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From the Desk of Aakriti Jain, a Goodbye

Over the past year and a few months, I have seen PLOS Synbio grow into a vibrant community of scientists, social scientists, designers, biohackers, and the general public. Together, we have moved sites, changed platforms, gone to conferences ranging from slightly niche ones on synthetic biology techniques on mammalian systems to large-scale synbio meetings, that is iGEM Jamborees.

We, as a community, have discussed the ethics behind synthetic biology. We have tried to probe the relationship between biology and both scientific and creative design. We have attempted to understand the relationships between the community and the society and synthetic biology. We have thought deeply about the implications of treating organisms as machines.

We have thought and we have gone out and done. We have built physical communal spaces, where anyone with the inclination towards science can follow through with their ideas of projects, big or small, in places such as Genspace in NYC to La Paillasse in Paris to London Biohackspace and Biocurious in Oakland, CA, just to name a few; we have created and been a part of the first biotechnology incubator – IndieBio – both in North America and Europe; and this doesn’t even start to touch upon the advances made by synthetic biology academics across the world.

I have had the most wonderful opportunity to observe and interact and help disseminate all of the exciting results and strides made by the synthetic biology community. But, as with all great things, my time with PLOS Synbio too must come to an end. I want to take this moment to thank each and every one of you, whether you contributed, presented, spoke with me, or read this blog: Thank you for being an integral part of my journey with PLOS Synbio. This community would not be possible without you, and while I may be leaving the Community Editor job title, I am certainly not leaving the Community.

Of course, the PLOS Synbio blog will keep producing, in the thoughtful and extremely capable hands of Steven, who will continue to manage the site (while being a full-time Post Doc!) We are also looking for a new editor to replace me and help Steven run the site. We would be happy to speak with anyone interested in synthetic biology, but we are particularly interested in getting graduate students or postdocs on board with us. If you think you are fit for the position or want more information on what the position entails, please send a note to or tweet @PLOSSynbio. Finally, if you’d like to get in contact with me directly, you can reach me at or follow me on Twitter @twitajain. If you want to also read on some of my more current work in science, I will also continue editing and blogging on along with other outlets, all of which you can follow on my personal website:

Thanks, again, to you guys for making my time at PLOS an extremely memorable and irreplaceable one!


Aakriti Jain

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