Department Seminar

A Unique Synthetic Biology Platform for the Efficient Engineering of Biological Systems

Speaker Details:

Kedar Patel (BioE-AP Speaker)

Senior Scientist, DNA 2.0

Lecture Details:

May 1, 2014
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


Advances in synthetic biology enable the facile design and creation of novel biological systems. The field is now maturing into an engineering discipline, accelerating the development of biologically engineered solutions to problems in various areas including healthcare, fuels and chemicals as well as materials.

We have developed a bioengineering platform that is based on the seamless integration of synthetic biology, efficient gene synthesis and modern machine learning to address whole bio-system optimization. The platform enables simultaneous exploration of a large number of variables ranging from synonymous mutations via amino acid substitutions and DNA/protein parts all the way through pathway replacement and genome editing at the chromosomal level while minimizing the sample numbers needed. We manage the large size of possible sequence space by condensing the dimensionality and capturing correlating variables. Causal variables are identified and their relative contribution quantified by iterative rounds of systematic exploration. The technology is generic and broadly applicable in biology and can be used within existing QbD (Quality by Design) processes to capture and interrogate design information much upstream of typical industrial scale QbD.

We will describe several independent unpublished case studies illustrating the efficiency and power of the technology.

Speaker Bio:

Kedar Patel, PhD is an experienced scientist and manager (Synthetic Biology, Biotechnology, Protein Engineering). He is developing DNA assembly and strain engineering technologies at DNA2.0. He holds MS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University (California, USA). Over the past 13 years in the field, Kedar has held positions at a number of pioneering San Francisco bay area biotechnology companies (Kosan Biosciences Inc., Amyris Biotechnologies Inc., DNA2.0 Inc.). He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and holds several patents. He actively participates in conferences related to his areas of expertise and is a member of relevant professional societies. Below are some of the areas in which Kedar has significant expertise.

– High throughput gene synthesis, DNA assembly and engineering of microbes

– Next generation genome editing technologies (TALEns, CRISPR)

– Protein engineering, non-natural amino acid incorporation, protein conjugation