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Colloquium: Dr. Michael Levin

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Virtual Location: Zoom
Target Audiences:
Dr. Michael Levin
Vannevar Bush Distinguished Professor of Biology
Tufts University

Thursday, October 12, 2023
3:30-4:30 PM

“Bioelectricity as the Software of Life: From Cognitive Glue to Regenerative Medicine”

Each of us takes the remarkable journey from the physics of a single cell to the complex metacognitive mental world of a human being. My lab studies the principles and mechanisms of cognitive scaling: how the collective intelligence of cells expresses competencies in diverse problem spaces. In this talk, I will describe bioelectric networks as the cognitive glue that underlies problem-solving in anatomical space, and the tools we have developed to read and write the information content of the physiological software that lies between the genomic hardware and functional bodies. I will mention our applications of primitive cognition and its reprogramming in birth defects, regeneration, and cancer, as well as show novel synthetic life forms and their implications for biorobotics, AI, and ethics.

Michael Levin is the Vannevar Bush Distinguished Professor of Biology at Tufts University, an associate faculty at Harvard’s Wyss Institute, and the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed publications across developmental biology, computer science, and philosophy of mind. His group works to understand information processing and problem-solving across scales, in a range of naturally evolved, synthetically engineered, and hybrid living systems. Dr. Levin’s work spans from fundamental conceptual frameworks to applications in birth defects, regeneration, and cancer.

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