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Mentor Areas

Synthetic Biology; Computational Biology; Microbiology; Antibiotic Discovery; Machine-made medicines

The de la Fuente Lab aims to develop the first computer-made tools and medicines. Our approach is to expand nature’s repertoire to build novel synthetic molecular tools with useful properties, and to devise therapies that nature has not previously discovered. To achieve this, we merge synthetic biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science. The molecules that we are developing offer solutions to some of the most pressing unmet clinical challenges we face, ranging from finding strategies for treating antibiotic-resistant infections and engineering the human microbiome to building the first tools for the gut-brain axis.

Description:

The Machine Biology Group aims to develop the first computer-made tools and medicines. Our approach is to expand nature’s repertoire to build novel synthetic molecular tools with useful properties, and to devise therapies that nature has not previously discovered. To achieve this, we merge synthetic biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science. We have developed new technologies ranging from genetic and pattern-recognition algorithms, to AI and classical and hybrid quantum molecular dynamics for structure-guided design and rational discovery of novel chemistries. The molecules that we are developing offer solutions to some of the most pressing unmet clinical challenges we face, ranging from finding strategies for treating antibiotic-resistant infections and engineering the human microbiome to building the first tools for the gut-brain axis to augment brain function and behavior. We are also integrating AI, electronics, app technology and synthetic biology to build inexpensive wearable and ingestible electrochemical paper-based sensors for early diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases and for microbiome reprogramming.

Preferred Qualifications

Passionate, creative, diverse, excited to create the future

Details:

Preferred Student Year

First-year, Second-Year, Junior, Senior

Project Academic Year

2023–2024

Volunteer

Yes

Paid

No

Yes indicates that faculty are open to paying students they engage in their research, regardless of their work-study eligibility.

Work Study

Yes

Yes indicates that faculty are open to hiring work-study-eligible students.

Researcher