User:Akshay Maheshwari

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About Me

I am a bioengineering graduate student working jointly with Drew Endy and Roseanna Zia at Stanford University. I completed two years of medical school prior to starting my PhD and am a part of the MD/PhD program.

My goal is to enable operational mastery of living matter, sufficient to safely construct and control biological organisms that are unconstrained by evolutionary lineage. Such capacity would have major implications for distributed and personalized biotechnology and medicine. Achieving operational mastery will require moving beyond spatially-abstracted phenomenological models of biological functions. Such modeling has revealed much about cells but is alone insufficient to enable the construction of cells. New engineering approaches and insights are needed.

In my projects, I am developing new ways to approach building cells. Most recently, I have been leveraging the field of colloidal physics to systematically elucidate the physics of how molecules organize to produce cell function. My hope is to bridge our disparate understanding of single molecule behavior and whole-cell behavior. My perspective on this can be found here.

Check out my work:

1. Colloidal hydrodynamics of biological cells: A frontier spanning two fields

2. Genome Dreaming (Generating novel prokaryotic genomes using recurrent neural networks) (2016): Poster or Report

3. An information-theoretic model of engineered cell-cell communication (2017): Poster or Report

Contact Info

I am always interested in discussing research opportunities and collaborating on projects. Feel free to send me an email or drop by my office.

  • Rm 250 Shriram Center
  • 443 Via Ortega
  • Stanford, CA, USA
  • Email: where x = akshaym and y = stanford


  • 2014 - Current, MD/PhD (MSTP) Student, Stanford University Departments of Bioengineering & Medicine
  • 2014, BS in Bioengineering: Biotechnology (summa cum laude), University of California, San Diego

Research interests

  1. Bio-colloidal physics
  2. Theoretical synthetic biology
  3. Computational Genome Design
  4. Microfluidics


  • A. J. Maheshwari, E. Gonzalez, A. M. Sunol, D. Endy, and R. N. Zia. Brownian motion alone cannot facilitate protein synthesis at physiological rates: colloidal physics modeling of cellular processes. In review.
  • A. J. Maheshwari, A. M. Sunol, E. Gonzalez, D. Endy, and R. N. Zia. Colloidal hydrodynamics of biological cells: A frontier spanning two fields. Physical Review Fluids (2019).
  • Lynn J. Rothschild, Daniel T. Greenberg, Jack R. Takahashi, Kirsten A. Thompson, Akshay J. Maheshwari, Ryan E. Kent, Griffin McCutcheon, Joseph D. Shih, Charles L. Calvet, Tyler D. Devlin, Tina Ju, Daniel P. Kunin, Erica K. Lieberman, Thai Nguyen, Forrest G. Tran, Daniel Z. Xiang, Kosuke Fujishima. CRISPR/Cas9-Assisted Transformation-Efficient Reaction (CRATER), a novel method for selective transformation. bioRvix (2015) -- doi: 10.1101/027664.
  • Jacqueline Quinn, Robert Sidney Cox III, Aaron Adler, Jacob Beal, Swapnil Bhatia, Yizhi Cai, Joanna Chen, Kevin Clancy, Michal Galdzicki, Akshay Maheshwari, James Alastair McLaughlin, Chris Myers, Umesh P, Matthew Pocock, Cesar Rodriguez, Larisa Soldatova, Guy-Bart Stan, Neil Swainston, Herbert M. Sauro, Anil Wipat. SBOL Visual: A Graphical Language for Genetic Designs. PLoS Biol 13.12 (2015): e1002310 -- doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002310
  • Jacqueline Quinn, Jacob Beal, Swapnil Bhatia, Patrick Cai, Joanna Chen, Kevin Clancy, Nathan Hillson, Michal Galdzicki, Akshay Maheshwari, Umesh P, Matthew Pocock, Cesar Rodriguez, Guy-Bart Stan, Drew Endy. Synthetic Biology Open Language Visual (SBOL Visual), version 1.0.0, BBF RFC #93 (2013) -- doi: 1721.1/78249.

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