Synthetic Biology and Genome Engineering is an emergent field that combines experimental and theoretical approaches from engineering and other disciplines to solve both fundamental and applied problems in the biosciences and medicine. This field involves the purposeful design of biological systems possessing new functional properties, typically using molecular genetic parts.
Approaches include the engineering of novel proteins to the creation of artificial gene networks that can process information, sense and respond to complex set of environmental cues, and produce industrially important commodities for biological or biomedical applications. Many new technologies in fields such as plant science, environmental engineering, and chemical production will also be based on these advances.
Our faculty are designing approaches for engineered cell therapies, novel contrast agents for highly specific imaging applications, tools for epigenetic regulation of human diseases, and next-generation patient-specific therapeutics. These research areas are tightly related through the use of quantitative experimental and theoretical approaches to characterize biological networks and to understand emergent functional relationships and behaviors. This area has enormous potential to make truly significant contributions to mankind in both medical and non-medical fields over the next decades.
Laboratory for Structural Biomolecular Engineering