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Chemical Engineering Seminar

Thursday, April 4, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Spalding Laboratory 106 (Hartley Memorial Seminar Room)
Synthetic Biology 2.0: the Dawn of a New Era
Huimin Zhao, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,

Synthetic biology aims to design novel or improved biological systems using engineering principles, which has broad applications in medical, chemical, food, and agricultural industries. Thanks to rapid advances in DNA sequencing and synthesis, genome editing, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), and laboratory automation, synthetic biology has entered a new phase of exponential growth. In this talk, I will highlight our recent work on the development of a self-driving biofoundry, AI/ML tools, and novel enzymes for synthetic biology applications. Examples include but are not limited to: (a) BioAutomata: a self-driving biofoundry for pathway engineering and protein engineering, (b) CLEAN: an AI tool for enzyme function prediction, (c) FAST-RiPP & FAST-NPS: an automated and scalable platform for rapid discovery of bioactive natural products, and (d) engineered photoenzymes with new-to-nature reactivity for asymmetric synthesis.

  1. M. HamediRad, et al. Nature Communications, 10:5150 (2019).
  2. T. Yu, et al. Science, 379, 1358–1363 (2023).
  3. R. S. Ayikpoe, et al. Nature Communications, 13: 6135 (2022)
  4. X. Huang, et al. Nature, 584, 69–74 (2020).
  5. Z. Zhang, et al. Nature Catalysis, 6, 687–694 (2023)
For more information, please contact Aracely Sustaita by phone at 626.395.3654 or by email at [email protected].