Reshma Shetty co-founded synthetic biology Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. in 2008. Spun out of MIT, Ginkgo’s mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Started in a Cambridge, MA apartment, Reshma has helped to grow the company to over 500 people; Ginkgo is going public on September 17, 2021 with the ticker symbol DNA. Ginkgo’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to agriculture to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also actively supporting a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine manufacturing and therapeutics discovery.
Reshma has been active in the field of synthetic biology for nearly 20 years and co-organized SB1.0, the first international conference in synthetic biology in 2004. In 2005, Reshma and colleagues founded OpenWetWare.org, a wiki for the free sharing of information among biological and biological engineering researchers. In 2006, she was an advisor to the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition where she was best known for engineering bacteria to smell like bananas and mint. In 2008, Forbes magazine named Reshma one of Eight People Inventing the Future and in 2011, Fast Company named her one of 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2014, Ginkgo became the first biotech company to participate in YCombinator. In 2018, Business Insider named her one of the most powerful female engineers. In 2019, BIO recognized Reshma with the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture. Since 2018, Reshma has served on the advisory board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative Global Biological Policy and Programs (NTI | bio).