Timothy Lu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Tim received his undergraduate and M.Eng. degrees from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He obtained an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Medical Engineering and Medical Physics Program. Tim has won the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, Grand Prize in the National Inventor Hall of Fame’s Collegiate Inventors Competition, and the Leon Reznick Memorial Prize for “outstanding performance in research” from Harvard Medical School. He has also been selected as a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences and a Siebel Scholar. Outside of the lab, Tim enjoys playing volleyball and tennis.
Aaron is a researcher in the Lu lab, where he is also responsible for facilitating the logistics of lab operation. He earned both an Sc.B. and an Sc.M. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University. During his studies there, he participated in the iGEM competition, where his captivation with synthetic biology expanded beyond measure. The culmination of his work at Brown resulted in the design of a genetic limiter circuit that applies a unique conditional regulation scheme to a gene of interest. Aaron’s current research centers on understanding the mechanisms of amyloid formation in yeast and the ways in which this process might be harnessed for computational and therapeutic goals. In the rare occurrence that Aaron is not in lab, he may be found honing his abilities as an outdoorsman, trekking the higher altitudes of New England. He also engages in long-distance running and teaches CPR classes.
Oliver received a BSc. in Molecular Biology and MSc. in Bioinformatics from the University of Manchester, and an MRes and PhD in Complexity Science from the University of Bristol. He is currently a postdoctoral associate in the Lu lab and is interested in building synthetic gene networks with novel properties, and ultimately creating fully synthetic living systems. Outside of the lab he likes to snowboard and Scuba dive.
|Urartu Ozgur Safak Seker
Urartu Seker received his PhD from Istanbul Technical University in Molecular Biology-Genetics and Biotechnology in December 2009. During his PhD studies he was also a graduate research assistant and visiting graduate student at the University of Washington Genetically Engineered Materials Science and Engineering Center between 2004-2007. After PhD, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Bilkent University National Nanotechnology Research Center in Ankara, Turkey until June 2010. He has also worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Nanyang Technological University Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics Departments in Singapore in 2011 with Prof. H. Volkan Demir. Currently he is working as a Postdoctoral research associate in MIT Synthetic Biology Center with Prof. Timothy K. Lu. His research interest covers designing and implementing protein based nano-assemblies by employing tools of molecular biology and biochemistry towards biomedical-biotechnological applications.
Chao joined the synthetic biology group in Feb 2012. Prior to MIT, he had been working as a postdoc in Professor Rolandi group in MSE at University of Washington, Seattle since summer 2009. Earlier than that, He earned his Ph.D. in BME from Cornell University in Aug 2009. His research interests include bioinspired materials/devices, biomineralization and synthetic biology as a novel toolbox for nanobiomaterials synthesis. He has published work in several prestigious journals like Nature Communications and Advanced Materials et al. His recent work on nanobioprotonic transistor was covered by many media reports including Materials Research Society (MRS), Discovery News, New York Times, MIT Tech Review and IEEE Spectrum. In Lu’s lab, he is going to leverage the power of synthetic biology to explore novel routes towards bio-inspired nanomaterials synthesis and nanodevices design. Outside the lab, chao likes travelling, tennis, music and watching movies. Chao can be reached by: email@example.com, and more information about him can be found in his personal website.
Piro received his PhD from University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he worked on Nano-enabled synthetic biology: A cell mimic based sensing platform for exploiting biochemical networks. Piro joined the synthetic biology group in October 2011 and is interested in using single invertase memory modules for building memory and recording events during the lifetime of the cell.
Bijan is a post-doctoral associate in the Synthetic Biology Group at MIT. He received his HBSc in Biochemistry from McMaster University, where he conducted research in Gene Therapy and developed a new class of oncolytic viruses. Then he earned his MSc in Chemical Biology at McMaster University, where he developed next-generation semi-synthetic antibiotics. Subsequently, he received his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford as a prestigious Clarendon Scholar and St. Peter’s College Born Scholar. While in Oxford, Bijan specialized in bionanotechnology and invented a versatile new class of peptide tags which bind their target via a spontaneous and irreversible covalent bond (the Isopeptag and SpyTag peptide tagging systems). These ‘Molecular Super-Glues’ were inspired by flesh-eating bacteria and have received much media attention. Bijan’s scientific interests are to use interdisciplinary approaches to develop innovative technologies and therapeutics. For any inquiries and collaborations, Bijan can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Sebastien LemireMy name is Sebastien Lemire. I am French borne in Normandy close to Rouen. I have obtained my PhD in microbiology and bacterial physiology from the university of Paris XI Orsay in the laboratory of Lionello Bossi. I was then studying the genetic regulation of Salmonella prophages and their role in the spread of virulence factors. I then moved on to Osaka in the laboratory of Tetsuro Yonesaki to study an uncommon anti-T4 mechanism and its influence on the evolution of the T-even superfamily of phages. I have spent the last 3 years in Denmark where I got in touch with synthetic biology through mentoring of two iGEM teams and started to mix my various scientific experiences into a hopefully great plan to rid humanity of bacterial pathogens through the use of engineered phages. I am married and have a wonderful 4yo son and spend as much time as I can outside hiking, trekking and biking…Although that has not been very frequent over the last years.|
Hiroki joined the Synthetic Biology Group in July 2012 as a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow. He is interested in applying synthetic biology techniques to combat bacterial infectious diseases. Hiroki received his PhD in Medical Science from Osaka University in 2007. Prior to MIT, he worked as a Senior Research Fellow in the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo. He studied about novel isoniazid resistance mechanisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Outside of the lab, Hiroki likes to snowboarding, carp fishing, and taking a photo of cut-out board (see my photo, taken in Sapporo Beer Garden).
