The NSF-CREST Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines welcomed Professor Tal Danino, a Columbia University biomedical engineer, synthetic biologist and TED fellow, to UC Merced to deliver the keynote address, entitled "Synthetic Biology: From Programming Bacteria Behaviors to Cancer Therapies," during the 2nd Annual CCBM Open House/External Advisory Board Meeting on October 22, 2018.
“The past decade of microbiome research has revealed an astounding prevalence of microbes in healthy and diseased tissue within the human body. At the same time, the field of synthetic biology has rapidly progressed in its ability to program living cells like bacteria. These two emerging fields have prompted the exploration of bacteria as a natural platform for the development of engineered therapies and diagnostics. In this talk, I will describe our progress towards a new design framework for engineering bacteria that bridges mathematical modeling, in vitro characterization, and in vivo diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer. The talk will begin with a description of bacteria circuitry that generate synchronized oscillations, and will then describe development of programmed bacteria as both diagnostic and therapeutic agents for cancer.” – Tal Danino, PhD.