Laura Segatori | AIChE

Laura Segatori

Associate Professor
Rice University

Laura Segatori is an Associate Professor in Bioengineering at Rice University. She received a Laurea in Industrial Biotechnology from the University of Bologna, Italy in 2000 and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. She conducted her postdoctoral work at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California and joined the faculty at Rice University in 2007 where she holds joint appointments in the departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Biosciences. Her lab has been consistently funded by NSF (including the NSF CAREER Award), NIH, and private foundations. Her research group is highly interdisciplinary and combines principles and tools from engineering and science to decipher and manipulate cellular quality control mechanisms that underlie the development of human diseases. Current research interests include the design of synthetic biology tools and nanotechnology-based approaches to engineer protein degradation pathways in the complex environment of mammalian cells. Specifically, Dr Segatori and her group have created an array of cutting-edge approaches to regulate protein synthesis and degradation, thereby controlling dynamic protein behaviors in cells with exquisite specificity. She has assembled these molecular tools into higher-order circuits that interface with homeostatic pathways that mediate protein processing and promote degradation and recycling of aberrant cellular components.  This work, which is guided by predictive mathematical modeling, is key for developing novel therapeutic strategies and equally importantly, for enabling the engineering synthetic cells with predictable behaviors as needed to enhance production of biologics and for cell-based therapies. In parallel research efforts, the Segatori group has defined the molecular pathways and cellular phenotypes triggered by nanomaterials, work that has provided key insights into optimizing cell-material interfaces.