Tara Deans Assistant ProfessorUniversity of UtahDr. Deans is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah. During her PhD at Boston University, Dr. Deans focused on synthetic biology in mammalian cells. During her graduate research, she developed a tunable genetic switch coupling repressor proteins and a novel RNAi target design to control gene expression levels. After her graduate work, Dr. Deans went to Johns Hopkins University for her postdoctoral fellowship where she sought an area of research with the greatest opportunity for translating synthetic biology into therapeutic applications. Her postdoctoral work focused on interfacing synthetic biology with biomaterials, in addition to working with stem cells for tissue engineering applications. Dr. Deans now runs the Applied Synthetic Biology Laboratory at the University of Utah. Her lab focuses on developing novel genetic tools to gain a better understanding of cellular function in both healthy and diseased states. This information is being used to develop new approaches for repairing damaged and diseased tissue.