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Sean Clarke

saclarke at MIT

directory info

I am a second-year Biological Engineering (BE, MIT Course XX) graduate student in the Alm lab (48-324). Our focus is on the evolution of microbial genomes, and I am specifically working on engineering genetic diversity and stress tolerance in Vibrio splendidus. I hope to determine what alleles and loci contribute to environmental stress tolerance and whether these have analogues in the ocean environment.

Along with Amy Nichols, I am a coordinator of the BE graduate student board. I was the first-year class representative last year, and am always happy to hear suggestions about improvements to the department.

Past life and credentials

My background is in mechanical engineering and design, but not of things quite as small as BioBricks.

I've also lived in Long Island, St. Louis, and Washington, DC, all of which I will defend and criticize if called upon.

Other research interests

  • Engineering microbial stress tolerance
  • Relating stress tolerance to genome loci
  • Resequencing evolved microbes
  • Scaling of engineered biology to industrial purposes
  • Design and use of replicating biological machines
  • Technologies/vocabularies to make biological engineering easier
  • Ethics and philosophy of science instruction for scientists/engineers
  • Biomimicry, bioscaffolds for material processing
  • Recycling/"cradle to cradle" design of biological systems
  • Usability of biological design software and equipment
  • Biomineralization


Past Projects

  • My first project at MIT was during the summer of 2005 when I tried the Orthogonal cloning of clpXP from E. coli into yeast. I was more successful at learning molecular biology and techniques by making mistakes than at cloning into yeast. This work is continuing in someone else's more capable hands.

Sean Clarke/Notes