In 2003 Kelly received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2008 he received a PhD in Biological Engineering, also from MIT.
Ginkgo Bioworks is a biotech company founded in 2008 in Boston, MA. Kelly is both a co-founder and the CEO of the company. Ginkgo engineers and manipulates microbes to use them for industrial and manufacturing purposes such as creating and replicating food flavors and fragrances.
In 2020, Ginkgo was one of many biotech companies to begin launching efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, Ginkgo committed $25 million worth of free access to their organism foundry facility, where scientists can design and develop new biological designs, engineer cells, and bacterial strains in an effort to create a vaccine or diagnostic test. In November 2020, Ginkgo funded an expansion of a COVID-19 rapid antigen test manufacturing for the New Jersey company Access Bio. They secured 10 million testing kits for use by companies and organizations requiring regular tests to stay open.
Joyn Bio is a biotech company formed through a partnership between Ginkgo Bioworks and Bayer in 2017. Kelly is one of the company's co-founders and a board member. The company was founded in an effort to create alternative, environmentally friendly methods of typical agricultural practices in the food crop industry that threaten the global food supply and environment. These include such things like engineered microbes that allow cereal crops (corn, wheat, rice) to convert nitrogen from the air into a form of energy they can use to grow, preventing a reliance on chemical fertilizers.
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
⏰Synthetic Biology w/ Jason Kelly (CEO, Ginkgo Bioworks) On 👋 Clubhouse Podcast | 14 May 2021
May 14, 2021
CareTalk Podcast Episode #88 - Jason Kelly: Testing Our Way Out of the Pandemic
April 23, 2021
Jason Kelly of Ginkgo Bioworks, a Synthetic Biology Co. That's Starting a New Industrial Revolution
September 5, 2021