The Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory

in the School of Life Sciences at USTC

Positions for Associate Professors, Postdoctoral Associates, and Technicians are available.
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Ms. Meixia Cheng joined the lab as a technician.

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An important aspect of synthetic biology is how to create genetic circuits with desired functions. Unfortunately, construction of artificial genetic circuits using wildtype genetic parts, including promoters, transcription factors, etc, frequently fails because dynamic properties of the genetic parts do not fall into the desired parameter space of the circuits. Using directed evolution, we are able to generate a diverse array of genetic parts each with unique dynamic properties, and such a repertoire of genetic parts allow for exploring design principles of biological networks where the conventional rational design approach can not access at all.

The followings are some completed projects in the lab:

1. Genetic positive feedback loop

We constructed a simple genetic positive feedback loop using LuxR transcriptional activator and PluxI promoter, and then used directed evolution to improve its responses to the signaling molecule OHHL.

2. Genetic AND gate

We constructed a simple genetic AND gate and used directed evolution to improve its responses.

3. Synthetic ecosystem

We designed an artificial symbiotic ecosystem and modeled its behaviors .

4. Engineered LuxI-LuxR quorum sensing systems

We have generated a range of engineered quorum sensing systems as an inducible gene expression method. Our systems is completely genetic encoded, and each can be activated autonomously at a unique cell density in a cell-density dependent manner.  

All Rights Reserved. Last Updated: December 01, 2011.