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RNA Innovation Seminar: Julius B. Lucks, Northwestern University
Monday, April 17 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
“RNA Synthetic Biology: Towards an Era of RNA Design for Biology & Global Health”
Julius B. Lucks, Ph.D.
Professor & Associate Chair, Chemical & Biological Engineering
Co-Director, Center for Synthetic Biology
In-person: BSRB, ABC seminar rooms / hybrid link
Abstract: RNAs are emerging as a powerful substrate for engineering cellular behavior. As with all biomolecules, RNA function is intimately related to its structure, since RNA can adopt structures that selectively modulate gene expression. Central questions in biology & bioengineering then are: How do RNAs fold inside cells?; and How can we engineer these folds to control gene expression? In this talk, I will present our work at the interface of these two questions and share results that are beginning to uncover design principles for understanding natural RNAs and engineering RNAs for an array of applications in biomanufacturing and human health. I will focus on our recent work in understanding how riboswitch RNAs make regulatory decisions “on the fly” during the process of transcription, how we can use riboswitches as biosensors, and our recent development of a new synthetic biology biosensing platform that allows rapid, field-deployable diagnostics for a range of compounds important to our health and the environment.
RNA, RNA folding, RNA synthetic biology, Riboswitches, Cell-Free Synthetic Biology