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Antiswitch-mediated regulation of gene expression. Antiswitch molecules are in an ‘off’ conformation (back right) when not bound to a small molecule ligand (green) and switch to an ‘on’ conformation upon ligand binding (middle left). In the ‘on’ conformation these molecules will bind to a target transcript (blue) to inhibit gene expression through antisense mechanisms (foreground).

The Smolke Laboratory is interested in using a combination of interdisciplinary approaches encompassing biomolecular design, synthetic biology, and cellular engineering with a strong foundation in engineering design principles, biochemistry, molecular biology, and chemical biology to study complex gene regulatory networks and develop sophisticated gene expression technologies. Our laboratory is part of the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University in the Schools of Engineering and Medicine. We are also part of the BioX Program. Our research efforts focus on the design of new molecular tools for performing information processing, computation, and control functions in living systems and the application of these tools to programming and probing biological systems. We are applying these technologies to addressing key challenges in cellular therapeutics, targeted molecular therapies, and green biosynthesis strategies.

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