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Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Time: 11:00 am
Speaker: Timothy Lu, MIT
Title: Engineering Living Cells for Human Health Applications
Location: 67-3111 Chemla Room


Over the last 50 years, exponential increases in our ability to manipulate electrons and engineer electronic systems spawned the information technology revolution. Similarly rapid improvements in technologies for reading and writing DNA are now transforming our capacity to engineer biological systems. Leveraging these technologies, synthetic biology is an emerging discipline for designing biological systems with novel functionalities. This field has opened up new strategies for interrogating, understanding, diagnosing, and treating human diseases.

I will discuss several relevant examples where we have: (1) created highly specific antimicrobial agents to detect and combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, (2) designed digital and analog synthetic gene circuits for sophisticated sense-and-respond behaviors towards applications in microbiome engineering, and (3) built new technologies for massively parallel combinatorial genetics in bacteria and human cells.