Our group uses synthetic, systems, and quantitative biology to engineer useful gene and protein-based biological devices and to deepen our understanding of molecular cell biology. We operate biological devices primarily in human/ mammalian cells. Accelerating the pace of therapeutic technologies (such as tissue regeneration and customizable protein-based drugs) via modular design is the grand challenge that shapes our research plans.
CURRENT SYNTHETIC BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING PROJECTS
Synthetic chromatin for cancer research
- David Nyer (Research Tech), David Tze (Biomed Eng. BS)
- Description: Using the "PcTF" synthetic chromatin protein/ transcription activator described in Haynes & Silver 2011 to regulate genes in cancer cells. Building and testing re-engineered versions of PcTF.
Opening silenced chromatin
- Daniel Vargas (Biological Design PhD)
- Description: Using synthetic chromatin proteins to induce a permanently re-opened state at epigenetically silenced genes.
Synthetic chromatin systems for cell development
- David Barclay (Biomedical Eng. BS), Jan Simper (Biomedical Eng. BS), Theodore Kyriacou (Biomedical Eng. BS)
- Description: Designing a single-cell-level fluorescent reporter that tracks changes in epigenetic states in developing cells.
Editing synthetic genes using CRISPR
- René Davis (Biological Design PhD)
- Description: Characterizing chromatin/CRISPR interactions.
Microbial communication with synthetic quorum sensing
- René Davis (Biological Design, PhD), Ryan Muller (Biochem. BS), Jiaqi Wu (Biomedical Eng. BS)
- Description: Characterizing cross-talk between decoupled cell-cell communication systems from bacteria.
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