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Silicon Valley Monthly Lunch: Discovering and Making Plant-Based Medicines with Christina Smolke
Regular price $ 20.00

About the Event

Join us as we thank Dan Lenoski for last month’s discussion, “Next Generation Data Centers.” 

This month, Christina Smolke will discuss, “Discovering and Making Plant-Based Medicines.”

Plants are a rich source of unique molecules, including 25% of natural-product-derived drugs. However, the discovery, synthesis, and overall material supply chains for sourcing plant-based medicines remain ad hoc, biased, and inefficient. We have addressed the challenges via reconstruction of complex plant biosynthetic pathways in microbial hosts. Through our strategies, we have developed yeast production platforms for an important class of plant alkaloids, which include the medicinal opioids. The intersection of synthetic biology, genomics, and informatics will lead to transformative advances in how we make and discover essential medicines. 

Christina is Professor and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar in the Department of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, Chemical Engineering, at Stanford University. She received her BS from USC and PhD from UC Berkeley. From 2003 to 2008, Christina was on Caltech’s faculty. In 2009, she joined Stanford. Her academic research program focuses on developing foundational tools that drive transformative advances in our ability to engineering biology.

Christina is also Co-Founder and CEO of Antheia, Inc. Antheia leverages advances in synthetic biology, genomics, informatics, and fermentation to transform how we make and discover many of our most important medicines.

Her impact in advancing the frontiers of biotechnology has been recognized with numerous awards, including Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator, Nature’s 10, AIMBE College of Fellows, NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, WTN Award in Biotechnology, and TR35 Award.


  • Please RSVP by 5:00 PM on September 18
  • Pay at the door. $20.00 including lunch, tax and gratuity. $5.00 for those not eating the buffet. (Please state "not eating" after your name when you RSVP)
  • Please RSVP if you plan to attend. All registrants are committed to pay.


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