ביולוגיה סינטטית הנו תחום מדעי טכנולוגי המערב עיצוב ובנייה של מערכות, אלמנטים וחלקים ביולוגיים חדשים, ו/או עיצוב מחדש של מערכות ביולוגיות טבעיות קיימות לצרכים שימושיים.
חוקרים בתחום הביולוגיה הסינטטית רותמים את כוחו של הטבע לפתור בעיות ברפואה, תעשייה ובחקלאות, באופן שכבר בעתיד הקרוב צפוי להשפיע על איך נגדל את המזון שלנו ואיך נצרוך אותו, וכיצד נפיק חומרים עבור תרופות וצרכים תעשייתיים. באופן טבעי, חוקרי בית הספר מתמקדים בביולוגיה סינטטית של צמחים ואצות לצורך שיפור משקי החקלאות והאנרגיה של העתיד.
Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, and the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes.
Synthetic biology researchers and companies around the world are harnessing the power of nature to solve problems in medicine, manufacturing and agriculture. In the near future, synthetic biology will transform how we grow food, what we eat, and where we source materials and medicines. Naturally, resereachers in our school are focusing on synbio projects aiming at improving algal and plant photosynthetsis and phyisology to boost future agricualtureal and energetic yields.
Researchers in this field:
Our lab has two main research areas: 1. We focus on understanding the signal transduction pathway by which a fungal protein effector (MAMP) induces innate immunity in plants. We address this question from several angles: We use a genetic approach, gene editing (CRISPR) to isolate the plant gene controlling the plant response to the fungal protein. 2. We develop biosensors for agriculture where we use micro and nano-scale technologies in collaboration with electrical engineering. Our goal is to develop low-cost sensors that will be integrated into the plant (i.e. leaves, stem, rhizosphere, etc.) for early detection of various parameters that are of interest to the key factors in the food chain (i.e. farmers, wholesalers, transportation, government, and the food industry in general and the customers). To do that we use bio-convergence for direct sensing of plants’ health status, using the plants as sensors themselves. In our research, we integrate methods of synthetic biology, biotechnology, and electrochemical and electronic impedance spectroscopy (EIS).
Lab Website: https://adiavni.weebly.com/
We study how to store green energy as hydrogen gas. For that aim we study energy transfer in photosynthesis and use synthetic biology to engineer microalgae for the purposes of producing fuels such as hydrogen gas and valuable materials. We also combine nanotechnology as a framework to stabilize energy converting enzymes such as hydrogenase (hydrogen producers). In our research we use advanced chemical and physical methods to analyze the kinetics of gases in solutions, we apply mass spectrometry and gas chromatography. We also use super-fast spectroscopical methods including laser excitation to study natural and engineered photosynthetic microalgae. We perform anaerobic protein isolation and purification, membrane proteins research and construct and design of photobioreactors for scaling up hydrogen and biomass production.
Lab Website: www.energylabtau.com
Our lab overreaching aim is to gain deep systems-level understanding of photosynthetic metabolism in algae, and the role it plays in stirring photosynthesis efficiency and growth. To address these goals, we apply a set of tools, including state-of-the-art flux-metabolomics, modeling, molecular biology and physiology. We also have online monitoring based algal growth systems, perform metabolic profiling of photosynthetic metabolism, and 13C-labelling of photosynthetic cultures and plants.
Lab Website: www.treveslab.com
We are a dynamic, interdisciplinary, medium-size lab (4-6 students, typically) working at the interface of chemistry and biology. We work on the development of chemical biology methods to study and control biological processes in living plants. Our main interest is in small signalling molecules, such as plant hormones, that function as deliverers of information throughout the plant. We develop tools and methods to study not only the functions of such molecules, but also the regulatory mechanisms that govern them. We specialize in combining synthetic organic chemistry with molecular biology and genetics of plants. Our multi-disciplinary capabilities enable us to interrogate the functions of endogenous and synthetic small molecules in plants in a comprehensive manner.
Lab Website: https://roywlab.wixsite.com/rwlab
Plants respond to changes in their environment to survive and grow. When one part of a plant is stressed, the whole plant responds within minutes. This is called systemic acclimation, a process by which plants adjust their metabolism, physiology, and biochemistry to adapt to changes in their growth conditions or environment.
Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms on of systemic acclimation to light and other abiotic stresses. We study how signals such as reactive oxygen species, calcium, and membrane depolarization spread rapidly within cells and from cell to cell. We also investigate how these signals affect amino acid metabolism, which plays a role in acclimation.
To answer these questions, we use a variety of methods, including molecular biology, genetic screens, imaging, physiological assays, and omics.