Charles Fracchia is the founder and CEO at BioBright, a company building a smart lab to improve reproducibility in bio-medical research.

He is on a leave of absence from the MIT Media Lab where he was an IBM PhD Fellow in Joe Jacobson’s Molecular Machines group, and jointly in the Church lab at the Wyss Institute at Harvard Medical School. Charles obtained his bachelor’s at Imperial College London, where he worked on a bioelectronic interface between engineered bacteria and electronic sensors. He continued his thesis work at IBM Research, where he has been encouraging research in the field ever since. Charles worked as an early intern at Ginkgo Bioworks, where he developed many of the automated assembly pipelines still used today.

Charles has spoken about his work at many different venues and online including the White House, MIT Sloan, NASA Ames, IBM Research, Airbus, O'Reilly and HackADay. His current academic interests lie at the intersection of biological engineering and electronics called digital bioengineering. He was the Biology track chair at SOLID2015 mixing biology, electronics and computer science, instigated and helped organize the Bits ↔ Bio conference, has represented Boston for the Hello Tomorrow challenge (European 100k), and is a founding member of the first US bio-hackerspace.

In 2016, Charles was named one of 35 innovators under 35 by the MIT Technology Review. He is the recipient of several awards including IBM PhD fellowships, an Extraordinary Minds fellowship, one of the first Awesome Foundation fellowships and an Amplify Partners fellowship. He is the author of several patents and is actively authoring more in the field of future laboratory tools. Charles has also been involved in obtaining numerous grants and contracts from DARPA, NSF, Google X, Knight Foundation and the Shanghai High Tech Incubator totaling several millions since 2012.


Year Title Status Reference
2016 Details pending Pending
2014 Context Aware Pipetting Pending
2013 Hierarchical Scalable Functional Nanoassembler Approved Approval, Application

Papers, Posters and Presentations

Year Title Where Type
2016 Reverse engineering biomedical equipment for fun and open science DEFCON (Bio-Hacking Village) Full Talk
2016 Improving bio-medical research by 10x SciFoo Panel Discussion
2016 Reducing irreproducibility in science by building smart lab of the future Technology Review 35 under 35 Talk
2016 The Hackaday Prize: Technology and Social Change OReilly Panel
2016 When labs, interaction design and data collide IDEO Talk
2015 BioBright: the smart lab to turn biomedical scientists into superheroes SynBioBeta Talk
2015 Context Aware Pipetting: tracking manual pipetting operations using computer vision International Workshop on BioDesign Automation (IWBDA) Poster
2015 Bio Track Chair, Talk: SynBio 101, Fireside chat with BioRad SOLID Conference Talk
2015 MIT Media Lab Lounge SXSW Talk
2014 White House Smart Cities NIST Workshop DC Convention Center Talk
2014 Bits ↔ Biology MIT Center for Bits and Atoms Talk
2014 Open source hardware and software for bio to digital measurements Airbus Talk
2013 Fabricated machines for rapid prototyping in bio labs
(w/ Nadya Peek, Scott Livingston and Emzo de los Santos)
Open Hardware Summit Poster
2013 Continuous, Multiplexed, Non-Invasive Physiological Sensing with Glass Google X Poster
2013 Play with DNA: Building a Star Trek Replicator and other shenanigans Tarassenko Lab, IBME, Oxford Talk
2013 Interfacing Biology and Electronics NASA Ames Talk
2012 Engineering Programmable Potassium Efflux as a Cyborg Reporter Mechanism in Synthetic Biology International BioEngineering Conference Talk
2011 Building a New Reporter System using Synthetic Biology for Bio-Electronic Communication IBM Research Poster
2011 Why Biological Prototyping Sucks and How To Fix It MIT T=0 Entrepreneurship Event Talk
2010 BioEngineered Inks Awesome Foundation Talk


Year Title
2016 Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 (Belgium)
2016 Extraordinary Minds Fellowship (Templeton Foundation)
2013, 2014 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship
2014 Amplify Partners Fellowship
2010 Awesome Foundation Fellowship


Year Title Where Type
2016 Fixing the Lab Reproducibility Crisis with Augmentation, not Automation MIT Industrial Liaison Office Interview
2016 The smart lab blends the best of humans and automation O'Reilly Interview
2016 Innovator Under 35 MIT Technology Review Profile
2016 Hackers & Makers Science & Vie TV (aired Apr 23rd 2016) Interview
2016 On a new breed of Biologists O'Reilly Radar Podcast
2015 Augmented Human Intelligence Culinary Institute of America Talk & Panel
2015 Joi Ito Keynote SIGGRAPH Video
2015 Joi Ito: Why Biology is the New Digital O'Reilly SOLID Video
2015 Biological experimentation in the digital age BioHacking Safari Interview
2015 Open Hardware for Open Science Hack A Day Video & Article
2014 The Outlook for DIYBio La Paillasse DIYBio lab Article
2014 Bits ↔ Bio Conference New York Times Article
2013 Bits ↔ Bio TechEmergence Article


Type Address
Email (general) charlesfracchia@gmail.com
Email (academic) fracchia@mit.edu
Email (secure, PGP fingerprint) C74B6C4B0BF763C3A2FDB346600195B91BB549A0
Twitter @charlesfracchia
Skype charlesfracchia
LinkedIn https://linkedin.com/in/charlesfracchia