The Systems and Synthetic Biology Group

We focus on designing microbes and microbial communities for clean energy and improved safeguards for the environment and human health.  We use systems biology approaches to gain a predictive understanding of complex biological systems and uncover foundational design rules that govern system behavior.  Synthetic biology enables rational genome-scale redesign of organisms/communities and construction of biological systems with desired traits for specific applications.  Multidisciplinary approaches that cover molecular biology, biochemistry, and “omics” are used to investigate microbes and microbial communities as they respond to perturbations, especially those relevant to emerging issues in bioenergy, bioremediation, and pathogenesis.

Recent Publications

Selective collection of iron-rich dust particles by natural Trichodesmium colonies
N. Kessler, R. Armoza-Zvuloni, S. Wang, S. Basu, P. K. Weber, R. K. Stuart, Y. Shaked
The ISME Journal (2020) 14, 91-103.

Encapsulin carrier proteins for enhanced expression of antimicrobial peptides
T-H. Lee, T. S. Carpenter, P. D'haeseleer, D. F. Savage, M. C. Yung
Biotechnology and Bioengineering (2019) online.

Microbe encapsulation for selective rare-earth recovery from electronic waste leachates
A. Brewer, A. Dohnalkova, V. Shutthanandan, L. Kovarik, E. Chang, A. M. Sawvel, H. E. Mason, D. Reed, C. Ye, W. F. Hynes, L. N. Lammers, D. M. ParkY. Jiao
Environmental Science and Technology (2019) 53, 13888-13897.

Impacts of Maize Domestication and Breeding on Rhizosphere Microbial Community Recruitment from a Nutrient Depleted Agricultural Soil
V. Brisson, J. E. Schmidt, T. R. Northen, J. P. Vogel, A. C. M. Gaudin
Scientific Reports (2019) 9, 15611.

Guanidine-riboswitch-regulated efflux transporters protect bacteria against ionic liquid toxicity
D. A. Higgins
, J. Gladden, J. A. Kimbrel, B. A. Simmons, S. W. Singer, M. P. Thelen
Journal of Bacteriology (2019) 201, e00069-19.

A combinatorial sensor design in Caulobacter crescentus for selective environmental uranium detection
D. M. Park, M. J. Taffet  
ACS Synthetic Biology (2019) 8, 807-817.