Synthetic Biology Research

Faculty mentors in this research area share the goal of understanding the “Rules of Life” and using these rules to create biotechnologies and overcome challenges of sustainability, energy, and health. Within Synthetic Biology, research is focused on programming new cellular functions by developing foundational tools that allow the programming of cells to connect with materials. These tools include proteins for precision DNA editing, RNA and protein gene control, optogenetics, and multicellular genetic programing. Research is also focused on creating microbial fuel cells, engineering microbes that function as exoelectrogens and control e- flow in cells, and controlling electron transfer critical to biocatalysis.