清华合成与系统生物学中心
Tsinghua Center for Synthetic and Systems Biology

Engineering customised cell signalling circuits and their applications

Time: Dec 18, 10:30am
Place: FIT 1-312
Title: Engineering customised cell signalling circuits and their applications
Presenter: Dr Baojun Wang, Chancellor’s Fellow in Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh

Dr Baojun Wang is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh and works at the interfaces between biology and engineering. He is a Principal Investigator in the School of Biological Sciencs as well as the cross disciplinary Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology (SynthSys). He received a PhD in bioengineering (2011) from Imperial College London and a BEng in biomedical engineering (2005) from Zhejiang University China. He was a Research Associate at Imperial College London before joined the University of Edinburgh in 2013 to establish a research group in synthetic biology. His research interests include designing and building novel customised gene circuits for sensing, information processing and computing of multiple cellular and environmental signals with applications ranging from biosensing, biocomputing to bioproduction.


Abstract:
Cells live in an ever-changing environment and continuously sense, process and react to environmental signals using their inherent signalling and gene regulatory networks. In this talk, I will introduce the construction of synthetic gene circuits to customise cellular information processing and responses by harnessing the inherent modularity of signalling networks. A set of modular and orthogonal genetic logic gates, e.g. AND and NAND, and analogue circuits such as a tunable genetic amplifier were engineered to modulate multiple in vivo transcriptional signals in either digital-like or bespoke analogue manner. I will then show that how these gene circuits can be used to enhance the specificity and sensitivity of synthetic cell-based biosensors for a range of purposes. Finally, I will discuss the construction of chimeric transcriptional control proteins as a tool to decouple the native inter-crosslinked cell omics in the wildtype regulatory network for studying the nitrogen stress response in bacteria.

References:
Baojun Wang, Richard Kitney, Nicolas Joly and Martin Buck, “Engineering modular and orthogonal genetic logic gates for robust digital-like synthetic biology”, Nature Communications, 2:508, (2011) Baojun Wang, and Martin Buck, “Customizing cell signalling using engineered genetic logic circuits”, Trends in Microbiology, 20(8): 376-384, (2012) Baojun Wang, Mauricio Barahona and Martin Buck, “A modular cell-based biosensor using engineered genetic logic circuits to detect and integrate multiple environmental signals”, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 40, 368-376, (2013)