Kristala Jones Prather is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She received an S.B. degree from MIT in 1994 and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked 4 years in BioProcess Research and Development at the Merck Research Labs (Rahway, NJ). She is the recipient of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award (2004), an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2005), and a Technology Review “TR35” Young Innovator Award (2007). She has been recognized for excellence in teaching with an Outstanding Faculty Award for Undergraduate Teaching in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering (2006). Prather is also an investigator in the multi-institutional Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC) funded by the National Science Foundation (USA).