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Tara Deans
Associate Professor
Research Interests:

The Deans lab builds synthetic gene circuits to improve the fundamental understanding of how cells make decisions, to better understand the molecular rules governing cell fate transitions for driving robust differentiation into desired lineages in vitro, and to program cells to function as therapeutic delivery vehicles. Our work on reprogramming cells spans four areas of research: 1. Mechanisms of cell fate transitions, 2. Biomanufacturing, 3. Engineering cell-delivery vehicles, and 4. Engineering bacteria for producing important biological molecules for applications in industry and human health. 

Approaches in synthetic biology harness cells’ natural ability to sense diverse signals, integrate environmental inputs to make decisions, and execute complex behaviors based on the health of the organism or tissue. The Deans lab builds genetic tools to reprogram how cells make decisions, how they communicate with other cells, and engineer the composition of payloads they can deliver. We focus on understanding cell fate transitions, biomanufacturing, engineering cell delivery vehicles, and producing important biological molecules by engineering bacteria for applications in industry and human health.