Biotechnology, Systems & Synthetic Biology

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Biotechnology, Systems and Synthetic Biology prepares students for academic and industrial careers and offers students the opportunity to pursue research in several areas including rehabilitation engineering and movement biomechanics, biomechanics and transport, cardiovascular and vascular engineering, biotechnology, nanotechnology and tissue engineering and biomaterials, imaging and signal analysis, quantitative neuroscience, medical devices and instrumentation, and eye research. Training is highly interdisciplinary and interdepartmental through research, specialized courses in advanced topics, and, in some cases, practical exposure to industrial biotechnology and industrial internships. Research opportunities in this concentration integrate many disciplines and involve collaborative efforts between preceptors from various fields. Outstanding students in this concentration may be nominated for support by the Biotechnology Training Program or the Ryan Nanotechnology Fellowship.

Biotechnology Training Program

Faculty List

Ravi Allada

Ravi Allada, MD 
Email: r-allada@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Molecular genetics of circadian rhythms and sleep

Luis Amaral

Luís Amaral, PhD 
Email: amaral@northwestern.edu 
Research Interests: Integrative approach to modeling cellular signaling pathways

Guillermo Ameer

Guillermo Ameer, PhD
Email: g-ameer@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Biomaterials, tissue engineering, and biotechnology

Vadim Backman headshot

Vadim Backman, PhD
Email: v-backman@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Development of novel optical spectral and imaging techniques for non-invasive screening, diagnosis and detection of disease, and characterization of biological and bioengineered tissue.

Neda Bagheri headshot

Neda Bagheri, PhD
Email: n-bagheri@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Computational systems biology and complex regulatory networks, dynamical systems and control theory

Linda Broadbelt headshot

Linda Broadbelt, PhD
Email: broadbelt@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Multiscale modeling, complex kinetics modeling, environmental catalysis, novel biochemical pathways, and polymerization and depolymerization kinetics.

Richard Carthew headshot

Richard Carthew, PhD
Email: r-carthew@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Quantitative and systems biology

Marco Gallo headshot

Marco Gallio, PhD
Email: marco@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Processing of temperature stimuli in the brain

Erica Hartmann, PhD

Erica Hartmann, PhD
Email: erica.hartmann@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Effect of anthropogenic chemicals on microbes in the environment

Yuan He

Yuan He, PhD
Email: yuanhe@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Structure and function of macromolecular machines on genes. 

Curt Horvath headshot

Curt Horvath, PhD
Email: horvath@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Signal transduction and gene regulation in innate immune responses to cancer and viruses.

Michael Jewett headshot

Michael Jewett, PhD
Email: m-jewett@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Engineering cell-free systems for medicine, biotechnology and synthetic biology

Neha Kamat, PhD

Neha Kamat, PhD
Email: nkamat@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Artificial cell/protocell models, membrane biophysics, emergent behaviors from synthetic membranes, membrane stress-sensing

Neil Kelleher headshot

Neil Kelleher, PhD
Email: n-kelleher@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Top-down proteomics, natural products discovery, chromatic oncobiology, and computational proteomics.

William Klein headshot

William L. Klein, PhD
Email: wklein@northwestern.edu 
Research Interests: Molecular basis of Alzheimer's disease

Carole LaBonne headshot

Carole LaBonne, PhD 
Email: clabonne@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Development of the vertebrate neural crest

Robert Lamb headshot

Robert A. Lamb, PhD
Email: ralamb@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Viral glycoproteins, ion channels, and RNA-binding proteins

Joshua Leonard headshot

Joshua Leonard, PhD
Email: j-leonard@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Engineering cellular systems and biomolecules for immunotherapy, synthetic biology, and biotechnology.

Shu Liu headshot

Shu Q. Liu, PhD
Email: sliu@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Unraveling the RNA sequence/structure/function code for biology, medicine and biotechnology

Julius Lucks

Julius Lucks, PhD
Email: jblucks@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Molecular regenerative engineering for enhancing endothelial cell retention and reducing intimal hyperplasia in arterial substitutes.

John Marko headshot

John F. Marko, PhD
Email: john-marko@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Protein-DNA interactions, chromosome structure and dynamics, single-molecule biophysics

Kelly Mayo headshot

Kelly E. Mayo, PhD
Email: k-mayo@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Gene regulation in the mammalian neuroendocrine system.

Thomas Meade headshot

Thomas J. Meade, PhD
Email: tmeade@northwestern.edu 
Research Interests: Bioinorganic coordination chemistry, biological molecular imaging, transcription factor inhibitors, and electronic biosensors.

William Miller headshot

William M. Miller, PhD
Email:
 wmmiller@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Expansion and controlled differentiation of hematopoietic (blood) stem cells.

Chad Mirkin headshot

Chad Mirkin, PhD
Email:
chadnano@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Developing methods for controlling the architecture of molecules and materials on the 1 - 100 nm length scale.

Richard Morimoto

Richard I. Morimoto, PhD
Email: r-morimoto@northwestern.edu 
Research Interests: Regulation and function of molecular chaperones.

Teri Odom

Teri W. Odom, PhD
Email: todom@northwestern.edu 
Research Interests: Controlling the size and shape of noble metals at the nanoscale.

Thomas Ohalloran headshot

Thomas V. O'Halloran, PhD 
Email: t-ohalloran@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Metalloregulatory proteins.

Ishwar Radhakrishnan headshot

Ishwar Radhakrishnan, PhD
Email: i-radhakrishnan@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Structure, function, and dynamics of proteins involved in eukaryotic gene regulation.

Amy Rosenzweig headshot

Amy Rosenzweig, PhD
Email: amyr@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Structural biology and bioinorganic chemistry, metal uptake, transport and storage, oxygen activation by metalloenzymes, biological methane oxidation, membrane protein crystallography.

Evan Scott headshot

Evan A. Scott, PhD
Email: evan.scott@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Development of immunoengineering tools that can collectively enhance our understanding of the immunological mechanisms behind vaccination and achieve rationally designed immunomodulation.

Richard Silverman headshot

Richard B. Silverman, PhD
Email: r-silverman@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Medicinal, bioorganic, and enzyme chemistry.

Danielle Tullman headshot

Danielle Tullman-Ercek, PhD
Email: ercek@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Engineering of membrane proteins and protein membranes.

Keith Tyo headshot

Keith E.J. Tyo, PhD
Email: k-tyo@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, microbial engineering, systems biology, resource-poor healthcare delivery, biofuels.

Vizenz Unger headshot

Vinzenz Unger, PhD
Email: v-unger@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Transport of transition metals; structure and function of membrane-associated synaptic scaffolds; methods development for membrane protein crystallization and single particle approaches.

Reza Vafabakhsh, PhD

Reza Vafabakhsh, PhD
Email: reza.vafabakhsh@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Development of methods for quantitative hierarchical characterization of synaptic players at different length scales

Yun Wang

Yun Wang, PhD
Email: yun-wang@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Medical and environmental microbiology, aquatic geochemistry.

Eric Weiss headshot

Eric Weiss, PhD
Email: elweiss@northwestern.edu
Research Interests: Spatially and temporally coordinated cell growth and cell division.

Teresa Woodruff

Teresa Woodruff, PhD
Email: tkw@northwestern.edu 
Research Interests: Regulation of ovarian follicle growth.