Research Stream: Molecular Engineering
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- Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Professor Garton’s Laboratory is integrating computational protein design techniques with high-throughput experimental methods to design living cells with new functions.
A key part of his research is the design of a modular receptor system with interchangeable recognition domains for soluble ligand recognition. This system is being designed to recognise molecules hitherto undetectable by cells in nature. It may therefore allow cells to sense new environments and receive unique synthetic signals. A major application of this will be cells that can detect disease-associated molecules. His group is linking the signals from this system to genetic circuitry designed to produce therapeutic responses, such as toggling on/off the expression and secretion of peptide drugs. They are also designing new transcription factor/promoter systems and a variety of biologics.
His research program aims to develop the full pipeline from computational design through to to preclinical testing and clinical trials. His long-term vision is to engineer smart living cell devices that cure serious disease.