Our research group uses a combination of interdisciplinary approaches including chemical engineering, synthetic biology, systems biology, molecular biology, microbiology, metabolic engineering and computational biology to address key global challenges including medical and energy needs. We are interested in adopting an integrated mathematical modeling and experimental approach to investigate fundamental and medically relevant issues such as understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for antibiotic and antiviral resistance, and for developing “next-generation smart antimicrobials” by rationally engineering novel therapeutics that target essential bacterial/viral genes in a potentially resistance-free manner. We study genetic regulatory networks that control propagation of infectious diseases, with the goal of discovering novel drug targets for therapy. Using synthetic biology tools we design, construct and engineer modular synthetic genetic devices that can achieve higher-order biological computation, for variety of biotechnological and bioenergy applications. To this end, we engineer biological parts such as transcription factors, promoter sequences, receptors, feedback loops, and regulatory RNA to build complex genetic networks that can be used to optimize cellular machinery for production of bio-fuels and pharmaceuticals, and for gene therapy applications. Using these genetic devices, we apply systems biology approaches to understand functioning of complex genetic networks and to build rules to manipulate such networks.
In the Spotlight
A new way of sequencing and delecting drug-resistant bacteria
We are developing a platform technology for fast, reliable, high-throughput and cost effective single molecule sequencing of nulciec acids.This kind of sequencing is an important step in the developement of new diagnostic tools for personalized medicine, as well as in rapid identification of DNA sequences that allow bacteria to develop drug resistance
This approach can potentially transform how we detect drug resistant pathogens in the clinical setting, will allow faster diagnostics and early detection of drug resistant strains that can prevent future spread of resistance, and will also reduce the cost of diagnostics.Read more | The Denver post | ChBE