Synthetic biology of yeast

Investigator: Wendell Lim, PhD
Sponsor: University of California Berkeley

Location(s): United States


SBI aims to realize the huge potential of synthetic biology in the production of medicines and diagnostic compounds. Research is advancing the development both of established classes of therapeutics — small molecules, proteins, and vaccines — and of potential new classes based on engineered cells, microbes, viruses, or non-living agents with complex biological compositions. These latter agents could have broad applications for medical problems that are not easily solved with similar drugs; they may find use as anti-cancer agents, gene therapies, stem-cell therapies, probiotics, and live vaccines. (The foundational research for many of these new applications is being conducted by the Biohybrid Systems Design focus group at SBI.) Current projects in this SBI research area include developing bacterial and immune-cell-based immunotherapies and vaccines, engineering viral gene therapy systems for safe and effective delivery of genes to particular target tissues, and coaxing stem cells into programmed tissues.