Our lab's research interests span a diverse array of topics that fall under three main areas:
Programming Bacteria for Cancer
The primary focus of the laboratory is to program bacteria as diagnostic and therapeutic agents for cancer. Using tools from synthetic biology, we engineer gene circuits that allow bacteria to communicate, reproduce, and express molecules inside of tumors. We use a methodology that spans from in silico mathematical modeling, to in vitro characterization, to in vivo animal testing in mice. This approach allows for creating robust systems with added safety and specificity. We additionally apply these principles to explore other microbiomes for human health applications.
Our lab uses engineering principles to design and construct genetic circuits in microbes. In the past, we have engineered circuits to produce synchronized oscillations in a population of bacteria using quorum-sensing. We continue to work towards understanding the design principles of genetic circuitry that control spatio-temporal behaviors in microbes.
Quantitative and Systems Biology
The design of new genetic circuits and microbial therapeutics are often inspired by native biological systems. Our lab utilizes mathematical modeling, next-generation sequencing, and microfluidic technologies to quantitatively understand the dynamics of gene networks and microbial populations in a variety of systems at a single cell level.