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Synthetic Biology

The lab's goal is to make biology easy to engineer. Our research is largely student-initiated and driven. Students have joined the lab from a wide-range of backgrounds, including biology, chemistry, english, mathematics, physics, and all fields of engineering. Reading our dissertations and research papers is a great way to learn about the sort of work that the lab has been able to support, and provides good background and introductory materials as well as glimpses of future ideas and directions. You'll find that the lab has a strong interest in foundational technology development, that we pursue both experimental and theoretical work, and that we are interested in the applications of biological technologies too. If you are searching for a passionate place to work on a new (or old) research idea that's relevant to synthetic biology then we would very much like to hear from you.

PhD Students

  • Barry Canton (class of 2008, TBA)
    • Engineering the interface between cellular chassis and synthetic biological systems ([URL pending, Dissertation])
    • BBa_F2620, an engineered cell-cell communication receiver device (in press, Research Paper)
    • A virtual machine for synthetic biology, or equivalent (in prep., Research Paper)
  • Jason Kelly (class of 2008, TBA)
  • Reshma Shetty (2008 PhD, w/ Tom Knight, TBA)
    • Applying engineering principles to the design and construction of transcriptional devices (Dissertation)
    • Engineering BioBrick vectors from BioBrick parts (Research Paper)
    • A synthetic biology approach to reprogramming bacterial odor (submitted, Research Paper)
    • Signal levels, load, and error rates in engineered transcriptional devices, or equivalent (in prep., Research Paper)
  • Samantha Sutton (class of 2008 PhD, TBA)
  • Ty Thomson (class of 2008 PhD, moving to Epitome Biosystems)
  • Sri Kosuri (class of 2007 PhD, now at a very low-profile biotechnology startup)
    • Simulation, models, and refactoring of bacteriophage T7 gene expression (Dissertation)
    • Refactoring bacteriophage T7 (Research Paper)
    • TABASCO: A single molecule, base-pair resolved gene expression simulator (Research Paper)
    • Measures and models of bacteriophage T7 gene expression (in prep., Research Paper)

MS Students

  • Alex Mallet (2007, now at Microsoft, Inc.)
    • Analysis of Targeted and Combinatorial Approaches to Phage T7 Genome Generation (Thesis)
  • Jeff Gritton (2006, now at Harvard Law School)
    • Architecture and evolutionary stability of yeast signaling pathways (Thesis)

Undergraduate Students

  • iGEM 2008
  • iGEM 2007
  • iGEM 2006
  • Synthetic Biology Competition 2005
  • IAP 2004
  • IAP 2003

Current Projects (partial listing)

Engineering the Chassis/System Interface - Barry Canton

Library-based Construction - Jason Kelly & Josh Michener

Rebuilding T7 - Sri Kosuri

Receiver Definition - Ania Labno & Barry Canton

SortoStat - Jason Kelly & Bryan Hernandez

TABASCO - Sri Kosuri

Time-Dependent Analysis of Signaling Pathways - Ty Thomson