance Test with Continuum SVP Mike Dunkley. The pair had a fascinating exchange on rational design, user needs, mushroom fungus as furniture material, synthetic biology phobia-phobia, and more.

Tune in to hear Agapakis say things like:

• “We brew these microbes and out of that beer, effectively, we get ingredients that might end up in perfume, in food, in cosmetics, all sorts of different products.”

• In the future, “our computers might not be using DNA, but anything that is made of physical stuff is something that’s going to be potentially impacted by the field of biology.”

• “You have to build not just the understanding of the biochemistry and the understanding of the cells, but you have to also build automated tools to help you access that rapid prototyping.”

• “It’s not like my yeast is going to become a lizard.”

Host: Pete Chapin
Editor: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon

The Resonance Test 7: Christina Agapakis
filed in: food and beverage,

About the Author

  • Dunkley_Mike
    Mike Dunkley
    Head of Healthcare

    Mike leads EPAM Continuum’s medical devices business and is inspired by the opportunity to deliver better healthcare experiences. He’s passionate about understanding client needs and translating them into successful collaborations.

    Mike joined EPAM Continuum in May of 2012. He has worked in commercial, project management, and technical roles on numerous multi-disciplinary projects within the medical, consumer, and energy sectors. His experience spans initial project orientation through to product commercialization.

    Previously, Mike held various upper-management roles at Cambridge Consultants and worked as VP of Engineering at Cambridge-based start-up Pronutria. He earned a BA and Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Cambridge, U.K.

  • Gordon Ken
    Ken Gordon
    Principal Communications Specialist

    Ken makes Continuum’s work visible to the necessary people. He creates superlative content, works with colleagues to do the same, and employs social networks to share it widely.

    A card-carrying humanist, Ken co-founded QuickMuse, the improvisational writing website, and JEDLAB, the Jewish education community. He has written for, the New York Times, and many other pubs.

    Ken has an English degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MA in English from the State University of New York at Albany. He framed both diplomas long ago, but can’t seem to find them now—a fact he considers all-too-human.