Geoffrey Otim, MSc, Founder and CEO

Otim Geoffrey is a Life scientist with a strong passion for synthetic biology which he developed after attending his first synthetic biology conference (SB.7) in Singapore as a Biosecurity fellow, sponsored by Johns Hopkins center for Health security in 2017. There, he met, interacted, and created network with many thought leaders and pioneers of synthetic biology who have continued to play a bigger role in mentoring and supporting his SynBio initiatives. He founded iGEM Makerere University team in 2018, the first iGEM team from East Africa to participate and represent at the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston. He later Founded SynBio Africa as an after iGEM initiative to promote and spread the gospel of synthetic biology across Africa. Since 2017, Otim Geoffrey has been very active in synthetic biology ecosystem. He received; Biosecurity Fellowship from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security to attend the Global synthetic biology conference organized by SynBioBeta in 2018, in San Francisco, US; PGRIP Scholarship to attend and present at the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Egypt, 2018; Global community biosummit Fellowship to attend and present at the Global community biosummit at MIT Media Lab, Boston, MA in 2019; and Global South Biosecurity Diplomacy Fellowship to attend and present at the Global South Biosecurity conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019, among others. Otim Geoffrey graduated with an MSc. Life Science from Universite Paris Cite; Bachelor’s in medical laboratory science from Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda; Advanced Diploma in Health Management and Leadership; and a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology. To diversify his knowledge base and build his international relations and policy advocacy capacity, he also studied and graduated with a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy offered by United Nations Institute for Training and Research in collaboration with University of Catalunya, Spain. He also did professional development advanced short courses in synthetic biology from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, and science policy & advocacy for STEM scientists from University of California, Irvine. He currently serves as a member of the UN Biodiversity’s multidisciplinary Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology, and as an external Biosafety Expert with Elizabeth R Griffin Program of Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security. He previously served as a rapporteur with WHO Geneva to support Uganda in piloting the implementation of WHO framework for governance of somatic human genome editing. He has received many awards, fellowships, and invitations to speak at national and international conferences. Notably, he received SynBioBeta Impact Award 2023 for his groundbreaking work in building and growing synthetic biology communities in Africa. His current areas of research interest focus on the discovery of cryptic microbial secondary metabolites from biodiversity through synthetic biology, engineering gut microbiome for therapeutic applications, and utilization of the available biomass streams in the production of useful energy products such as ethanol, butanol, and methane.

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