Cathal Garvey is a mentor at RebelBio.
Hailing from Cork City, Ireland’s best-loved city, Cathal epitomises the phenomenon known as DIYbio, or Biohacking. Through DIYbio he wants to make biology a worthwhile pursuit for citizen scientists and amateur biologists who value openness and safety.
In 2010, Cathal dropped out of a cancer-research PhD programme to start his own lab. He then began what would become a two-year journey of creating tools to enable himself and others to engage in biohacking on a shoestring budget. Tools like Dremelfuge, PySplicer and a collection of alternative protocols for common biotech tasks, designed for the everyman. They use common (or increasingly common) resources and emerging technologies to bring DIY research closer to what well-funded labs can do.
Cathal has become known for DIYbio and democratised biotechnology, and has spoken around Europe on the subject including at PICNIC Amsterdam 2012 and TEDx Dublin. He has been interviewed by MIT Technology Review, the New York Times, Le Monde, and others. He was a co-curator at the Grow Your Own exhibit at Dublin’s Science Gallery. He was also a mentor in IndieBio’s first year as “SynbioAxlr8r”. He is now a co-founder at Ireland’s first community laboratory, Forma Labs.
He enjoys helping plucky biotech companies from around the world grow from idea to viable start-up in his Alma Mater, University College Cork. His dream is a vibrant culture of bio-curiosity and bio-making in Ireland, the EU, and the rest of the world.
Cathal also enjoys coding in Python and Go, believes strongly in open access publishing and creative commons, and believes copyright and patent reform is long overdue. When he’s not hacking on code, working with start-ups or loudly advocating Free/Libre Biotech, he’s probably in a forest with his wife Niamh and their daughters.