The Biomolecular Prototyping Unit (BPU) - Rapidly Asking Questions with DNA

Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 7:00pm
Auditorium on 1st floor
Peter Carr, MIT Lincoln Labs
Lecturer Photo

IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM

7:00 PM, Thursday, 19 May 2016

Broad Institute Auditorium (corner of Vassar & Main Sts, Cambridge)

The Biomolecular Prototyping Unit (BPU) - Rapidly Asking Questions with DNA

Peter Carr, MIT Lincoln Labs.

We are engineering a research pipeline, the Biomolecular Prototyping Unit (BPU) to rapidly answer questions that can be posed in the form of DNA. One of these questions is "What is the best drug to give an HIV-infected patient?" and another is "Can I design genetic circuits to diagnose any type of cancer?" A third question is "What genetic code can we engineer into a living creature to make it immune to all known viruses?" Our technical challenge is to integrate short DNA (oligonucleotide) synthesis, larger scale DNA assembly (to multiple kilobase pairs), on-chip expression (cellular and cell-free options), and diverse assays to quantify the encoded functions. Our approach to this integration is to miniaturize and connect these processes using microfluidics. I will present our current progress toward this vision of the BPU.

Dr. Peter A. Carr is Senior Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he leads the Synthetic Biology research program. His research interests span genome engineering, rapid prototyping of both hardware and wetware, DNA synthesis and error correction, risk evaluation, and biodefense. Dr. Carr received his bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Harvard College, and his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University. Over the past decade he has become especially enamored with the synthetic biology approach - applying engineering principles to biological systems.

This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and the GBC/ACM will be held in the main auditorium on the 1st floor of the Broad Institute, corner of Main and Vassar Streets in Cambridge.