We design biological systems in analogy with engineering to provide a ground-breaking technology in the field of biotechnology. Specifically, we develop synthetic regulatory RNAs based on molecular biology and computational biology to control genetic regulations at the layer of translation. We also develop synthetic genetic networks displaying desired biological behaviors, which have potential applications in cell fate determination, bacterial cell therapy, metabolic engineering, etc.
Metabolic engineering is to construct cells capable of producing value-added chemicals at high yield including bioenergies, therapeutic compounds and biomaterials. Particularly, we are interested in developing high-throughput technologies employing synthetic biology methodologies to dramatically facilitate the construction of super-efficient biofactories to be used in real industries.
Cells are very complex. They are composed of dynamically associated genetic, protein and metabolic networks. It is often beyond our intuition. Thus, we build dynamic math models to understand cellular systems, to design new cellular systems, and thereby to assist biologists and biotechnologists. We developed a protein expression model to design mRNA sequences with a desired level of expression, which is already available at our web site. We are developing a math model to design synthetic regulatory RNAs based on bioinformatics, statistics, and molecular biology, which will also come to the public soon.
Proteins are actual players in a cell. We redesign enzymes to alter their kinetic actiity, substrate specificity, and/or stability ro provide a better tool for biotechnology. We also develop a new technology to create new proteins with ease, such as in vivo protein evolution system inspired by the inter-species cooperation in nature.
Nanotechnology allows us to develop miniaturized devices and nano-sized particles, which are important in developing high-throughput technologies. We design microfluidic devices for drug discovery and construct nanomaterials to carry out biotechnological experiments at high-throughput scale.