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Synthetic biologist Caleb Bashor joins Rice University

Bioengineering researcher aims to make biology easier to engineer

By Shawn Hutchins
Rice BIOE News

This January Caleb Bashor will launch new laboratory research as an assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice University.

Caleb Bashor_Synthetic BiologyThe Bashor lab will focus on using synthetic biology approaches to understand how complex behavior emerges from the molecular constituents of cellular regulatory networks. They will then apply this knowledge to reprogram cellular sense and response function in mammalian cells using synthetic transcriptional and signaling circuitry with an eye toward treating disease with engineered ‘smart’ cells.

Bashor hails from the research group of Professor James Collins and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Institute for Medical and Engineering Science, where he established generalizable, foundational strategies for bottom-up construction of synthetic regulatory systems in eukaryotic cells. Bashor hopes to scale these strategies to a variety of different therapeutically relevant human cell types.

In addition to circuit engineering work, Bashor’s research has helped to establish synthetic biology as an approach for understanding the design principles of natural regulatory networks.

Bashor’s research has led to 16 peer-reviewed publications, and he is an inventor on five pending or awarded patents. He has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Reed College and a Ph.D. in biophysics from University of California, San Francisco.