Our People

James R. Swartz, DSc Co-Founder & Director

Professor Swartz started his career in biochemical engineering research at Eli Lilly, where he was selected based on his focus on the development and control of fermentation processes. In 1981, Jim joined Genentech, where he served for nearly 18 years in scientific and managerial positions related to rDNA protein production and protein pharmaceutical development. In 1998, Jim moved to Stanford as Professor of Chemical Engineering focusing on cell-free protein production. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and, in 2003, became a founding faculty in the 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.

A prolific entrepreneur and inventor, Jim is also a founder at Sutro Biopharma, developing cell-free protein pharmaceutical technologies, and GreenLight Biosciences, a cell-free metabolic engineering company. Jim's research seeks to reproduce and direct complex metabolism in a cell-free environment for protein production and evolution, patient-specific cancer vaccines and improved vaccine architectures, and biological hydrogen production.

Jim’s research in virus-like particle vaccines led to the foundation of Bullet Bio in 2011. Jim received a BSChE from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, an MS in chemical engineering and a DSc in biochemical engineering from MIT.

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