SynBio Canada
SynBio Canada

Academic Profiles

Academic Profiles

Posts tagged #yeast
Dr. Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez
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Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Email Address: cfuente@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Bio: Our research focuses on the design of novel synthetic peptide molecules using principles inspired by synthetic biology, computational biology, and microbiology. Our current application areas include infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, the microbiome, biomaterials and nanotechnology.

In particular, we focus on redesigning tiny proteins called peptides, which are the workhorses of life, and a source of biologically active molecules with under-explored therapeutic potential. The 20 natural amino acids that make up these molecules offer an almost unlimited number of combinations unparalleled by other polymers such as DNA (20n; n being the number of amino acids present in any given peptide chain). Many other non-canonical residues can also be incorporated into peptide chains via peptide design approaches. In addition, peptides are promising drugs because their primary amino acid sequences can be easily tuned to achieve specific biological functions inside living cells.

Despite their promise, peptide-based therapeutics have largely remained unexplored due to the limited diversity of naturally occurring peptide scaffolds, their cost, and a lack of methods to design them rationally. Using principles from peptide engineering, synthetic biology and computational biology, we investigate how simple nanopeptides may be exploited and rationally designed for a range of medical applications. In addition, we aim to build completely new protein/peptide structures not known to the biological world, and biomaterials for applications in synthetic biology, biotechnology and medicine.

Website: https://delafuentelab.seas.upenn.edu/

Dr. Mads Kaern
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Professor, University of Ottawa

Bio: I believe that Synthetic Biology will continue to play a significant role in medical innovation, including engineered virus and engineered immune cells that can cure cancer. I have been part of the Synthetic Biology community since the early 00' and started working in the field with Dr. James Collins on sources of "noisy" signals in gene expression and the engineering of programable cell behaviour by creating "plug-ins" for interfacing synthetic gene networks and natural signalling pathways. To facilitate medical advances, I am member of the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Regional Genetics Program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

My NSERC-funded Synthetic Biology program uses an integrated genetic network engineering approach to study gene regulatory processes and develop artificial gene control systems. This program is driven by my long-term passion to understand how genomes encode "programs" that control and coordinate cellular behaviour and organismal development and fail during disease. This involves both foundational and applied research, including DNA assembly methods, artificial transcription factors, biological network design, systems modelling and simulation.

I initiated the uOttawa iGEM undergraduate training program soon after I arrived in Ottawa and have been the organizer and the supervisor of the uOttawa iGEM team. Many iGEM team members have continued as graduate students in my program subsequently moved to world-leading institutions including MIT, Cambridge, Harvard and NYU.

Website: https://bynd.com/news-ideas/google-advanced-search-comprehensive-list-google-search-operators/

Dr. Bogumil Karas

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, University of Western Ontario / CEO Designer Microbes

Email Address: bkaras@uwo.ca

Bio: Research in the Karas lab is focused on developing innovative genetic tools to enable the engineering of microbes to produce medicines, DNA storage technologies, food and next-generation fuels. We are using a multi-host system to perform in vivo gene deletions, additions and replacements. This approach was designed to take advantage of existing genetic tools developed for model organisms, including Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Currently, we are developing novel tools for eukaryotic algae: Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Thalassiosira pseudonana and soil bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti.

Website: https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/biochem/people/bios/Karas.html

Twitter: @BogumilKaras

Dr. Radhakrishnan Mahadevan
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Professor, Associate Chair & Graduate Studies Coordinator, University of Toronto

Email Address: krishna.mahadevan@utoronto.ca

Bio: Our group primarily works on engineering metabolism in bacteria and yeast to produce chemicals and therapeutic molecules. Through the use of computational strategies on genome scale metabolic models of these organisms, we identify genetic intervention strategies to enhance target molecule production. Synthetic biological tools help us assemble and engineer pathways in microorganisms. We use synthetic gene regulatory circuits to dynamically control metabolism in host organisms. The ability to dynamically control metabolism based on environmental inputs finds application in a variety of different areas including therapeutics and industrial biotechnology.

Website: www.lmse.utoronto.ca

Twitter: @LMSE_UofT

Dr. Vincent Martin
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Professor, Concordia University and Co-Director, Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology

Email Address: vincent.martin@concordia.ca

Bio: We are synthetic biologists with a strong penchant for metabolic engineering and industrial strain improvement. We like yeast but will play with other unicellular bugs as well.

Website: https://www.concordia.ca/research/casb.html

Dr. David McMillen
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Associate Professor, University of Toronto Mississauga

Email Address: david.mcmillen@utoronto.ca

Bio: We work on (mainly) microbial synthetic biology, investigating ways to create novel solutions to real-world problems with engineered microbes. We pursue several parallel tracks: (1) Combined theoretical and experimental approaches to biological feedback and synthetic implementations of networks that maintain fixed outputs in the face of external disturbances; (2) Expanding the synthetic biology "toolkit" to include novel modes of regulation (including a recruitable T7-based activation system that provides a system to generate programmable, orthogonal sets of transcriptional activators in bacteria); and (3) the motivation for the other two tracks: application to real-world problems including human health in the developed world (working with a multi-PI team on sensing and responding to inflammatory bowel diseases using engineered microbes) and in the developing world (implementing microbe-based antibody detection in blood samples, for low-cost blood screening or diagnosis).

Website: http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/mcmillen-lab/

Twitter: @DaveMcMillen

Dr. Laurent Potvin-Trottier
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Professor, Concordia University

Bio: We aim to engineer reliable synthetic gene circuits suitable for impactful applications, and to use them as models and tools to learn more about biology. We use quantitative approaches, combining microfluidics to precisely control the experimental conditions with theory to engineer highly precise circuits that could be used in future applications. Building biology from the bottom-up will enable us to understand biology better, for example because engineering such circuits can reveal broader challenges in a tractable context.

Website: www.potvinlab.com

Dr. Ahmad Saleh
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Assistant Professor, Université Laval

Email Address: ahmad.saleh@bcm.ulaval.ca

Bio: Our research projects aim at developing synthetic biology strategies for the biosynthesis of fine chemicals, especially lipid-based drugs and biofuels, to render them accessible for human consumption. In addition, we work on the discovery/invention of new fine chemicals that satisfy emerging human needs in health, energy and bioremediation fields. Our research is conducted using synthetic biology (SB) approaches in microbial hosts as platforms, while aiming at a sustainable production of safe and ecological fine chemicals.

Website: http://abdel-mawgoud.com/

Dr. David Stuart
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Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta

Email Address: dtstuart@ualberta.ca

Bio: We investigate the potential application of synthetic biology for performing metabolic engineering of yeast, bacteria and cyanobacteria. Current applications include engineering oleaginous yeast and bacteria metabolic pathways for production of high value oleochemicals from cellulosic waste, engineering fermentation inhibitor tolerance into microbial cell factories, construction of microbial cell biosensors for the detection of human and agricultural pathogens, and engineering microbial cell for bioremediation applications.

Website: https://www.ualberta.ca/biochemistry/people/faculty/david-stuart