Prof. Ron Weiss

Professor of Biological Engineering
Director, Center for Synthetic Biology
Associate Member, Broad Institute and Koch Institute

Primary DLC

Department of Biological Engineering

MIT Room: NE47-223

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Assembly and Delivery of Genetic Circuits
Mammalian Synthetic Transcriptional Regulation
Micro-Bio-Robotic Communication: Multicellular Pattern Formation and Detection with Visible and Ultraviolet Light
In Vivo Biosensors

Research Summary

Ron Weiss's research focuses on programming new cellular behaviors by designing and embedding synthetic gene networks that perform desired functions in single cells and multi-cellular environments. We genetically engineer a variety of cell types including bacteria, yeast, and mammalian stem cells. This nascent field of Synthetic Biology holds promise for a wide range of applications such as programmed tissue engineering, environmental biosensing and effecting, biomaterial fabrication, and an improved understanding of naturally occuring biological processes.

Synthetic biology -- Construction and analysis of synthetic gene networks. Use of computer engineering principles of abstraction, composition, and interface specifications to program cells with sensors and actuators precisely controlled by analog and digital logic circuitry. Emphasis on establishing the engineering foundation for synthetic biology and the pursuit of novel applications enabled by the technology (e.g. programmed tissue engineering, diabetes, engineered neuronal circuits).

Recent Work