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A new computational model to design mammalian genetic programs


Key points from article :

A design-driven process builds complex genetic circuits for cellular engineering.

Computational modeling to identify useful genetic designs before building them in the lab.

"We first encode a desired biological function in a piece of DNA, and then delivered to a human cell to execute desired function" -Joshua Leonard, Synthetic biologist.

"Model-guided design is relatively new in mammalian cells," Joseph Muldoon, first author.

Intended to be readily adopted by other bioengineering groups.

Used a toolkit of genetic parts and paired with computational tools for simulating many potential genetic programs.

"If each design works as expected, we are no longer limited to building by trial and error." - Leonard.

Opportunity to engineer cells to perform more sophisticated functions and make therapies safer and effective.

"With this new capability, we have taken a big step in being able to truly engineer biology," - Leonard.

Study by Northwestern University published in the journal Science Advances.

Engineered human cells through design-based process, eliminating trial and error approach

Mentioned in this article:


Post doctoral researcher at University of California, San Francisco.


Chemical and biomedical engineering professor at Northwestern University


Private multidisciplinary research university.


Scientific Journal