MSI PIs Casim Sarkar (associate professor, Biomedical Engineering) and Samira Azarin (associate professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) have developed a method to program the rate of a form of DNA editing called “site-specific recombination.” The new method will allow researchers to control the rate at which DNA is edited, which means they can control the speed at which a therapeutic cell produces a drug or therapeutic protein. The paper was published in Nature Communications and can be found on the journal website: Model-Guided Engineering of DNA Sequences With Predictable Site-Specific Recombination Rates. An article about the research appears on the University of Minnesota News site: Engineers Develop New Tool That Will Allow for More Personalized Cell Therapies.
Professor Sarkar uses MSI to support research that elucidates fundamental biological design principles that underlie cellular decision making and to design new molecular and cellular therapeutics. Professor Azarin uses MSI resources for storage and analysis of bioinformatics data related to studies of the role of the cell microenvironment in development of healthy and diseased tissues for applications in regenerative medicine and cancer therapeutics.