School of Engineering
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James H. Clark Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Bioengineering
BioUsing and Understanding Cell-Free Biology
Swartz Lab General Research Focus:
The current and projected research in the Swartz lab balances basic research in microbial metabolism, protein expression, and protein folding with a strong emphasis on compelling applications. The power and versatility of cell-free methods coupled with careful evaluation and engineering of these new systems enables a whole new range of applications and scientific investigation. Fundamental research on: the mechanisms and kinetics of ribosomal function, fundamental bioenergetics, basic mechanisms of protein folding, functional genomics, and metabolic pathway analysis is motivated by a variety of near- and medium term applications spanning medicine, energy, and environmental needs.
Swartz Lab Application Focus:
In the medical area , current research addresses the need for patient-specific vaccines to treat cancer. Particularly for lymphomas, there is a strong need to be able to make a new cancer vaccine for each patient. Current technologies are not practical for this demanding task, but cell-free approaches are rapid and inexpensive. We have already demonstrated feasibility in mouse tumor challenge studies and are now expanding the range of applications and working to improve the relevant technologies. Experience with these vaccines has also suggested a new and exciting format for making inexpensive and very potent vaccines for general use.
To address pressing needs for a new and cleaner energy source, we are working towards an organism that can efficiently capture solar energy and convert it into hydrogen. The first task is to develop an oxygen tolerant hydrogenase using cell-free technology to express libraries of mutated enzymes that can be rapidly screened for improved function. Even though these are very complex enzymes, we have produced active hydrogenases with our cell-free methods. We are now perfecting the screening methods for rapid and accurate identification of improved enzymes. After these new enzymes are identified, the project will progress toward metabolic engineering and bioreactor design research to achieve the scales and economies required.
To address environmental needs, we are developing an improved water filters using an amazing membrane protein, Aquaporin Z. It has the ability to reject all other chemicals and ions except water. We have efficiently expressed the protein into lipid bilayer vesicles and are now working to cast these membranes on porous supports to complete the development of a new and powerful water purification technology. The same lessons will be applied toward the development of a new class of biosensors that brings high sensitivity and selectivity.
Professor of Radiology (Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford/Nuclear Medicine) and, by courtesy, of Physics, of Electrical Engineering and of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMolecular Imaging Instrumentation
Our research interests involve the development of novel instrumentation and software algorithms for in vivo imaging of cellular and molecular signatures of disease in humans and small laboratory animal subjects.
Jennifer R. Cochran
Shriram Chair of Bioengineering, Associate Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMolecular Bioengineering, Protein Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Cell and Tissue Engineering, Molecular Imaging, Chemical Biology
Associate Professor of Radiology (Radiological Sciences Laboratory) and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering and of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am interested in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applications including cardiovascular, abdominal, breast and musculoskeletal imaging. These applications require development of faster and more efficient MRI methods that provide improved diagnostic contrast compared with current methods. My work includes novel excitation schemes, efficient imaging methods and reconstruction tools. Please see my research site (above) for most up-to-date information.
Johnson & Johnson Professor of Surgery and Professor, by courtesy, of Bioengineering and of Materials Science and Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsGeoffrey Gurtner's Lab is interested in understanding the mecahnism of new blood vessel growth following injury and how pathways of tissue regeneration and fibrosis interact in wound healing.
Professor of Bioengineering and of Electrical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsLarge-scale models of sensory, perceptual and motor systems
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur focus is on building computational models of complex biological processes, and using them to guide an experimental program. Such an approach leads to a relatively rapid identification and validation of previously unknown components and interactions. Biological systems of interest include metabolic, regulatory and signaling networks as well as cell-cell interactions. Current research involves the dynamic behavior of NF-kappaB, an important family of transcription factors.
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMolecular motors lie at the heart of biological processes from DNA replication to vesicle transport. My laboratory seeks to understand the physical mechanisms by which these nanoscale machines convert chemical energy into mechanical work.
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering and of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProtein engineering
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Bioengineering and of Radiology (Radiological Sciences Laboratory)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab's research involves the function, degeneration and repair of musculoskeletal soft tissues, with a focus on meniscal fibrocartilage and articular cartilage. We are particularly interested in the complex interactions between biophysical and biochemical cues in controlling cell behavior, the roles of these interactions in degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis, and development of tissue engineered 3D model systems for studying physical influences on primary and progenitor cells.