Awarded in 2013
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Ingmar Riedel-Kruse (Bioengineering) and KC Huang (Bioengineering)
Research Title: Engineering emergent multicellular behavior through synthetic adhesion programs
Research Description: Synthetic biology generally focuses on engineering information processing within individual cells with minimal intercellular interaction and, but for very few exceptions, no spatial organization. David plans to expand the capabilities of synthetic biology into the multicellular domain by introducing a system for controllable adhesion, which will specify both strength and specificity of adhesion among individual cells. Additionally, an in silico model of cell interactions will support the synthetic platform and broaden an understanding of its connection to natural development. Ultimately, this work will open the door to genetically-encoded spatio-temporal behavior in tissue engineering and deepen knowledge of developmental biology through a build-to-understand methodology.
David is starting a postdoc position in Uri Alon’s lab at the Weizmann Institute with a Zuckerman Postdoctoral Fellowship. A paper on the research supported by Bio-X during David’s PhD was recently published in Cell.