Engineering the next generation of gene delivery systems
DNA is the new silicon
Today’s most pressing challenges are the result on an unsustainable reliance on synthetic chemistries. Synthetic biology will provide innovative paths to enduring health, food security, and sustainable energy. Traditional methods in biology are inadequate to face the magnitude and urgency of the solutions needed. These challenges call for a cultural revolution that leverages contributions from biology, engineering, manufacturing, and computer sciences to catalyze the emergence of creative solutions.
Current Research Projects
We are looking for talented scientists at all stages of their careers to contribute to these ongoing research projects.
The DIN (DNA Identification Number) project aims at developing a digital certificate technology for engineered DNA molecules. This certification system will be similar to the VIN system used by the automotive industry. It will make it possible to use sequencing data to retrieve the author and documents associated with synthetic DNA molecules.
The unprecedented speed of the COVID-19 vaccine development has demonstrated the potential of nucleic acids to develop vaccines against emerging diseases. Despite their undeniable success, mRNA vaccines have inherent limitations. They need to be kept frozen and they are challenging to manufacture. As future epidemics caused by new viruses are expected to occur with increasing frequency, we are pursuing the development of a new DNA vaccine system that will be easier to deploy on a global scale than mRNA vaccines because they could be conserved at ambient temperature and would be easier to manufacture.
We are generating 1000s of variants of the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus to collect data to help us understand how the virus's five genes determine its virulence. This data will be summarized in a mathematical model that will be used to engineer VSV variants that will be used as an anticancer treatment, as vaccine vectors, and for other biomedical applications.
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