Synthetic Biology Group

Welcome to the Synthetic Biology Group

Principal Investigator: Yaakov (Kobi) Benenson


We engineer synthetic biological circuits that control and manipulate living cells. Our circuits comprise modules common to all control systems: sensors, processors (computers) and actuators. Unlike traditional electromechanical devices, all these modules are built of biological molecules and operate inside live mammalian cells.  

Potential applications of our circuits include complex real-time measurements in single cells, disease diagnostics and treatment with single-cell resolution, and cell ‘reprogramming’. We also hope, through this work, to uncover fundamental principles pertaining to information processing by living systems, in much the same way as the development of a steam engine led to the foundation of thermodynamics.


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