Howard H. Chou is a professor at the Center for Synthetic Biochemistry (CSB), Institute of Synthetic Biology (iSynBio), Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT), Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Research Areas

Synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, industrial biotechnology, biosensor, synthetic pathways


     Howard H. Chou graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 2004, a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2005, and a Master of Engineering in 2005.  As an undergraduate student, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Susan J. Hagen at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center performing immunohistochemistry experiments to understand the effect of glutamine on Helicobacter pylori infection in mice.  Later, he worked in the laboratory of Professor Ram Sasisekharan building bioinformatics tools to classify and analyze glycomics data. As a Master student, he worked in the laboratory of Professor C. Forbes Dewey, Jr. developing computational tools and frameworks to automate the storage and analysis of microarray data.

     He continued his studies at the University of California Berkeley, where he graduated in 2012 with a Doctor of Philosophy in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley and also attained the Management of Technology certification from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.  He worked in the laboratory of Professor Jay D. Keasling as a Ph.D. student, and his doctoral thesis focused on engineering natural proteins to perform unnatural reactions, and he applied these new proteins to building synthetic enzymatic pathways to produce biofuels and synthetic biosensors to rapidly improve metabolite production in vivo.  He was awarded the NIH Graduate Fellowship in Genomics, Anselmo John Macchi Engineering and Science Scholarship, and the QB3 Catalyst Grant in recognition of his academic achievements.


Work Experience

     After graduating with Ph.D. in 2012, Howard H. Chou came to Shanghai, China and joined the biotechnology company, Cathay Industrial Biotech.  He served as the Chief Scientist of Molecular Biotechnology from 2012 to 2014, Director of Research and Development from 2014 to 2017, and the Vice President of Research and Development from 2017 to 2019. 

     He was awarded the Second Zhangjiang Outstanding Innovation and Entrepreneurship Talent Award (第二届张江杰出创新创业人才奖) and Outstanding Technology Leader Award of Shanghai Science and Technology Commissio (上海市科学技术委员会优秀技术带头人奖) in recognition of his leadership and technical achievements.  He also served as a visiting professor at Jiangnan University, Wuxi from 2017 to 2020. 

     In 2019, he joined the Center for Synthetic Biochemistry at the Institute of Synthetic Biology, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences as a Professor-level Senior Engineer.  To date, he is an author on 7 journal publications, 5 issued patents, and 11 international patent applications. 

     In the past, he has been an invited speaker to both academic and industrial conferences, including the Gordon Research Conference, SynBERC, Society for Industrial Microbiology, and the Bio-based Materials Conference.

Honors & Distinctions

09/01/2005, NIH Graduate Fellowship in Genomic, National Institute of Health. 

09/01/2007, Anselmo John Macchi Engineering and Science Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley.

05/01/2009, QB3 Catalyst Grant, QB3 University of California.

04/01/2017, Visiting Professor, Jiangnan University, Department of Bioengineering.

05/01/2018, 第二届张江杰出创新创业人才奖,Zhangjiang HiTech Park, Shanghai.

05/01/2018, 上海市科学技术委员会优秀技术带头人奖, Shanghai.