Dr. Timothy Lu describes how biological circuits can be engineered to function as digital (all or none) or analog (continuous spectrum) sensors, and can be programmed in a cell to ‘remember’ an input and pass this memory to the cell’s offspring after it divides. Dr. Lu gives several examples of biological circuits his lab created that allows a cell to sense the extracellular environment and give a readable output that is maintained through subsequent cell divisions. In the future, these types of circuits can be developed as non-invasive diagnostics or therapeutics in humans. Dr. Lu ends his talk by discussing the open challenges facing this area of synthetic biology.
Timothy Lu is an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He is also affiliated with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Lu received his undergraduate and M.Eng. degrees from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He then obtained an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and… Continue Reading