Ben Griffin is a microbial physiologist with 15 years of experience who currently heads SGI’s Heterotrophic Cell Systems division, responsible for non-photosynthetic microbial technology development. His team advances a portfolio of programs from ideation to pilot-ready technology that has included nutritional products, bio-based chemicals, natural products, biologics, agricultural microbes and engineering tools development. His groups cover key functions of early stage R&D including bio-prospecting, protein engineering, biocatalysis, adaptive laboratory evolution, metabolic engineering, and small-scale fermentation. In previous roles during his eight years at Synthetic Genomics, Ben was Senior Director of Bio-based Chemicals and Director of Hydrocarbons Research where he focused on leading partner-funded joint development programs. He received a PhD from Michigan State University in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the Center for Microbial Ecology and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Konstanz in Germany and at the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.