About Me

I am an IBM PhD Fellow at theMIT Media Lab in Joe Jacobson's Molecular Machines group and Church lab at the Wyss Institute at Harvard Medical School. I obtained my Bachelor at Imperial College London where I worked on a potassium ion channel based synthetic biology reporter system. I continued my thesis work at IBM Research where I have been encouraging research in bioelectronic interfaces ever since. I worked as an early intern at Ginkgo Bioworks where I developed many of the assembly pipelines still used today.

I am a founder of BioBright, a company building open source hardware and software tools that hopes to transform the way biomedical research is carried out and enable curious people to ask interesting questions easily. I represented Boston for the Hello Tomorrow challenge (European 100k) and am a founding member of the first DIYBio lab. I have spoken about my work at many different venues including the White House, MIT Sloan, NASA Ames, IBM Research and Airbus.

My current academic interests lie at the intersection of biological engineering and electronics. A space we have been calling Digital Biology. At the heart of Digital Biology lies the notion of BioElectronic Interfaces. Defining and building said interfaces is the leitmotiv of my research. From scalable DNA origami systems all the way to smart, context-enhancing systems for research and accessible human physiological monitors.

True to MIT hacking culture, I love prototyping electronics and programming and regularly explore fun projects ranging from making reverse geocache boxes to networked sensors of all kinds.

Outside science, I have a love for art deco architecture and design, as well as Flemish and Italian renaissance paintings from artists like Van Eyck and Caravaggio. In (somewhat) more contemporary terms, painter René Magritte, Sartre's existentialist work and Jean Cocteau's poetry are most evocative.


Year Title Status Reference
2014 Details pending Pending Not Currently Available
2014 Details pending Pending Not Currently Available
2013 Hierarchical Scalable Functional Nanoassembler Pending Not Currently Available


Year Title Location Reference
2015 MIT Media Lab Lounge SXSW
2014 Smart Cities NIST Workshop DC Convention Center
2014 Bits ↔ Biology MIT Center for Bits and Atoms MIT TechTV Video
2014 Open source hardware and software for bio to digital measurements Airbus PDF 9.6MB
2013 Play with DNA: Building a Star Trek Replicator and other shenanigans Tarassenko Lab, IBME, Oxford
2013 Interfacing Biology and Electronics NASA Ames
2012 Engineering Programmable Potassium Efflux as a Cyborg Reporter Mechanism in Synthetic Biology International BioEngineering Conference
2011 Why Biological Prototyping Sucks and How To Fix It MIT T=0 Entrepreneurship Event Powerpoint 245kB
PDF 199kB
2010 BioEngineered Inks Awesome Foundation Powerpoint 26.9MB
PDF 32.7MB


Year Title Location Reference
2013 Fabricated machines for rapid prototyping in bio labs (w/ Nadya Peek, Scott Livingston and Emzo de los Santos) Open Hardware Summit Not Available
2013 Continuous, Multiplexed, Non-Invasive Physiological Sensing with Glass Google Not Available
2011 Building a New Reporter System using Synthetic Biology for Bio-Electronic Communication IBM Research PDF 24.8MB


Year Title
2013, 2014 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship
2010 Awesome Foundation Fellowship


Year Type
2015 Hack A Day Interview: Open Hardware for Open Science
2014 Article on La Paillasse DIYBio lab
2013 Article on TechEmergence
2013 Video Interview on TechEmergence

Contact Me

Type Address
Email (general) charlesfracchia@gmail.com
Email (academic) fracchia@mit.edu
Twitter @charlesfracchia
Skype charlesfracchia
LinkedIn https://linkedin.com/in/charlesfracchia