Graduate Seminar Series: Molecular Stream
Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for molecular stream presenters.
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Presentation Title: Constructing a Synthetic Biology Toolkit to Control and Fine-tune Gene Expression in Stem Cells and Differentiated Lineages
Abstract: Synthetic biology has been used to engineer new biological components and allow the construction of synthetic gene circuits with a broad array of useful applications. Creating these circuits requires components with consistent and predictable function, that can be efficiently delivered and expressed by the host organism. Organism-specific toolkits with standardized building blocks such as promoters, coding sequences, and terminators have been developed for a wide range of useful organisms and cell types. These have been highly effective in accelerating the design–build–test cycle, supporting communities with a validated repository, and ensuring reproducibility. However, despite an oft vaunted promise of synthetic biology to revolutionize cell-based therapeutics, a standardized synthetic biology toolkit for human stem cells and tissues derived from them does not currently exist. Translation of synthetic gene circuits from immortalized cell line models to stem cells remains poor, due to epigenetic silencing, off target effects, and resource loading, among other challenges. We posit that a dedicated toolkit, with parts designed to mitigate these issues, is required for the field to move forward effectively. In this study I venture to establish a synthetic biology toolkit for stem cells and their derived progeny. A testbed circuit is first established to measure promoter expression intensity, allowing high-throughput promoter design–build–testing of constitutive, tissue-specific, and inducible promoters. Development of these and other validated parts will aid creation of a therapeutically relevant genetic circuit that can toggle therapeutic circuits on, off, or prompt self-excision from the genome. Generating standardized stem-cell validated parts will aid in the development of sophisticated cell and gene therapies in regenerative medicine.
Supervisor Name: Dr. Michael Garton
Year of Study: 2
Program of Study: MASc
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89610372821?pwd=azd4SCtYVWtreVovaGNPV1c2NGY2Zz09
Meeting ID: 896 1037 2821
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