Dr Baojun Wang

Reader in Synthetic Biology, FRSC

Background

2019 - present    Reader & UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, University of Edinburgh

2013 - 2019    Group Leader & Chancellor's Fellow in Synthetic Biology, University of Edinburgh

2011 - 2013    Research Associate, Imperial College London

2007 - 2011    PhD in Bioengineering, Imperial College London

2000 - 2005    BEng in Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University

Undergraduate teaching

Lecturer of "Gene Expression and Microbial Regulation" & "Tools of Synthetic Biology" courses for BSc Biotechnology Honours Programme.

Postgraduate teaching

Lecturer of "Applications for Synthetic Biology" course for MSc in Synthetic Biology & Biotechnology Programme. 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Research summary

http://wang.bio.ed.ac.uk (The Synthetic Biological Circuit Engineering Lab)

The research in our group is primarily centered around Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering at the interface of biology, chemistry and engineering. The topic has significant growing applications in diverse areas including industrial biotechnology, healthcare and environment. Our interests include both fundamental and applied synthetic biology. The following describes the three synergistic research themes which we are currently focusing on, i.e. the foundational technology, healthcare and industrial biotechnology applications of synthetic biology

1. Foundational technology for gene circuit design   In this area, foundational synthetic gene circuits are designed and constructed to program living cells with designer functions including novel modular and orthogonal genetic logic gates, sensors, biological processors and advanced computing and information processing circuits (towards a programmable and scalable cell-based biocomputer). The results will greatly expand the currently limited toolbox in synthetic biology. New biological circuit design principles are being developed by exploiting design principles in other engineering systems such as modularity, orthogonality, systematic characterization and modelling to increase the predictability, scalability and automation of gene circuit design and assembly.

2. Synthetic cellular biosensors and biomanufacturing   In this area, the engineered gene networks or protein assembly tools are employed for applications including smart multi-input cell-based/cell-free biosensors for environmental monitoring and diagnostics, and as enabling tools to customize biomaterials and biologics manufacturing. New synthetic sensors are being developed to sense specific environmental toxins or disease related signals (pathogens, nucleic acids and cancers) with high selectivity and sensitivity. Genetic logic and analog circuits are applied to link the synthetic sensors and specialized actuators such as reporters, electron conduits and functional pathways to generate various bespoke output responses. Further, dynamic sensor-regulators are constructed in microbial cell factories to allow balancing metabolism and adaptively tuning product synthesis rate.

3. Synthetic biology-enabled new diagnostics and therapeutics   Here we engineer bacteriophages to selectively kill gut pathogens such as Shigella flexneri that causes widespread environmental enteropathy in human gut in developing countries. On the second thread, we are developing new low-cost, simple cell-free biosensors for providing point-of-use diagnostics of target toxins (e.g. arsenic, pesticides) and health-indicating metabolites in various samples in resource limited settings. Further, synthetic biology is used as a tool to build synthetic regulatory circuits for perturbing or mimicking their natural counterparts to aid disclosing design principles and properties of cell signalling and stress response systems, contributing to optimal biosensor design or infection treatment.

View all 35 publications on Research Explorer