Haynes Lab

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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.


Synthetic chromatin for cancer research

  • David Nyer (Research Tech), Daniel Vargas (Biological Design PhD), Stefan Tekel (Biological Design PhD), 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

  • René Daer (Biological Design, PhD), Cassandra Barrett (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.

Microbial communication with synthetic quorum sensing

  • René Daer (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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