James Swartz | AIChE

James Swartz

Stanford University

Dr. Swartz obtained his B.S.Ch.E. from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. After working for two years for Union Oil Co. of California, he attended M.I.T. where he earned his M.S. and D.Sc. in chemical engineering and biochemical engineering, respectively. His focus on the development and control of fermentation processes led him to a scientific exchange visit to the U.S.S.R. and to an initial research position at Eli Lilly and Co. in Indianapolis. In 1981, he joined Genentech, where he served in both scientific and managerial positions related to rDNA protein production for nearly 18 years. In 1998, he moved to Stanford University as a Professor of Chemical Engineering focusing on cell-free biology. The following year he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and, in 2003, he additionally became a founding faculty in Stanford’s new Department of Bioengineering. He was named the Leland T. Edwards Professor in the School of Engineering in 2006 and was named the James H. Clark Professor in 2009. He is a co-founder of Sutro Biopharma, Inc., developing cell-free protein pharmaceutical technologies, of GreenLight Biosciences, a cell-free metabolic engineering company, and of Bullet Biotechnology, developing personalized cancer vaccines. His research seeks to reproduce and direct complex metabolism in a cell-free environment. Applications include pharmaceutical protein production and evolution, improved vaccine architectures and antigens, targeted cancer imaging agents, and hydrogen production from sunlight and from biomass.