Lab Focus: Biological Engineering

Project Name: Programmable Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Using RNAi-based Logic Circuitry

Project Description: Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), reprogrammed from adult cells, allow the creation of unique new cells and tissues from patient-specific stem cells. These tissues are being used for research in drug development, disease models, and regenerative medicine. In the Weiss Lab, we work on engineering biological computation in hiPSCs that can control the way they form those new cells and tissues. This project involves both designing and implementing biological circuits encoded in the genome of human stem cells. The type of circuits used is based on RNA interference (RNAi), which can perform computer-like operations in human cells. This project will involve learning about CRISPR, genome engineering, biological circuit design, DNA cloning, and quantitative analysis of biological data.

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Laboratory Mentors:

Sebastian Palacios – PhD Candidate

Research Areas: 

  • Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Jesse Tordoff – PhD Candidate

Research Areas: 

  • Stem Cell and Developmental Systems Biology  
  • Synthetic Biology and Biological Design