Zhengtao is currently a post-doctoral associate in the synthetic biology group at MIT. Prior to MIT, Zhen received Ph.D. in Chemistry from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, and did nanotechnology research in the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, AZ. Zhen’s current scientific interests are to use engineered nanoparticles for multiplexed cell imaging, antibacterial, and therapeutic applications. Outside of the lab, Zhen enjoys hiking and cooking. For any inquiries and collaborations, Zhen can be contacted at email@example.com, and more information about him can be found in his personal website https://sites.google.com/site/dengwebpage/
Alan joined the Synthetic Biology Group in September 2012 as a Croucher Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his B.Sc. and M.Phil. degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. During his studies there, he took molecular and genetic approaches to study signaling mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and polyglutamine diseases, as well as learning and memory. His work was published in international journals including Nature Cell Biology and Nature Neuroscience. Alan was awarded the Butterfield-Croucher Award and Hong Kong Institution of Science Young Scientist Award in Life Science. He was also selected as a Croucher Fellow and a Sir Edward Youde Fellow. He is currently interested in engineering programmable synthetic biology circuits with potential biomedical applications.
Lior joined the group in Oct 2011. His main interest is implementing synthetic biology for therapeutics. He received his B.Sc. Degree (biology) from Tel-Aviv University. In his M.Sc. (Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science) he studied Fas dependent gain of function of mutant p53. During his Ph.D. (Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel), he developed a dual-promoter integrator (DPI), a synthetic gene circuit which identifies and target cancer cells according to the integrated activity of two pre-determined promoters. His Ph.D. work was patented by Weizmann Institute of Science. Outside the lab Lior is interested in cooking, surfing and Ninjitsu.
Sara joined the lab in September 2012, aiming to apply principles of synthetic biology to the world of small natural products. She became passionate about this topic during her doctoral studies in Roberto Kolter’s lab. Sara received a Ph.D in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Minho (Portugal), in collaboration with Harvard Medical School. Currently, She is working on combinatorial biosynthesis and mutasynthesis of small molecules.Outside the lab, Sara enjoy doing sports, nature and organizing science outreach programs.
Ramiz Daniel received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, in 2001 and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel 2010. Currently, He is a post-doc in the RLE department and synthetic biology center – MIT, He is interested in designing analog synthetic biology circuits in living cells
Rotation Graduate Students
Visiting Scientists and Students
Undergraduate and UROP Students
|Kristjan Eerik Kaseniit
Kristjan is an undergraduate from Estonia, enrolled in the new joint degree program by the EECS and Biology departments. He became fascinated by synthetic biology after hearing about it firsthand at a talk given by iGEM director Randy Rettberg. Outside of academics he enjoys playing the drums and the accordion.
|Michelle LuMichelle recently graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Chemical-Biological Engineering. Her interest in synthetic biology research stems from the possibility of applying engineered biological systems to biomedical applications. As an undergraduate at MIT, Michelle was involved in MIT’s Habitat for Humanity, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and Kappa Alpha Theta. She plans to pursue a future career in medicine.
|Jerry WangJerry is currently pursuing his M.Eng in EECS in the Lu Lab. He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and was a member of both Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu Honor Societies. Jerry completed his senior thesis with the lab and his current research involves constructing and characterizing specificity and other properties of Transcription Activator-like Effectors. His research interests lie in engineering biological systems with biomedical applications and disease treatment. Outside of academia, Jerry enjoys sports, especially football and basketball.
|Here comes our first group pic, in which Chris and some group members had taken a photo together upon his graduation.|
|Chris graduated with a S.B. in Chemical-Biological Engineering from MIT in June 2012. Congratulations! And we also wish him good luck for his graduate study in UK|