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Robotics for High Throughput Gene Discovery and Whole Genome Engineering

Project Advisor
Professor Buz Barstow -

Project Area/Concentration
high technology and synthetic biology, especially those with a background in electrical or computer engineering; systems, synthetic or molecular biology; physics; or chemistry

Project Description
Biology could make the control of matter and energy as easy as the control of information is today. In particular, biology offers an enormous range of capabilities for sustainable energy from artificial photosynthesis, to the extraction and purification of elements like rare earths that are critical for sustainable energy technologies. However, we don’t know nearly enough about how natural biology works to make this a reality. We have built Knockout Sudoku, a new technology that democratizes the creation of the most important genetic characterization tool for any organism: a whole genome knockout collection, a collection of single gene knockout mutants for every non-essential in an organism’s genome. This is enabling to fully explore, and then exploit the genomes of exotic microbes for solving challenges in energy. To make full use of Knockout Sudoku, we are building a custom automated workflow around Knockout Sudoku.

Possible Courses

Course number Course title
AEP 4210 Mathematical Physics I
AEP 4220 Mathematical Physics II
BEE 3600 Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering
BME 6130 Engineering the Microbiome