microscope image from Shen lab

Synthetic and Systems Biology

Drawing from concepts in a wide array of areas, including evolutionary biology, molecular biology, biophysics, and genetic engineering, researchers at Duke are developing methods to read and manipulate genetic code.

This work includes the development of new strategies for regenerative medicine, treatment of genetic disease, and techniques to establish robust gene circuit function. Research in synthetic and systems biology at Duke has provided insight into the design laws of natural biological systems.

The synthetic and systems biology research communities at Duke are supported and enhanced by the Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering (CBTE).

Primary Faculty

Charles Gersbach

Charles Gersbach

Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Gene therapy, genomics and epigenomics, biomolecular and cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, and synthetic biology.

Michael D Lynch

Michael D Lynch

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Focused on genetically engineering microbes to shut off their growth circuits and turn on new pathways to produce different compounds—improving production of biofuels, pharmacological molecules and industrial chemicals.

Samira Musah

Samira Musah

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), disease mechanisms, regenerative medicine, molecular and cellular basis of human kidney development and disease, organ engineering, patient-specific disease models, biomarkers, therapeutic discovery, tissue and organ transplantation,...

Amanda Randles

Amanda Randles

Alfred Winborne and Victoria Stover Mordecai Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Research Interests: Biomedical simulation and high-performance computing

Daniel Reker

Daniel Reker

Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Integration of active machine learning, biomedical data science, and biochemical experiments for the analysis and design of personalized therapeutic opportunities.

Xiling Shen

Xiling Shen

Hawkins Family Associate Professor

Research Interests: Precision medicine for cancer, regeneration, microbiome, and gut-brain axis. Multi-omics approaches including organoid, epigenetics, CRISPR, single-cell, metabolomics, machine learning, droplet microfluidics, humanized immune model and intravital imaging.

Michael Raphael Tadross

Michael Raphael Tadross

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Our goal is to bridge the gap between the study of brain as a computational device and the search for novel neuropathological treatments. We develop technologies to manipulate molecules, cells, and synapses in the brain, and deploy these reagents in mouse models of disease.

Lingchong You

Lingchong You

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Quantitative biology, synthetic biology, machine learning, antibiotic resistance, microbiome