The Deans Lab for Applied Synthetic Biology

Welcome to the Deans Lab for Applied Synthetic Biology! The central focus of our lab is to better understand hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and differentiation for the purpose of directing their differentiation to mass-produce platelets and red blood cells in vitro, in addition to using them as novel therapeutic delivery devices.

Based upon the need for improved tools to better understand and to direct stem cell fate to be used for therapeutic applications, our lab has three synergistic focus groups to study hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) fate decisions: (1) Build novel genetic tools to control the contributions of intrinsic cues on HSC proliferation and differentiation (synthetic biology), (2) Engineer biomimetic microenvironments and genetically interactive biomaterials to control the extrinsic cues on HSC proliferation and differentiation (coupling synthetic biology with biomaterials), and (3) Engineer cells to deliver therapeutic biomolecules to sites of injury and/or disease (synthetic biology).

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FEATURED NEWS:

May 2018 - Jenna Langford was awarded UROP funding! Congratulations to Jenna for being awarded the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) award for her project titled: "Characterization of the hematopoietic stem cell microenvironment."

March 2018 - Mitch's review, "Bottom-up approaches in synthetic biology and biomaterials for tissue engineering applications" is out!

January 2018 - Dr. Deans wins prestigious NIH Trailblazer Award. Read more: http://www.bioen.utah.edu/news/articles/tara-deans-trailblazer.php

December 2017 - Dylan was selected to present his work at the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR), AND received a travel award to cover all costs. Congratulations Dylan!!

December 2017 - Dylan Wootton was awarded UROP funding! Congratulations to Dylan for being awarded the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) award for his project titled: "Utilizing synthetic biology to enhance biomaterial production."

December 2017 - Kylie Persson joins the lab, welcome Kylie!

December 2017 - Kevin Castell joins the lab, welcome Kevin!

December 2017 - Jenna Langford joins the lab - welcome Jenna!

December 2017 - Luke wins second place for his poster at the Utah Biomedical Engineering Conference (UBEC)!

December 2017 - Mike gives a podium talk about his work at the Utah Biomedical Engineering Conference (UBEC).

September 2017 - Chelsea Gibbs wins a UROP travel award to attend the annual Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) meeting!

August 2017 - "Adoption of the Q Transcriptional System for Regulating Gene Expression in Stem Cells" is now published in ACS Synthetic Biology!

August 2017 - Congratulations Mike, Chelsea, and Adrian for getting the cover of ACS Synthetic Biology!

August 2017 - Ridge Durrant was awarded UROP funding! Congratulations to Ridge for being awarded the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) award for his project titled: "Implementing and optimizing optogenetic switches"