The County of Santa Clara's Shelter-at-Home order remains in effect as some businesses are allowed to reopen with social distancing protocols in place. For local updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, visit

Events and Meetings

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

ONLINE - A talk with Synthetic Biologist David Sun Kong (APAHM Online Event)

  • Date: 05/29/2020 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM  
  • Location: ONLINE

David Sun Kong is a Synthetic Biologist, community organizer, and the Director of the MIT Media Lab's new Community Initiative.

About this Event

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month the Santa Clara City Library is thrilled to have MIT Media Lab's David Sun Kong in discussion with librarian Danny Le, as a part of this webinar series for the month of May.

David is a technical leader in synthetic biology, having pioneered the development of novel microfluidic, or “lab-on-a-chip” technologies for synthesizing DNA and engineering the living world. He is also a leader in the global Community Bio movement, which aims to democratize biotechnologies and enable diverse communities around the world to learn about and innovate with the life sciences. In 2017, he founded the Global Community Bio Summit (, a gathering convening the global network of independent, community biology labs.

He conducted his graduate studies at MIT’s Media Lab, receiving a Master's degree for developing technology for printing nanostructures with energetic beams and a Ph.D. for demonstrating the first gene synthesis in a microfluidic system. He was recognized as an emerging leader in synthetic biology as a "LEAP" fellow, served as a guest faculty member at the Marine Biology Lab in Woods Hole, MA, and is co-founder and managing faculty of "How To Grow (Almost) Anything, an international course on synthetic biology co-taught with Professor George Church of Harvard. He founded and chaired new Microfluidic and Hardware Tracks for the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition (iGEM) and is the official iGEM DJ. He was Technical Staff in the Bioengineering Systems & Technologies group at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and a founding member of the synthetic biology team. He is also the founder of Metafluidics, an open repository for fluidic systems.

He has also worked as a community organizer for more than a decade and is the founder and director of EMW, an art, technology, and community space in Cambridge, MA. EMW's mission is to empower communities through the transformative power of artistic expression. We emphasize serving marginalized communities and develop all of our programming with values rooted in social justice. Our community programs explore expressive forms ranging from poetry to electronic music, beatboxing to bio-hacking and more.

David’s work has been covered via outlets such as the Washington Post, Science, the Boston Globe, Gizmodo, and STAT News. He has performed as a DJ, beat-boxer, vocalist, and rapper at hundreds of venues, including South by Southwest, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Brooklyn Bowl, where he opened for Tonight Show band-leader and hip hop legend Questlove. He teamed up with DJ Jazzy Jeff to make beats from the human microbiome. He is also an award-winning vocal arranger and producer. His photography has been exhibited at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian, the Japanese American National Museum, and other museums and galleries across the country.

Sign ups are free through Eventbrite.

Sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends.

Return to full list >>
View Full Site