Integrating Synthetic and Developmental Biology | AIChE

Integrating Synthetic and Developmental Biology


Nemhauser, J. - Presenter, University of Washington
Life in the Anthropocene has many challenges, among the most urgent is widespread global hunger and malnourishment. What if every community of small-hold farmers could improve their own heritage crops to their own specifications? Realizing this DIY vision would require radical innovations in the way we conceptualize and execute crop improvement, as well as in how we build communities of practice. Synthetic biology, sitting at an intersection of engineering and biology, offers theoretical and practical tools to guide such efforts. My group is interested in exploring the limits of rational re-tuning of developmental pathways to customize plant form for local agricultural conditions, while simultaneously striving to understand the molecular tuning knobs that control fundamental components of eukaryotic signaling (e.g., ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, transcriptional repression/activation).