The EBICS mission is to create a new scientific discipline for building living, multi-cellular machines that solve real world problems in health, security, and the environment. 

EBICS has taken two fundamental approaches to developing biological machines. Using a classic engineering approach, we define the specifications for cellular machines with the desired capabilities, and develop the necessary parts (cells and cell clusters) and machine assembly pathways to construct such a machine. In parallel, we are using a systems biology approach to understand the emergent properties of cells and cell clusters to harness those properties to evolve interacting cell clusters that function within a biological machine with specific capabilities.

Research Groups


Leader: Melissa Kemp (Georgia Tech) | MIT:Laurie BoyerLinda GriffithRon Weiss | Georgia Tech: Shu TakayamaHang Lu | Boston University: Calin Belta | Gladstone InstituteTodd McDevitt | Tufts University: Mike Levin | Princeton University: Stas Shvartsman

The overall goal(s) of the Organoids group is to identify and control the extrinsic and intrinsic parameters governing the initiation of emergent behaviors; to examine the spatiotemporal dynamics of emergent behaviors; to explore and model the formation of organoids; to direct the co-differentiation of pluripotent stem cells.

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Leader: Taher Saif (University of Illinois) | MIT:Roger KammHarry Asada | Georgia TechManu Platt | University of IllinoisRashid BashirHyunjoon Kong | Tufts University: Mike Levin

The overall goal(s) of the Biobots group is to design, construct and analyze a family of biobots that emerge from interactions between cells and elementary engineered scaffolds and to use the biobot platforms to study emergent properties of neuron cell clusters, cross talk between neurons and muscle, and neuromuscular junctions.

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Microphysiological Systems

Leader: Kara McCloskey (UC Merced) | MITRoger Kamm,  Paula Hammond | Georgia TechManu PlattShu TakayamaYuhong FanUniversity of Illinois: Gabi Popescu | Morehouse:Alex Peister | Rutgers University: Maribel Vazquez | University of Georgia: Steve Stice

The overall goal(s) of the MPS group is to identify and use emergent properties in multicellular living systems for building vascularized tissues and organoids. 

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The Center for Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems is a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center