Nadine Bongaerts

Digital & Synthetic Biology, Faculty SingularityU Benelux

Digital Biology Synthetic Biology

Nadine is a synthetic biologist and passionate about designing life through genetic engineering. She received her Bachelor and Master Degree in Life Science & Technology from Delft University of Technology and Leiden University and is currently pursuing her PhD at French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris where she works on the development of a novel drug screening platform with engineered bacteria for the accelerated discovery of antibiotics.

Her interest for synthetic biology was sparked when in 2010 she participated in the iGEM (Internationally Engineered Machine) competition organised at the MIT. The TU Delft team she was part of developed standardised parts of DNA – biobricks – to transform bacteria into oil digesting cells. Their work was subsequently recognised both nationally and internationally and received several awards.

During iGEM, she began to realise the gap between scientific advances in biotechnology and the importance to improve the general awareness about those developments. Together with Eva Brinkman she decided to work on bridging that gap and in 2011 she co-founded communication and education agency Science Matters (previously named Biotecture). At the moment, Science Matters works for leading universities to provide communication training for scientist and develops education to enthuse both children and adults about science. Nadine is also active in the tech-startup scene. In 2012, Nadine she became the Dutch chairman of the Kairos Society, a global community to connect innovative young entrepreneurs. More recently, she was appointed as Vice President of Hello Tomorrow, a Paris-based non-profit organisation that helps science entrepreneurs in their journey to bringing laboratory inventions to the market.