Daniel Bojar, PhD
Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe
Branco Weiss Fellow
Currently, I am a tenure-track assistant professor (Associate Senior Lecturer) at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg & the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine. There, I am driven by the mission to accelerate & advance glycobiology with machine learning to unlock the potential of glycans for systems & synthetic biology. Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the research group of Prof. Jim J. Collins at MIT & the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering of Harvard University. There, I pioneered applying deep learning to glycobiology, exemplified by our recent work on glycan-mediated host-microbe interactions. My doctoral studies were in mammalian synthetic biology, in the research group of Prof. Martin Fussenegger at the D-BSSE of ETH Zurich. Via genetically engineering human cells with advanced gene circuits, my projects there established new cell-based therapies for the future of biomedicine.
For my work on glycan-focused machine learning, I was recently awarded a prestigious Branco Weiss Fellowship, an elusive grant with a success rate of ~1.4% that provides me with ~$500,000 in external funding. My group further received an establishment grant from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR) over ~$400,000. I have also been featured in the “Rising Star” series of Advanced Science, highlighting exceptionally promising early-career researchers. In 2022, I was selected to be on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list for my research in glycobiology. Additionally, I am the 2020 Foresight Fellow in Health & Longevity to support my research on the health implications of glycans. Previously, I was a selected Young Scientist at the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, an honor extended to the 600 most promising young physiology/medicine scientists worldwide. Among other honors, my Master’s thesis was awarded an ETH medal for outstanding Master’s theses by ETH Zurich and I was a fellow of both the Excellence Scholarship and Opportunity Program of ETH Zurich (ESOP; most talented 2-3% of their year) and the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (best 10% of their year).
My scientific background is firmly grounded in structural biology, machine learning, glycobiology, and synthetic biology. I am also currently in the steering committee of the Gothenburg Bioinformatics Network (GOTBIN) and the chairperson of the Glycoinformatics Consortium (GLIC). Next to my academic endeavors, I am strongly convinced of the importance of science communication and outreach to the general public. To further this goal, I was the Communications Officer of the European Association of Synthetic Biology Students and Post-Docs (EUSynBioS) and communicate scientific concepts in the form of written articles (for outlets such as Times Higher Education, Nautilus Magazine, Tales of the Cocktail, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, PLOS Synbio, Medium, GenoFAB, and Massive Science), spoken Science Slams, and as an invited speaker at the world’s largest start-up conference SLUSH. I am passionate about the extension of what is possible in the realm of biology and medicine, as well as the communication of scientific advances and concepts to the general public.