Instructors – 2017


Chase Beisel


Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chase Beisel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on developing genetic tools to understand how the human gut microbiota contributes to human health and how to engineer bacterial members as the next generation of probiotics. Chase completed his PhD with Dr. Christina Smolke then at the California Institute of Technology, where he received graduate fellowships through the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. He then was a Life Sciences Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Gisela Storz at the National Institutes of Health. As a faculty member, he was a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award. CSHL topic: Prof. Beisel will be teaching the use of CRISPR technologies in bacteria, with a focus on applying these tools for programmable gene repression and phenotypic screening.

Elisa Franco


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Elisa Franco is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. Her research group works in the area of in vitro synthetic biology, with an interdisciplinary approach of experiments and mathematical modeling. Areas of interest include biomolecular oscillators, feedback systems, and responsive self-assembled materials. Elisa received her Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology under the supervision of Dr. Richard Murray. As a faculty member, she received a UC Regents fellowship, a Hellman fellowship, and an NSF CAREER award. CSHL topic: Prof. Franco will be teaching a module on formulation and validation of mathematical models for molecular circuits, primarily via ordinary differential equations. These techniques are particularly well suited to quantitatively describe gene circuits tested in the TX-TL platform.
Noireaux photo

Vincent Noireaux


Department of Physics and Nanotechnology

Vincent Noireaux is an Associate Professor of Synthetic Biology and Biological Physics at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Physics. His lab has developed a novel cell-free transcription-translation (TX-TL) system to construct and characterize biochemical systems in vitro such as gene circuits, protein self-assemblies and bottom-up minimal cells. He earned his PhD at the Curie Institute in Paris, and he was a postdoc at the Rockefeller University in New York. CSHL topic: Prof. Noireaux will be teaching a module on cell-free TX-TL system. In this module, participants will learn how to use an all E. coli cell-free TX-TL platform. This module includes: executing cell-free reactions to test circuit parts and to rapidly prototype gene circuits, using computer modeling to interpret experiments. The TX-TL module will also include testing natural DNA programs for the cell-free biosynthesis of chemicals and infectious phages.

Lauren Woodruff


Department of Chemical Engineering

Lauren Woodruff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research group studies understanding how to predictably reprogram bacteria to sense and respond to their environment using high-throughput approaches guided by models. She earned her Ph.D. with Dr. Ryan Gill at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she studied genome-wide phenotypic mapping and genome engineering for biofuel production as a GAANN fellow. As a postdoc with Dr. Christopher Voigt at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Broad Institute, she developed rapid multiplexed DNA assembly methods and studied complex genetic circuits with integrated memory at the MIT-Broad Foundry. CSHL topic: Prof. Woodruff will be teaching a module on the latest DNA assembly methods and principles of genetic design for complex multi-part systems. In this module, we will build novel genetic circuits and apply design automation.



Karmella Haynes


School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering

Karmella Haynes is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University. She earned her Ph.D. studying epigenetics and chromatin in Drosophila at Washington University, St. Louis. Postdoctoral fellowships at Davidson College and Harvard Medical School introduced her to synthetic biology. Today, her research aims to identify how the intrinsic properties of chromatin, the DNA-protein structure that packages eukaryotic genes, can be used to control cell development in tissues. Her HHMI postdoctoral fellowship project on bacterial computers was featured on NPR’s Science Friday and was recognized as “Publication of the Year” in 2008 by the Journal of Biological Engineering. She is currently a SynBERC Affiliated PI, a SynBioLEAP fellow, an NIH young faculty award (K01) recipient, and Judge Emeritus for the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition. CSHL contributions: Prof. Haynes is a founding CSHL Synthetic Biology course instructor (2013), and also taught in 2014 and 2015.

Julius Lucks


School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Julius B. Lucks is Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University. His research combines both experiment and theory to ask fundamental questions about the design principles that govern how RNAs fold and function in living organisms, and how these principles can be used to engineer biomolecular systems. As a Miller Fellow, he pioneered the development of the first RNA-based synthetic genetic circuits, and was the leader of the team that created SHAPE-Seq – a technology that uses next generation sequencing to characterize RNA structures in unprecedented throughput, and that is now being used to uncover the role of RNA structure in regulating fundamental cellular processes across the genome. His lab focuses on dynamically programming cellular behavior with synthetic RNA circuitry, and using/developing SHAPE-Seq to understand RNA folding dynamics in the cell. For his pioneering research efforts, he has been named a DARPA Young Faculty Awardee, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow, an ONR Young Investigator, an NIH New Innovator, and has been named an NSF CAREER awardee. CSHL contributions: Prof. Lucks is a founding CSHL Synthetic Biology course instructor (2013), and also taught in 2014 and 2015.