Sanjay Vashee is an Associate Professor in the Synthetic Biology Group at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, MD. After joining JCVI in 2003, Dr. Vashee helped the Synthetic Biology Group develop synthetic genomics methods and technologies that led to the creation of a synthetic organism based on Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies capri. His research interests leverage these synthetic genomics technologies to better study and develop therapeutics for human and animal diseases. Current projects include the development of vaccines for human and animal viruses as well as diseases causes by veterinary mycoplasma pathogens. Prior to joining JCVI, Dr. Vashee was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University-School of Medicine where he was the first to characterize the in vitro DNA-binding properties of the human origin recognition complex, the initiator protein of eukaryotic DNA replication. Dr. Vashee holds a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master's degree in Chemistry from Western Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.