Education & Certifications

  • Master of Science, Stanford University, BIOE-MS (2021)
  • BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Computer Science and Molecular Biology (2018)

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Feedforward growth rate control mitigates gene activation burden. Nature communications Barajas, C., Huang, H., Gibson, J., Sandoval, L., Del Vecchio, D. 2022; 13 (1): 7054


    Heterologous gene activation causes non-physiological burden on cellular resources that cells are unable to adjust to. Here, we introduce a feedforward controller that actuates growth rate upon activation of a gene of interest (GOI) to compensate for such a burden. The controller achieves this by activating a modified SpoT enzyme (SpoTH) with sole hydrolysis activity, which lowers ppGpp level and thus increases growth rate. An inducible RelA+ expression cassette further allows to precisely set the basal level of ppGpp, and thus nominal growth rate, in any bacterial strain. Without the controller, activation of the GOI decreased growth rate by more than 50%. With the controller, we could activate the GOI to the same level without growth rate defect. A cell strain armed with the controller in co-culture enabled persistent population-level activation of a GOI, which could not be achieved by a strain devoid of the controller. The feedforward controller is a tunable, modular, and portable tool that allows dynamic gene activation without growth rate defects for bacterial synthetic biology applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-34647-1

    View details for PubMedID 36396941