Barry Canton holds a BEng and an MEngSc from University College Dublin in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD from MIT in Biological Engineering. He has published pioneering work on the refinement and characterization of genetically encoded biological devices, building on the lessons of standardization from electronic engineering. His work to produce the first datasheet for a biological device serves as the prototype for device characterization in the MIT Registry of Standard Biological Parts. During his graduate work, he also constructed the first biological “virtual machine” to decouple system operation from the cellular chassis. Barry is also a founder of OpenWetWare, an online community of life science researchers committed to open science. Now he and four other MITers have founded a new synthetic biology startup called Ginkgo BioWorks.