We are developing new tools for biology by mining biological diversity. We apply these tools for treating genetic disease via gene therapy as well as studying the biology of aging.
Discovery of new bacterial defense systems
Restriction modification and CRISPR systems, two types of bacterial defense systems, have revolutionized modern biology and biotechnology. We still have a limited understanding of the enormous diversity of defense systems and all possible mechanisms. Using bioinformatics and experimental pipelines, we are studying many new systems and exploring ways to turn them into new tools.
New gene delivery approaches
Even with the perfect gene editing technology, specific delivery to tissues in the body is a difficult challenge. We are exploring the enormous diversity of particles in nature capable of transducing cells and engineering them for precise cellular delivery.
Molecular tools for studying aging
In aging, cells undergo dysfunction at many levels. We are applying molecular tools for dissecting why cells lose their proper function and attempting to engineer technologies that can selectively eliminate detrimental cells or regenerate tissues.